If you've ever turned to a shopping spree to cure a bout of stress, you're not alone. However, according to science, there are certain products people tend to buy more when they're feeling out of sorts—and it's not shoes. A recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that people are more likely to spend money on cleaning products when they feel out of control, Apartment Therapy reports.
The study set out to research a connection between the desire for control and consumer purchasing. Researchers asked some participants to write a short essay about a time when they felt in control of a situation and others to write about a time when they felt that they had no control over a situation. After the writing exercise, they were asked to go grocery shopping.
A look at the participants' receipts revealed that those who wrote about a lack of control purchased over double the number of utilitarian products than those who wrote about having control. Forget splurging on luxury items—when it comes to coping with stress, apparently products like cleaning supplies, tools, and stationery are all it takes to feel calm.
"Consumers compensate for a loss of perceived control by buying utilitarian products (e.g., household cleaning agents) because of these products' association with problem-solving, a quality that promotes self-control," write the authors of the study. This explains why you may attempt to regain control in your life through the simple task of cleaning after dealing with something you may not have had control over. It's certainly not an unhealthy way to create a sense of order in your life, but cleaning will never fix a serious issue that might be plaguing you.
Next time you find yourself stocking up on extra cleaning supplies, ask yourself if a recent situation is bothering you so you can get to the root of the issue.
Read the full story at Apartment Therapy, and then learn about the essential oils that can help diminish feelings of anxiety.