Bringing Consciousness to Our Habits, Compulsions and Addictions

When you’re uncomfortable, go unconscious or become obsessed with a desire – do you go shopping? Do you notice a simple purchase feels more like an adrenaline rush then a business transaction? Do you frequently spend more than you can afford or run up credit cards? Do you hide purchases or have some tucked away unused with tags still on? You may have a shopping addiction.

You want to be mindful when your shopping habits begin to move from simple impulsive purchases to a compulsion to shop on line, watch the home shopping network, or perusing around the malls every spare minute or late at night.

There’s a fine line between “shop till you drop” and a full-blown addiction. Some of the signposts are when your shopping becomes a financial drain, begins to erode or destroy relationships, you are shopping instead of your responsibilities, and/or your career is affected.

The rush is not from owning something but the act of purchasing it. Pay attention to the difference in how you feel in the actual shopping phase and then compare how you are feeling when checking out and then again how you feel afterword.

Often people who have shopping addictions feel bad. As if they had been on a binge.

There are distinct triggers that identify compulsive shopping as an addiction. It often has to do with fulfilling some emotional void such as loneliness, lack of self-confidence or feeling a lack of control.

Want to learn who you are without numbing and distracting yourself by satisfying your impulse to shop?

For one week (or one month) completely abstain from shopping.

Use your energy to remove temptation. Don’t look at any catalogs, block shopping websites, take credit cards out of your wallet, and unsubscribe to retailer’s emails, anything you can think of.

Use consciousness and observe all the ways you are subliminally tempted and the feelings that come up.

Find healthy substitutes that can fulfill your soul. Exercise, spend time in nature, be with friends or family, and meditate.

Once we begin to satisfy our deeper needs and feel a sense of connectedness to our self and in the world, the pain we feel inside subsides and our compulsion to distract our self loses its stranglehold.

We are free to be.

Caution: often addictive energy is just transferred somewhere else. Be mindful of other compulsions that may pop up as you curb your shopping addiction.