Why We Spend Way Too Much When We Shop

The Seal of Hemispheric Harmony for products that balance the right and left brain hemispheres

The seal of Hemispheric Harmony granted to products that exercise and balance both hemispheres

Here I go about the Hemispheres again:

Shopping can easily become a right hemisphere activity. Most people don’t leave the house armed with left hemisphere lists, coupons, and plans for what they’ll buy. If they do, they are protecting their left hemisphere from what is about to be an explosion of activity by the right.

Let’s examine what happens to the brain’s hemispheres when you enter a store. You usually have some sort of plan. Soon, however, you discover that the store changed the location of the products you need. You end up browsing. This exploration activates the right hemisphere. You are no longer following order and logic. You discover new products, new ads, and new colors. There is probably music in the background purposely activating your heart rate to slow you down or perk you up and distract you, depending on the researchers’ suggestions for that time of day.

The longer you are in the store, the more your imagination locks in to the possibilities of what you could create from all those products. You forget the outside world and the reasons you were rushing because the left hemisphere is less active. Your right hemisphere is happy because it is getting its turn. You are feeling creative. You think that you are doing something useful. Creativity is indeed great. Wherever you look, you suddenly see combinations that you could use. If you’re in a food store, you see more and more cooking ideas. If you are in a craft store, a home supply store, or a clothing store, your imagination combines products and the creative juices flow.

When you get to check out, you often wonder how you went over the budget. The suddenly high price makes no numerical sense until you force yourself to focus on it. You had less contact with the numbers while your right brain was active. You were emotionally distant from that subject. The numbers and all the reasons to adhere to them seem less critical at that moment. It is because your right brain really took over.

Marketers may not have described what happens to shoppers’ brains in these hemispheric terms, but they know well how to draw you in.
Think about the places that don’t try to lure you in with creative graphics and right brain distractions. You won’t find right brain distractions at the bank or at the post office. These are places that want you to take care of your business and leave. Even most restaurants hope that you leave once you are done.

The next time that you have to shop, decide in advance if you can afford to give your right brain free play, or if you need to arm your left hemisphere with extra lists, coupons and possibly a very left brained friend.

The HeartMark is the heart hand gesture that I invented. HeartMark Health is here to remind you to be mindful. Make a HeartMark, breathe in, breathe out, and listen to your hemispheres. Listen to the conversation between them. Give each a chance to express itself in a safe place. Don’t give your right hemisphere freedom in the wrong place at the wrong time, or you could end up with a very expensive bill. I recommend drawing in the Heart Mandala books. You can let your right hemisphere choose which colors to use, and it will never be judged negatively. Every mandala design will look great!

I HeartMark You,

Heart Hand HeartMark Health logo to teach nutrition and fitness and registered trademark by Planet Heart

The trademark Heart Hand gesture is called the HeartMark! May you take the time to HeartMark and think about what goes into your body today!

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