However, there's really only one thing that helps to reduce stress. And that's shopping. Oh, glorious shopping! As soon as I enter a store a wave of calm washes over me. I inhale the intoxicating scent of suede and leather and exotic perfumes and instantly feel my body relax. All those little stressful thoughts and fears fade away, overcome by the dizzying visual stimuli of leather wedges and printed maxi skirts and softly faded jeans. It's delightful, and mystifying, and never fails to elevate my mood. I wander down the aisles, meticulously examining new merchandise. I spend hours trying on shoes. Sometimes I take a few friends along, and we whittle away an afternoon hunting down the perfect pair of ballet flats. Shopping never fails to bring me out of whatever funk I was in before entering a store.
And, according to a study just out of Taiwan, shopping can actually be good for you. Scientists reported in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health that shopping may provide companionship, exercise, and an opportunity to maintain a healthy diet, and concluded that men and women who shop daily may live longer than those who avoid retail therapy.
In the study, researchers led by Dr Yu-Hung Chang of the Institute of Population Health Sciences, Taiwan, studied nearly 2,000 men and women aged 65 and over who lived in their own homes. They found those who shopped regularly lived longer than those who shopped just once a week or less, even after adjusting for factors such as physical limitations and cognitive decline. Those who shopped daily were 27% less likely to die than those who shopped infrequently, with the biggest effect seen in men
"Shopping is often for pleasure, with the potential to increase psychological well-being," they conclude. "Compared to other types of leisure-time physical activity, like formal exercise, which usually requires motivation and sometimes professional instruction, shopping is easier to undertake and maintain."
These finding make perfect sense. Shopping is physical and forces you to be active, though in a much more light-hearted manner than pounding away on a treadmill. It also forces you to be social - I've befriended many a salesgirl when in need of advice regarding a particular garment, and bonded with my friends.
Do you believe shopping is a good form of socialization and exercise? Do you find shopping exhilarating, or is the entire experience excruciating for you? Are you surprised at this study's findings? Discuss!
(As a little celebration for reaching 150 followers this week, I'm having a giveaway to one of my favorite vintage stores this week! This shop is a favorite of Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes, and is filled with pristine vintage from Christian Dior, Betsey Johnson, Prada, and Halston. Be sure to stop by and enter - its going to be fabulous.)
|Thrifted Fossil dress; Nordstrom Rack necklace; Old Navy leather wedges; Marc Jacobs bag (from a consignment shop!); Betsey Johnson watch; eBay gold turquoise bracelet|