There were times when I shopped for clothes in the big retail stores. I remember very well the feeling of being overwhelmed with the size of the store and the number of items there. As I was browsing through the clothes, I felt panic pilling up together with the items in my hand. Most of the time I would leave these stores with a feeling of light fatigue as if I just left a big business meeting.
Does any of that sound familiar to you?
Whether you are aware or not, our modern shopping habits (online and offline) impact more than just our wallets. They affect our mental wellbeing too.
Today, we face too many choices. There are constantly new things on the market and we are under continuous pressure to buy. Fashion, in particular, is a good sign of this: with a new line almost every week, the industry invests heavily in marketing to tell us that we need to keep buying. We easily get caught up in a race for trends and hype around new things. But in a long run, this is stressful, addicting, and can lead to serious mental health decline.
What happens when we slow down shopping?
What happens when we embrace a slow and sustainable lifestyle?
Turns out, there are 6 surprising benefits for our mental wellbeing.
- A calmer mind
The first thing you may notice when you stop seeing those noisy brands, shopping streets, and intrusive ads, is that things become calmer. This is why it’s crucial to make a conscious decision and move away from all those prompts that are competing for your attention. This includes unfollowing brands on social media, unsubscribing from their email lists, and avoiding (at least for a while) going near their stores.
It takes a lot of effort, but the result is a calmer mind. When your brain isn’t constantly stimulated with new ads and information about products, it has the time to think. As an extra benefit, you might find your productivity increases, too.
- Being more mindful
A calmer mind helps you be more mindful in your daily life. Essentially, being mindful means being present in the moment, and paying attention to your emotions, thoughts, but also those around you. Mindfulness is connected to reduced stress, better sleep, and improved self-esteem.
With time, you will start re-evaluating what you’re buying, eating, watching, reading, how you travel, how you think, and more. You will focus on things that matter.
- Less clutter in your home
Being more mindful about what you buy and consume means that you will have fewer useless things lying around. We all have been in situations where we kept buying new clothes and still had nothing to wear. Once you slow down your buying, you will break this cycle.
And having less clutter around your home will help you be more organized, productive, and overall calmer. Owning only things that have value and purpose in your life will make you feel better!
- Learning what you truly like
Continuing on the previous point, slowing down your consumption will help you learn what you actually like. Let’s take clothes again. When you move away from trendy things, you will have more time to reflect on things you own and wear. With time, you might realise what colours, shapes, fits, and patterns you like. Instead of trends, you will now focus on your own style.
It doesn’t matter what that style is: bold and colourful, minimalistic, casual, classy, or anything in-between. Once you start wearing and shopping for your style, you will find that you enjoy your clothes much more. And that’s a great feeling!
- Making healthier choices
As I mentioned above, slowing down your lifestyle means you will rethink your choices. Chances are, you will start making choices that are better for you.
Usually, sustainable food, cosmetics, and fashion are also those that contain fewer chemicals, pesticides and are made with pure and natural ingredients. Think of organic food, clean skincare, and natural fibre clothes. All of these are healthier for you (and the planet, of course). A healthy body equals a healthy mind!
- Buying in line with your values
It is becoming harder and harder to hide the devastating impact that the big industries have on the planet and the people. Most of us are aware that the way we grow food or make clothes is highly unsustainable. And when we keep supporting those practices that are highly damaging to us, it can lead to mental tension. Psychologists call this cognitive dissonance.
Instead, we could support businesses that align with our values. When you slow down your consumption, you will more likely look for companies that care about the environment and people. Ultimately, you’ll be happier with things you buy, if you know where your money goes.
If you’re on such a journey and looking for some inspiration, we kindly invite you to check out our shop.