An emotional salve, a hobby, a habit and social event. Shopping has become a mindless activity and second nature to us in the western world. While this seemingly ordinary activity may appear innocuous, it has the power to have a negative impact on your wellbeing, your bank balance and the environment.

Have you ever been walking or driving a car and suddenly realise that you have no recollection of what happened in the last few minutes? You lost awareness somewhere between point A and B. This is your unconscious mind. It comes into play when shopping too. This unconscious mind drives consumer behaviour, which means many of our purchasing decisions are not made using logical reasoning.

Changing your habits from mindless to mindful shopping, like trying to break any habit, takes practice and patience. Undoing a lifetime of social conditioning won’t happen overnight but there are few easy to remember rules to help you kick the habit and bring mindfulness to the shopping experience.

What will you wear it with?

So you have stumbled upon an amazing gold lame shirt with a pussy bow that you just have to own. What will you wear it with? If you can’t think of three different outfits to style it with, walk away. It’s ludicrous to only wear something once but in our throw-away society, it has become acceptable and normal.

Will you wear it 30 times?

Once you have decided that, yes, I have 3 outfits I can create, ask yourself - will I get a minimum of 30 wears out of this item? In the age of social media, it can be a bit taboo (in certain circles) to be seen in the same outfit twice. That’s rubbish! If you only buy items that you love enough to wear 30 times, you won’t care that you’ve been snapped twice in it.

Buy Quality

It may take you longer to find or cost a little bit more but it’s worthwhile. Especially since you're aiming to wear it at least 30 times - you want it to be able to handle multiple wears and not fall apart in the first wash or start peeling.

Don’t shop while sad/drunk/angry etc

If you are having a bad day or had one too many wines, put the credit card down. Shopping has been proven to release those feel-good chemicals and it’s how the term ‘retail therapy’ came about. This is also the reason we often regret our purchases later, once that high has worn off and your rational mind comes back into play. It’s best to only shop when sober and feeling happy.