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How Anxiety Affects Our Buying Behaviors

Learn to control your anxiety when buying

We are currently required to handle an unprecedented situation, at least for most of us: we need to make sure we have all the necessary goods in the proper amount, without letting the others starve. 

One way to make this work is by buying on a regular basis, just the amount that we need. We can, as a result, ensure both our own and the others' survival.

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How Anxiety Affects Our Buying Behaviors

How Anxiety Affects Our Buying Behaviors

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-science-behind-behavior/202003/how-anxiety-affects-our-buying-behaviors

psychologytoday.com

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Key Ideas

Anxiety encourages us to shop

Throughout time research has proven that shopping enables individuals to relax and forget about their worries. 

Anxiety is one of the most often met reasons that make people choose shopping over any other activity, as this gives us the impression that we can control a situation we have no real control over.

Anxiety and panic buying

Feeling anxious can lead to quite harmful behaviors, as one tends to always choose the safe path. 

For instance, when stressed over a certain situation directly related to goods, you might feel the need to buy too many products, a fact which, over time, will result in others not having what to buy or you having bought too much and wasting the very products you bought.

Anxiety and the need to buy luxury goods

When faced with difficult periods, like the pandemic we are all dealing with at present, individuals seem to tend to associate luxury goods to a greater safety level. 

Furthermore, research has shown that people believe to be able to distance themselves from danger only by purchasing luxurious and expensive products.

Learn to control your anxiety when buying

We are currently required to handle an unprecedented situation, at least for most of us: we need to make sure we have all the necessary goods in the proper amount, without letting the others starve. 

One way to make this work is by buying on a regular basis, just the amount that we need. We can, as a result, ensure both our own and the others' survival.

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Successfully dealing with shortages

While we are all facing the biggest challenge of our life, the 2020 pandemic, our behaviors are slowly starting to change. For instance, hoarding toilet paper is not something common, at least not in modern societies. Still, it is happening worldwide these days.

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Collectively, we may be reconsidering our priorities, the lasting effects that will also have an economic impact.

Long-term effects

With the new constraints of lockdown, people will be facing isolation, boredom, and a need for small joy. During this time, things will be streamlined or lost. After the adjustment period follows a time of re-evaluation in which we decide which behavioral changes we made during a crisis, we will abandon, and which we will sustain.

  • Many pleasures like eating in restaurants and traveling will be resumed.
  • Luxury goods may experience the biggest consumer fallout.
  • Online entertainment might also take a hit.
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  • Reframe the virus outbreak by temporal distancing, or by focusing your attention on a longer timescale.
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  • Try meditation or any anxiety-busting method that works for you.
  • Look for things that are future-oriented and pleasurable.
  • Do tasks around the house you have been putting off.
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  • Pizza Hut started selling pizzas online in 1994, using a flat, grey website to take the addresses and phone numbers of pizza-hungry customers.
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As the world becomes aware of the dangers of plastic and gets more environment-friendly, more and more people are restricting consumption and consumerism.

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Green Materialists
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Loss Aversion

..is a principle which makes people do things so that they don't feel regretful later. 

People are panic-buying for the same reason too, with social media and news media amplifying the sense of scarcity.

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Online shopping 

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Americans are also taking up more space with all the stuff they are amassing. Self-storage units are rapidly increasing too.

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Safety Behaviors May Not Be Helpful

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Exposure Therapy

The treatment for anxiety disorders involves intentionally approaching the feared situation without the safety behaviours.

It teaches us that anxiety does not last indefinitely but wanes over time. The urge to use the safety behaviors also decrease. We learn that our feared outcomes are unlikely to happen or that we can tolerate this uncertainty.

Slowly decrease safety behaviors

It is argued that safety behaviors need to be gradually reduced over time and not be eliminated all at once.

A study suggests that people may benefit from exposure therapy even if they do not eliminate all their safety behaviours at once. Continued use of unnecessary aids may prevent individuals from learning that they don't have to rely on safety behaviors.