AI know the feeling all too well. The one where you seem to never be doing enough according to society’s standards. The news and media is a constant reminder of what in the world is going wrong rather than right. You are flooded with ideas of what your life should look like; only absorbing the highs of peoples’ lives through social media, assuming that is all there is.
Until you acknowledge your reality again.
We all know this pattern well and we all know there are an overwhelming amount of statistics out there proving that mental illness continues to be on the rise as a result of hyper-consumerism.
So how do we “hit refresh”? How do we close the door on hyper-consumerism and open a new one?
Two words: Conscious Consumerism.
Connecting Mind, Body, Soul and Consumerism
I am not saying you should switch out your xanax prescription for veganism or stop going to therapy and start buying local instead. However, I am imploring you to consider the strong connection between your mental health and conscious consumerism.
According to Psychology Today, “numerous studies have found that the extent to which people prioritize intrinsic over extrinsic goals is associated with higher levels of self-actualization, vitality, life satisfaction, and pleasant affect, and with lower levels of depression, anxiety, and negative affect”.
Conscious Consumerism is not asking you to Marie Kondo all of your possessions and live in a tiny house. Although, if you are ready to take on that journey, I am all for it! (less carbon footprint, less materialism, and less laundry to do) Conscious Consumerism is about reevaluating how you navigate consumerism as a whole; starting with what you buy, who you buy from, and knowing what processes were in place to create the product you purchased.
“Buying stuff to meet our needs of course plays an important role in people’s lives, but well-being studies illustrate that materialistic tendencies are linked to decreased life satisfaction, happiness, vitality and social cooperation, and increases in depression, anxiety, racism and antisocial behaviour”, Chris Large wrote for the Environmental Funders Network Blog.
It seems like a daunting task to break patterns so deeply ingrained in our culture, but the trick is to start small, trust your instincts, know your resources, and understand the positive effects this life change can have on you.
Conscious Consumerism with Care
Your mental health is worth so much more than “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” or chasing an influencer lifestyle on instagram. Instead, you deserve to make a conscious choice to slow down, pause before you purchase, and only buy things that compliment your well-being.
So start small, and I mean REALLY small. Because your mental health deserves to be seen even when you are navigating the world as a consumer. The best way I have learned to begin stepping into a more “conscious consumerism mindset” is by asking myself these three questions before I click “Check Out Now” or place an item in my cart at the store:
- Is this item an absolute necessity?
- Does this purchase align with my values?
- Am I reducing waste or increasing waste?
You can do this.
Start small. Start now, and honor your mental health as a conscious consumer.