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Health & Spirit

Well-Being Withers When Impulse Buying Takes Control

Marilynn Preston on

It's not unusual for people to ask me: What's the best piece of fitness gear I can buy?

My first answer is easy: buy the one you'll use. Buy the one that gets your bliss-making chemicals pumping and your heart thumping in a way that sparks joy and builds strength.

My second answer will surely irritate my Thrift Gene, inherited from my late, great, two-for-one bargain-hunting mother: Always buy the best quality you can afford, not necessarily the one that's the best deal. Cheap, poorly designed fitness gear is no bargain. Your equipment doesn't have to be new; it just has to feel solid and perform well for years to come.

All this is leading up to the December buying season -- a holiday ritual that is a wildly destructive force in the year-end struggle to enhance your well-being.

Green Wednesday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Return it All Sunday. Every minute of every day, on every device we have, we are prompted to buy, buy, buy, all of us in the grip of a shopping frenzy that we can't escape -- and very often can't afford.

So what can we do? Wake up! Impulse buying -- a category that includes a battery-operated cork-puller in the shape of an elf -- can be overcome, or at least tempered.

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"Hi, I'm Tara and I'm an impulse buyer!" is the lead to a timely guide to stopping impulse buying by Tara Button, the founder of BuyMeOnce.com. Her website is part of a growing movement in America dedicated to living simply, buying less, recycling more and preferring quality items over cheap junk that won't last.

Here are some of Tara's insights, blended with my own lifelong experience with impulse buying (most recently, a pair of red fluffy socks that display the message -- when I put my feet up -- "Please bring me another glass of wine." Irresistible, right?)

--THE CURIOSITY IMPULSE. This imp is excited by anything new: buy the latest phone, update your purses, add the hot-new-color shoes to your growing collection. It can be a good impulse -- curiosity about the new is a plus when it comes to your well-being -- but very often, it leads to spending on things you don't need ... a lipstick that glows in the dark?

"First you need to teach the imp to appreciate the items you already own," writes Tara. After focusing on gratitude for what you have, turn the imp's attention to what new thing you could learn about or what new place you could visit. Cultivate curiosity for the real world, and your impulse to have the latest and trendiest will subside.

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Copyright 2018 Creators Syndicate Inc.
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