How to Cope With Shopping Anxiety

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Author Name: Mia Barnes
Date: Sunday January 9, 2022

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Sometimes, whether through negative past experiences or out of the blue, you may struggle in certain situations in your life. Many people need to learn how to cope with shopping anxiety. Shopping anxiety is very real, and it can happen instantly after a negative experience with an item. Since shopping is essential to life, you need to implement a few best strategies to heal your anxieties.

What Is Shopping Anxiety?

Shopping anxiety occurs when you feel anxious, sometimes to the point of an anxiety attack, when shopping. Some people participate in “retail therapy,” where they soothe their negative feelings through impulse-buying items they don’t necessarily need. Shopping anxiety is similar, as it means your regular habits are impacted by your inability to purchase something. Luckily, shopping anxiety doesn’t have to stay, and with a bit of work, you can resume your regular shopping habits soon.

How to Cope With Shopping Anxiety in 5 Steps

Shopping anxiety isn’t easy to handle. Depending on your self-confidence level, it might be difficult for you to convince your brain that you’re allowed to buy something for yourself. Try out these methods to eliminate your anxiety for good.

1. Understand the Roots

Getting to the roots of your anxiety will help you understand it better. What holds you back from buying the things you need or want? You might be afraid that purchasing something could cause a setback in your budget. Alternatively, if you shy away from buying clothes, it could be because you lack self-confidence.

By understanding the root of your anxieties, you can know what to tackle first. Building your confidence up for shopping adventures is easy once you know which steps to take.

2. Budget Effectively

While it may seem simple, following a budget isn’t as easy as it looks. It is worth the effort, though, as knowing where your money is going could lead you to worry less about it. Set a goal for spending in certain categories. Maybe you could cut back on eating at restaurants or needless expenditures so that you can aim to buy something you want, guilt-free.

3. Start Small

To overcome your anxiety, you may have to expose yourself to shopping. Buying things is essential for life — you have to buy groceries, clothes, and more to sustain yourself through the years. To feel comfortable spending money on yourself, you have to work toward it. Small steps may feel like you’re getting nowhere, but they could help more than you think.

Buy something small for yourself that you want, for no other reason than the fact that you want it. You shouldn’t worry about money or how often you’ll use the item — just do it for yourself. You may find it easier to purchase things for yourself than you think.

4. Try New Methods

Once again, you have to examine where your anxiety comes from before implementing this tactic. Are your problems with shopping mainly online or in-person? These fears could stem from different experiences in your life, resulting in other anxieties.

Do you shy away from having to use your card online because you think a sketchy storefront might steal its details? Don’t let that deter you from shopping. Try going to stores in person to find deals on things you might like.

Avoiding brick-and-mortar stores makes sense if you don’t feel confident in yourself. Dressing nice, or the way you want, can positively influence your self-confidence. In that case, trying on clothes is unavoidable. If you can’t bring yourself to shop within a store, consider finding an online store that allows you to try on clothes before buying them.

5. Habitually Reward Yourself

Remember that all humans love rewards. With any amount of progress, you should reward yourself. When you notice yourself starting to make progress, pat yourself on the back — you’re learning how to cope with shopping anxiety. 

Rewards can keep you motivated and help you follow through with your goals. You can reward yourself by eating something delicious or finding something fun and free to do, like taking a warm bath or walking through nature. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s something you enjoy so you’ll feel motivated to keep up with your excellent progress.

Teaching Yourself How to Cope With Shopping Anxiety

Learning how to cope with shopping anxiety is more challenging than it seems. With a bit of practice, as well as plenty of motivation and rewards to keep you going, you’ll likely soon feel your anxiety slipping, allowing you to make purchases more confidently with your future in mind. Just make sure to follow a budget and keep yourself in check. Keep a record of the progress you’ve made, and it could motivate you to heal even further from your shopping anxieties.

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