How Shopping & Styling Can Increase Good Mental Health
Fashion isn’t just about staying trendy or impressing others with your style it’s a way of making us feel good from within. It’s an artistic expression of who we are and can be incredibly therapeutic in nature. As the adage goes, “Retail therapy is cheaper than a psychiatrist.” well sometimes anyway lol. But is there any truth to it? Does fashion genuinely hold therapeutic value? Let’s delve into the exciting motion of fashion therapy and how it contributes to our mental wellbeing.
Retail therapy isn’t just a catchy phrase. It’s backed by scientific research, demonstrating that shopping can significantly improve our mood, I mean we didnt really need any real scientific research to convince us that did we but a study published in the Journal of Psychology and Marketing found that retail therapy could really help mitigate feelings of sadness and while shopping shouldn’t of course replace professional mental health support, it can certainly serve as a supplemental strategy for enhancing mood and reducing stress.
Part of the therapeutic effect of shopping comes from the hunt for the perfect item as well as nabbing a bargain. The thrill of the search, trying on different outfits, and finally finding that piece that fits just right and makes us feel fab is a process filled with excitement and anticipation. It’s not just about purchasing; it’s about the journey, the exploration, and the satisfaction of finding something that speaks to you.
Beyond shopping, the act of styling your outfits can be such a creative and calming process. Experimenting with different looks, color combinations, prints and accessories is a form of self-expression that can really boost your mood and confidence in a big way. It’s like painting a picture, but instead of using a canvas, you’re using clothes to create a visual representation of your personality.
Fashion Tips for Therapeutic Shopping and Styling:
Mindful shopping is about fully engaging in the shopping experience and making deliberate, thoughtful choices. Pay attention to how different fabrics feel against your skin, or how the color of a dress makes you feel. Take a moment to really think about why a particular piece speaks to you. Is it because it’s in your favorite color? Or because it reminds you of a particular happy memory? By being fully present in the experience, you can make more satisfying choices and enhance the therapeutic benefits of shopping.
Our personal style can evolve with us, and it’s okay to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Maybe you’ve always stuck to neutral tones but have been curious about incorporating more color into your wardrobe. Or perhaps you’re typically a jeans-and-t-shirt person but have been toying with the idea of trying out more formal wear. Experimenting with different styles can be a fun and creative process that helps you express different aspects of your personality.
The therapeutic benefits of shopping and styling come from the process, not just the end result. Don’t rush through your shopping trips just to get it done. Take your time to try on different pieces, mix and match styles, and put together outfits that make you feel good. Similarly, when you’re styling your clothes, enjoy the process of putting together different looks. It’s not just about the final outfit, but about the creative journey you take to get there.
While it can be tempting to buy lots of cheaper items, investing in fewer, higher-quality pieces can be more satisfying in the long run. High-quality clothes tend to fit better, last longer, and feel more luxurious. Plus, when you’ve invested in a piece, you’re more likely to take good care of it and appreciate it. It can be helpful to save up for a piece that you really love, rather than impulsively buying lots of cheaper items.
Remember, fashion therapy is about more than just buying clothes or creating outfits. It’s about expressing yourself, boosting your mood, and taking care of your mental health. So, whether you’re shopping for new pieces or styling your existing wardrobe, be sure to take your time, enjoy the process, and make choices that make you feel good.
Fashion therapy isn’t just about shopping and styling. It’s about understanding the emotional connection we have with clothes and using it to enhance our mental wellbeing. So the next time you’re feeling down, why not go on a shopping adventure or experiment with creating new outfits from your existing wardrobe? Remember, the goal is to feel good, express yourself, and have fun!
In the end, while fashion can bring joy and be therapeutic, it’s important to remember that it should not be the only means of coping with emotional difficulties. It should complement other self-care practices and professional mental health support when needed.