The holidays are in full swing, and many of us are looking forward to spending time with loved ones, enjoying our favorite dishes, and taking post-food naps. However, others were anticipating a different type of ritual: shopping all the holiday deals.

Both small and large businesses offer special promotions, once-a-year deals and deep discounts on items ranging from popular big-ticket items and top brands to gift sets, appliances, clothes, shoes and more. If you’re a deal hunter or a bargain finder, this is your time! But what is it we love so much about getting a good deal?

First you’ll want to dive into whether you are “deal prone” — if you look for bargains on things you want or need, or if you just look for deals on things in general. Some people will shop the holiday sales without a list or a plan, just blindly purchasing things that seem like a good deal but that have no actual purpose or designated recipient. If that’s you, you may find it’s best to give yourself a list and a budget before checking out deals.

Secondly, it’s important to understand the “shopping high” many people feel when they make purchases. There’s a dopamine rush that your brain gets when you get a good deal. You likely feel happy, elated even, when you get that deal. The problem is that shopping doesn’t do much to produce serotonin and oxytocin, which are needed to work together with dopamine to bring on true happiness.

Remember, if the big holiday shopping frenzy makes you feel anxious or stressed, you don’t have to participate. Typically the hype behind the “today only!” and “these deals can’t last!” marketing strategies are somewhat manipulative — and if you miss out on the deal on something you probably didn’t even want or need, you’re actually making the right move.

The Psychology of Holiday Shopping