Many of us have experienced the good feelings that come along with finding that perfect new pair of shoes. Shoes come in styles for any occasion and they often signal a meaningful moment in time, such as a reward for a good job well done or to mark a momentous occasion like your wedding. Either way, shoes are the icing on the cake-- or the accessory that can make or break your outfit. They are one of the easiest ways to dress up a casual outfit or the perfect way to give even the most formal attire a more laid-back sort of feel. Not only do they bring together an outfit, but they actually make you feel better by giving you a lift to your spirits.
There are many reasons why new shoes make us feel good; one popular opinion is the theory of enclothed cognition. The theory of enclothed cognition was first proposed by cognitive psychologists Hajo Adam and Adam Galinksy. This widely upheaval study highlights the effects of clothing on our cognitive behaviors. According to their research, our thoughts are based on physical experiences which can be connected to what we are wearing and the symbolic meaning that those items hold. For example, your favorite pair of sneakers may make you feel more confident, allowing you to perform better at a certain task. Further studies based on enclothed cognition has shown that what we wear can affect how we interact with the world and those around us, it can alter our psychological state, and it can improve our performance on a specific task.
One can utilize this theory to their advantage if they so choose. There is no denying the science behind how the things that we wear can affect the way we feel about ourselves and how we interact with others. For instance, if you are feeling a little down in the dumps when you wake up, consider putting on a pair of shoes that may help brighten your mood, ask yourself “how do I want to feel today?”. Take advantage of patterns and bright colors, as these have also been shown to increase mood. Picking shoes that also reflect your personality will help you feel comfortable and confident at the same time. The perfect pair of shoes can really help to make us feel better about ourselves and improve our mood throughout the day.
Another interesting aspect behind the feel-good science of a new pair of shoes is the sudden burst of dopamine we get when making a new purchase. This is an evolutionary trait developed long ago to ensure survival when necessities were not so easily required. As time went on and people began migrating to a more domestic way of living, this trait continued to evolve. It first developed to help reinforce the much needed action of acquiring items necessary for survival, but as these became easier to obtain it began fueling itself in the form of modern day shopping. This may help explain the rush we get when buying a new pair of shoes.
Setting all the science aside, one major reason why buying a new pair of shoes may lift our spirits is because it often highlights a special occasion in our lives. Perhaps you're shopping for the perfect heel to match your wedding dress. Or those awesome sneakers for your first day of school? Maybe you are looking for a new pair of shoes for that important interview to help you land your dream job, or maybe you are wanting to find that perfect shoe for your first day at work for your new job, whether it's your dream one or not. There are many special occasions for which someone buys a new pair of shoes, all of them becoming more memorable when we find the perfect pair to match!
A new pair of shoes may also signal a new hobby or lifestyle change, such as picking up running as a new pastime, hiking, or playing tennis. There are many specialty shoes out there and shopping for the right one to match the activity can be especially fun! It becomes much easier to make extreme lifestyle changes when you have a little treat to motivate you. When we find a good shoe that will also provide proper support for whatever it is we are planning on doing, it becomes that more exciting and it may give us the confidence boost necessary to follow through with our plans.
Shoes can also lift our spirits by serving as a reward for a job well done. Maybe you didn’t buy a new pair of shoes for your interview, but you can certainly reward yourself with a brand new pair of shoes. There is no greater feeling than getting an “a” on your test then going out and buying some shoes to commemorate all the hard work that you did to get there. Or maybe you just landed a new client at work and celebrate by buying a beautiful new pair of pumps. Or for the more athletic type, a new pair of sneakers after a hard won game on your local sports team. Either way, a new pair of shoes is one of the best ways to elevate our moods.
It may be hard to imagine that something as simple as wearing a good shoe can affect our confidence, our mood, and even how we interact with others, but it is certainly true. That is why many people actually consider buying a new pair of shoes as an investment, one that will hopefully serve you for many years to come. It is important to consider the quality of the shoes you are purchasing, we want them to last for years to come. This will help to ensure that we can bring them out for any occasion where we want to boost our mood or lift our spirits. We all know how great it feels to walk into the room wearing just the perfect outfit!
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