I swear I’m not just coming up with an excuse to shop. I just want to share any information about healthy living whenever I come across it, and shopping just happens to be healthy. It’s true! Mood-lifting endorphins shoot up when you look at an item you like, as well as dopamine, the pleasure chemical. If you shop with friends, you get twice the benefits, as social interaction produces some of the same effects.
All of these chemicals help to boost the immune system AND keep your brain functions in tip-top shape. You know—so you can tell if that’s real or fake Prada you’re looking at.
In a study at MIT, Carnegie Mellon and Stanford, volunteers allowed themselves to be strapped to an fMRI machine so that researchers could view their brain activity while they showed them various products. When the participants would view an item they wanted to buy, the reward and pleasure centers in the brain received a rush of dopamine.
Warning: the pleasure center is also associated with addiction. The good news is, that you can receive the same benefits by simply window-shopping. So grab some friends, leave your wallet at home, and possibly extend your lifespan by perusing your favorite shops.