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Recovery from a substance use disorder can be challenging at times. Maintaining recovery takes discovering healthy ways to combat your cravings and impulses, some of which might include meditation, mindfulness, exercise, or pursuing a hobby. However, sometimes you begin to develop another addictive outlet to replace the cravings and impulses. It is known as a process-disorder, and such disorders can become just as troubling, costly, and damaging to your lifestyle and recovery. Among some of these process-disorders is a shopping disorder. 

Shopping addiction is compulsively shopping and feeling like you have no control over your behavior. Shopping becomes an impulsive behavior and taps into the brain’s reward center, causing immediate relief if you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed. Like substances, shopping can become a defense mechanism to combat negative feelings. However, this is not a healthy way to treat these emotions. 

Identify Trigger

What activates your urge to shop: boredom, stress, anxiety, depression, or resisting the urge to drink or use drugs? Practicing mindfulness and keeping a journal to track your thoughts can help you recognize how you feel and react to different situations and people, which can help you respond differently to impulses when they occur. Knowing your triggers can help you identify why you feel the need to shop, especially when it does not fulfill a functional purpose. Understanding the psychological meaning of needing something can help bring to light the areas where you feel unfulfilled. 

Replace Shopping With Healthy Alternatives

Does shopping combat pain, anger, sadness, or stress? Instead of trading one addiction with another, look for healthier ways to combat these impulses. You might focus on breathwork or meditation to resist the urge, or perhaps you take up a hobby such as painting or music. These healthier alternatives will not only combat your shopping addiction but allow you the room to continue to grow. 

Change Your Environment

Your environment may test your willpower. Do you keep shopping apps on your phone, possibly even in your favorite tabs? Removing these temptations can curb your impulse significantly, making shopping harder to access.

Replacing one addiction for another can become just as damaging as your initial addiction. It interferes with your recovery and can become detrimental to your health. However, there are ways to help combat a process-disorder, including identifying triggers, finding healthier alternatives, and changing your environment. It can also be hard to discover when the onset of these addictions occurs. If you have any indication that you are developing another addiction, seek help. At Guest House, we offer both conventional and alternative approaches to recovery. We believe that each individual requires treatment to suit their needs. Recovery is not one-size-fits-all. To learn more, call us today at (855) 483-7800.