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Take control of your Black Friday

Black Friday is that time of the year when we feel the urge to get the best deals. The day that promises fantastic, fomo-inducing bargains, together with a higher sense of satisfaction, relief, connecting with others, rewardingness, and dopamine. Sounds so exciting even writing about it.
But what if we understand all these urges and emotions?
Knowing what triggers us on Black Friday will bring us in the position of control of our spendings and behaviours. If you are not aware of the external factors that you are subjected to; indulge yourself in the words below:

Now let’s have a look at what is happening in our brain while shopping.
Black Friday is all about scarcity promotions that are meant to create the urge to buy. Limited items with big discounts are strategically meant to create that rush of BUY IT NOW. This gives you a boost of dopamine, but its only a ¨dopamine rush ¨, that is associated with the need for more rather than feeling good. In order to feel good, we need oxytocin and serotonin as well, those are not in the play on Black Friday. (oxytocin is about human touch, and serotonin is related to helping others).
Carolyn Mair, a professor of Psychology for Fashion and consultant talks also about the motivation to seek novelty as being the drive that increases dopamine levels:¨Novelty causes a number of brain systems to become activated, including the dopamine system. Dopamine is associated with the need for more rather than feeling good. Dopamine is implicated in many addictive behaviours such as addiction to chocolate, money, sex and possibly items of clothing.¨

There is an element of tradition behind the Black Friday shopping. As Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist and author, talks in her book Gen BuY, about finding satisfaction in the ritual and in the connection with others through a shared experience: ¨It´s a way for relatives of alleges to spend a day together.¨Getting along with our families as we’ve done it forever is a sort of ritual that makes it so exciting. Then there’s the sense of community that this event creates. We are focusing on the things we are buying on Black Friday and we talk with others about it. This takes us back to the caveman days when belonging to a group was essential to stay alive. Today is about connecting with others through our tastes and shopping interests. It’s about human connection.

Then there are our senses and emotions that can be manipulated inside stores. The smells, sounds, and colours are all designed to excite our senses. Smells such as pine and peppermint bring nostalgia especially during seasons, Christmas songs are all about nostalgia as well, and red that creates feelings of excitement and intensity.

Knowing all this, I will advise you to make a list with the things that you need before going to the mall today. Be real and truthful with yourself and recognise your needs and not your wants. It will be great if you choose to support an ethical brand, or simply decide to buy nothing and find contentment in what you already have.

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