Do stuffed animals help with anxiety?
People all over the world experience anxiety in all of its levels on a daily basis. In the last decade, anxiety has increased by 50 percent all over the population, being most common in women and even being one of the most common health issues.
Sadly, in spite of being a widely known mental and emotional issue, experts say anxiety is under treated; partly because people don’t recognise the symptoms and partly because there’s still a big taboo around mental health professionals and their treatments.
Some people experience an anxiety so crippling that it definitely calls for medication and some sort of physical therapy, while other people experience milder anxiety that could be easily treated with natural remedies and strategies to fight it and bring back control in your life.
In this article we’ll try to explore more about the most common symptoms of anxiety and how using stuffed bears and other animals could help you overcome this mental state and make you a happier and more relaxed version of yourself.
Most common symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety is a mental state that manifests itself in very different ways throughout the body and the brain, going from the most mild discomforts to the most crippling sensations all over the body.
Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Worrying in excess: People who suffer from anxiety naturally tend to worry more than usual. These people dread and fear the worst in any situation, and this excessive worrying could last weeks or months without a rest.
- Restlessness and trouble sleeping: One of the first things anxiety affects is your sleep patterns. You could experience severe insomnia or you could go to sleep without problems but experience bad dreams, night sweating, tremors or even hard palpitations during sleep.
- Fatigue: Being constantly worried and stressed out takes a toll on your body. Anxiety makes you feel tired all the time. Mental fatigue is a common symptom of anxiety and it could lead to depression.
- Issues concentrating: When your mind is boggling and going through everything that could go wrong, your brain has trouble concentrating on your daily tasks and chores. Expect to fail at work, school or remembering to do things when anxiety is present.
- Irritability: When you’re experiencing anxiety you might feel on edge all the time. The tiniest situations could make you lose control and lash out at anyone who surrounds you.
- Palpitations and elevated heart rate: A physical symptom of anxiety are palpitations or experiencing a high heart rate, this sensation only increases anxiety because it puts your body on alert and makes it feel uneasy.
- Sweating and hot flashes: Sweating not only appears at night. When you reach a critical state of anxiety you could be sweating all day long despite the weather, this is because stress hormones are working and stimulating your sweat glands.
- Trembling and shaking: Because anxiety is a state of mind linked to fear and worry, it’s normal that your body might tremble just like if you were cold. Sometimes your body doesn’t tremble but something as small as your eyelid starts to jump out uncontrollably.
- Chest pain and not being able to breathe: When you’re near or already experiencing a panic attack, you might feel like someone is pressing on your ribcage and stopping the air transit. Chest pain and difficulty breathing are very common symptoms of severe anxiety.
Link between stuffed animals and anxiety
For people who experience a certain amount of “manageable” anxiety, there’s still no need to apply medication. This happens because anxiety can in fact be controlled by natural remedies or some exercises and methods that could bring back your brain to a calm and serene state.
Several studies conducted on adults who experience mild to moderate levels of anxiety caused by external factors such as work and family problems have shown that one of the best things that could aid this condition are stuffed bears and plush toys.
According to adult people and even children who experience some sort of anxiety, the feeling of holding a stuffed animal could help you reduce the tremors, shortness of breath and other symptoms caused by anxiety in a matter of seconds.
Suppose holding stuffed bears immediately takes us back to a safer time in our minds when we were young and our favourite stuffed animal was responsible for providing us with comfort and security, things that people tend to lack when they experience anxiety.
How to take advantage of your stuffed bears
If by any reason you’re experiencing any form of anxiety, having stuffed bears around could help you greatly to overcome this state of mind. Simply take your Teddy Bear and sit down or lay down comfortably in your bed and hold it tight.
You can caress the stuffed animal and concentrate on the texture and softness of the toy, trying to focus all your attention on the features of your plush toy and trying to leave every other thought aside.
Take deep breaths while you hold on to the stuffed animal and you’ll slowly start to notice how the fearful thoughts and physical symptoms start to fade away.
This is a guaranteed way in which stuffed animals help overcome anxiety, would you try it next time you feel anxious?
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Q1: Can stuffed animals help with anxiety?
A: Yes, stuffed animals can help with anxiety for many individuals. They provide comfort, emotional support, and a sense of security, which can help reduce anxiety symptoms.
Q2: How do stuffed animals alleviate anxiety?
A: Stuffed animals alleviate anxiety by providing a physical object that individuals can hold, cuddle, or squeeze. This tactile stimulation can promote relaxation, reduce stress levels, and offer a sense of comfort and familiarity.
Q3: Are there scientific studies supporting the effectiveness of stuffed animals in reducing anxiety?
A: While specific studies on stuffed animals and anxiety may be limited, research on related topics, such as comfort objects and touch therapy, suggests that these interventions can benefit anxiety reduction. Additionally, anecdotal evidence from individuals who find comfort in stuffed animals supports their effectiveness.
Q4: What qualities should I look for in a stuffed animal to help with anxiety?
A: Look for a stuffed animal that is visually appealing and comforting. Consider factors such as softness, size, texture, and huggability. It's a personal preference, so choose one that brings you calm and relaxation.
Q5: Can adults benefit from using stuffed animals for anxiety relief?
A: Adults can benefit from using stuffed animals for anxiety relief. Stuffed animals' soothing and comforting qualities are not age-restricted and can provide emotional support to individuals of all ages.
Q6: Are there specific types of stuffed animals that work better for anxiety?
A: The type of stuffed animal that works best for anxiety varies from person to person. Some individuals prefer realistic animal designs, while others find comfort in whimsical or fantasy-themed stuffed animals. Choose one that resonates with you.
Q7: How do stuffed animals provide comfort and security for anxious individuals?
A: Stuffed animals can provide comfort and security by acting as transitional objects that individuals can use to channel their anxious thoughts and emotions. They offer a non-judgmental presence and can be a source of emotional support during stress or anxiety.