Why do we love shopping?

Most people, especially women experience a heightened feeling of happiness when they go shopping. Experts have also talked about deep-rooted connection between shopping and happiness in women. For most women spending time on the treadmill may seem more strenuous than carrying a big shopping load and idling around in a shopping mall.

Researchers who have deliberated the effect of shopping on brain believe that shopping can lead to the release of the feel-good chemicals in the brain called endorphins. For some women the level of pleasure derived from shopping can be as good as having fun with your partner in bed. The thrill of shopping gets even more wonderful when one can dig up a hell of a deal.

During research, it was found that increased activity was seen in the left front part of the cortex in the brain, the region which is linked with pleasure and good feelings. Also an increased release of dopamine during shopping was nearly the same as a seen when one experiences sexual pleasure.

What is even more interesting is that looking at a product, in the display window that the person has wanted to buy for some time, in itself is enough to produce ten times more dopamine in the brain. And well, however unfortunate that may sound, that dopamine will be found nowhere when you receive your credit card statement showing those few hundred dollars you spend on buying that iPod. Scary isn’t it?

However bad shopping maybe for your financial health, researchers still believe that shopping is a pleasant affair for all humanity. And interestingly the shopping related happiness doesn’t end at you, since having made a sale the salesperson feels equally happy.

Quite often, even you may have observed in your own case, you feel elated and have a faint smile on your face while returning home after shopping. Your elevated mood may stay so for many hours, say even after you reach home or maybe even for a few days.

Sidharth Thakur