Friday July 3rd, 2020 4:55PM

Forsyth Co. counselor offers tips for lowering stress during holiday shopping

While some people are finalizing their game plan for their tradition of Black Friday shopping, others hope to avoid the crowds and the stores completely.

If you've ever wondered what would cause a person to want to brave the early morning cold and the crowds, Cumming licensed professional counselor Alaine Glover said people who tend to enjoy setting and achieving goals tend to also enjoy the hunt for the perfect gift. 

"If they were to gain the bargain that they're hunting for, then anytime a goal is reached the brain feels good. The brain loves pleasure. So, it wants that repeated," according to Glover.

Associate Professor of Apparel, Design and Hospitality Management at North Dakota State University Jaeha Lee told PBS the misbehavior sometimes demonstrated by shoppers can be a combination of several factors such as the knowledge that the demand for the item you want will be higher than the number or supply of items available at the deeply-discounted price. Lee added that sleep deprivation, due to early morning or late night sales, also means shoppers aren't functioning at their best, which often results in bad decisions and grumpy moods.

Glover said in order to lower the potential for stress you should start your shopping with a patient, friendly attitude. She added that if you start your trip expecting to encounter the large crowds, it can help you allow the time to pass without feeling the need to meet a deadline. She suggested that a small change to your face can also be a big help in reducing stress.

"Smiling, having the corners of your mouth turned upward, increases the serotonin in the brain," Glover explained. "Serotonin is your feel-good chemical, so it alone helps you feel less stressed and happier."

If you're hoping to score multiple deals from more than one retailer, Glover said to ask a friend or loved one to go to the other location so you won't feel rushed in your own shopping venture. As well, she advises that if the shopping deals are time sensitive, you take someone along with you and work as a team.

"I go with my daughter," Glover said. "I man the buggy. She gets what she wants, brings it to me, and goes back and shops again because you cannot maneuver the buggy through some of the stores. The lines are too long and the aisles become too crowded."

Basically, Glover said, using some simple organizational strategy can stave off frustration and anxiety on Black Friday; if you know the experience will be nothing but stressful, then online shopping may be the answer. 

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