UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020
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Oh, how people love to shop. It can be thrilling for some to find that special something that no one else has, others like to keep up with the new trend, and others still are all about the bargain hunt. Regardless of the goal, many people enjoy themselves a good shopping spree. What many people don’t know about shopping is that it can be good for your health and ultimately make you live longer.
It turns out that there may be something to the phrase “retail therapy.” Shopping can give you a kind of high by releasing a flood of endorphins or feel-good chemicals in your brain. During and after shopping, those who are unhappy or depressed become happier, and their pulse rate and blood pressure levels become normal. When you are taking a look around a shop, there is increased activity in the pre-frontal cortex of your brain, the part that is associated with pleasure and positive thinking. The act of shopping causes an increased level of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is released during pleasurable experiences in your brain’s reward center. These changes to the brain can make you feel relaxed and happy and reduce stress levels.
Maybe flipping through the sales rack at your local mall isn’t quite as strenuous as a 60-minute run, but it can add up. Frequent shopping boosts health because it causes people to be more active and requires a lot of walking. Walking from one shop to another while carrying heavy bags can get your heart going and give your body a good workout. The average person burns up to 400 calories per shopping experience.
Another great advantage of shopping is that it can help you keep your brain sharp even in old age. This is because when you shop, you tend to be more mentally engaged from budgeting the items you buy. When shopping you are also more socially involved from meeting new and old friends at the store and mingling with sales people and fellow shoppers. The added social benefits of shopping are important for emotional health, your overall well being and keeping that brain going.
Shopping isn’t just about good finds and filling up your closet. It is also good for your mental and physical health. It releases mood-boosting endorphins, keeps your brain nimble and even fulfills basic social needs. And the best news is research has shown that the same positive effects of shopping can be experienced just by window shopping. You can still get all the additional health benefits shopping has to offer without draining your bank account.
So if you’ve got the time and the inclination, shopping with a friend may be just what the doctor ordered. It’s a great way to have fun, ease stress, stay young and outlive your term life insurance policy.