It is widely known that we get a rush of dopamine when we shop which produces a short-lived high. What if we could re-wire our brain to reduce this affect or better yet, even reverse it, and enjoy it’s affects when we do not purchase a desired item.
I distinctly remember an experience I had when I was an undergrad in college and my dad asked me where I was going. I told him I was going to Bentos to buy lunch. He asked me the cost of the food, which was about 12 bucks. He then asked me where this restaurant was located. It was a 30 minute drive from home. He told me that the meal was not $12.00, since I was not taking into account the cost of gas, the wear and tear on my car, and the value of my travel time. In the long run that meal was going to cost much more than $12.00. He then said when you buy something or go somewhere you need to think about ‘do I need this or do I want it.’
His phrase changed my perspective although I still went and got the food since I already paid for it. BUT, I changed after that. I made it a game for myself to determine whether I needed or wanted something. Most things were in the ‘want’ category. In the end my shopping dramatically decreased and I was on the verge of minimalism, but not quite. I just have less things, which makes it easier and simpler to move around.
I do not consider myself a minimalist by any means since I still have a lot of things. Just my ‘things’ have become more strategic and have use in my life.