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Quick Tips for Stopping the Shopping Cycle

If you are trying to battle your shopping compulsions, whether they impair your functioning to a degree that requires a clinical intervention or fall within “normal” limits, putting an end to the cycle can feel impossible. The urge to shop can be overwhelming, and the relief you experience each time you buy becomes stronger than your guilt and fear of debt.

The benefits from stopping compulsive shopping behaviors must be greater than the relief you gain from continuing them. To battle shopping impulses, you must begin by reducing those impulses. When you shop compulsively, your emotions are bringing on knee-jerk reactions: I feel nervous (upset, unfulfilled), and now I will shop away the pain. Emotion leads to action.

To slow down or halt this process, your emotion should lead to thought, which should then lead to action. Making room for a logical and thoughtful consideration of emotion and future action can be the critical piece in reducing your shopping sprees. If you are among the many who shop without need, means, or a clear head, the following shopping techniques can bring relief to your mind and your wallet. Shopping without:

Who doesn’t love to look at clothes, feel clothes, try on clothes, or see new clothing styles? Clothes are pieces of art on hangers. When you need to control you’re shopping impulses and are not allowing yourself to spend, you may still feel the urge to shop. Shopping without means shopping without your wallet. No credit cards, no cash, no check, no nothing! Now, to hard-core shoppers, shopping without your wallet handy may seem like a slow form of torture.

It may feel somewhat painful at first, but it will stretch out the time between when you feel the need to buy and when you buy an item having put actual thought and consideration into the purchase. After shopping without your wallet, come home with your mental list of “must have” items.

Then examine your real closet needs: are these items just impulse wants, or would they be real investments in the wardrobe you already own? You may find that 10 percent of the items on your shopping-without list actually make it home

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