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blog details: How Plush Toys are Good for Stress and Anxiety ?
How Soft Toys Can Help Reduce Stress, Anxiety & Loneliness
While many people over the age of 20 might try to hide their love of soft toys, holding on to your childhood furry friends might be a step in the right direction in terms of mental well being. In fact, Professor Bruce Hood from Bristol University in the UK reveals sharing a bed with a soft toy is actually very common and approximately one in three people find comfort in keeping a soft toy in their bedroom.
In this article, we’re going to investigate why even as adults we still love to secretly cuddle a soft toy, and how investing in plush toy animals and cute objects might help combat major health concerns such as work related stress, social anxiety, depression and even loneliness.
1: Combat Work Related Stress
In 2020, 79% of professionals in the UK experienced work related stress. According to The American Institute of Stress, around 33% of people reported feeling extreme stress, and 77% revealed that they felt work related stress had an impact on their physical health. Symptoms of work related stress include fatigue, anxiety, depression, emotional eating, mood swings and an increased risk of heart disease and heart attack. So finding a way to reduce work related stress and bring down the risk of major health problems is crucial. Thankfully, plush toys can come to the rescue in this situation. Coming home to something that is soft, furry and is always happy to see you, can help you to feel comforted and safe. Afterall a teddy bear is a universal symbol for love, and both doctors and therapists agree that a weighted soft toy can help ease work-related stress.
2: Reduce Social Anxiety
If the thought of attending a group event, social gathering or family affair fills you with dread, you might be suffering from social anxiety. According to a study published in September 2020, social anxiety is on the rise, and the increasing use of social media and technology are to blame. As we all spend more time on our phones, tablets and laptops, and less time developing social skills, forming support groups and enjoying face to face interaction, the more a social situation becomes scary, daunting and unfamiliar.
For young people in particular, relationships are key to mental health and the more we hide behind a screen, the more damage is being done to society as a whole. However, a cute looking plush toy could be the answer. Able to give you a hug, a familiar smile and mental reassurance helps a lot of people to overcome this issue and build the mental strength to face difficult situations.
3: Helps Loneliness
Buzzfeed conducted a survey that revealed how some members of the Buzzfeed community felt about their soft toys and why they choose to hold on to their childhood plush toys. One person told Buzzfeed that she still sleeps with her childhood stuffed animal and feels reassured that he’s always there for her after a difficult day at work. Another explained how they consider their soft toy a ‘piece of home’ and take it with them while travelling.Sadly many people suffer from loneliness as they get older. Whether you’ve not yet found the right partner, or you’ve been through a number of bad relationships, feeling lonely as an adult is surprisingly common. If you’re unable to have a pet, a soft toy can help lift your mood and give you someone cute and soft to cuddle during the night. In fact, across Asia soft toys are being used to curb loneliness in cafes and restaurants. At the Moomin Cafe, if you’re dining alone, you’ll be joined by a huge stuffed animal. If you prefer dining at home, invest in a soft plush toy companion.
4: Promote Positive Thinking
Soft toys can help remind you of fond childhood memories, the support and comfort of your parents, and the magic of childhood. From Disney movies and fairy tales to Harry Potter and superheroes, plush toys can help us to remember a time when everything and anything seemed possible, and this will do wonders for your mental health. As an adult, we often develop feelings of self doubt as we grow older, and these emotions can quickly trigger a negative outlook on life.
Being an adult these days can seem pretty lonely too, especially for those who move away to study or are raising a young family on their own. Having a couple of cute soft toys at home, with a big smile on their faces, will bring you joy and help reassure you whenever you feel down.
5: Eases trauma and grief
Well, fluffies are considered “comfort objects” for the simple reason that they have the power to relieve children’s trauma.
However, therapists use stuffed animals as a remedy to help ease patients who deal with grief and loss for both children and adults.
Symptoms of separation, dissociation, and disorganized attachment, can start from childhood that’s why having a stuffed toy can work miracles to reduce the impact or onslaught of these mental ailments. It gives a sense of security, offers assistance, and rebuilds impaired attachment bonds.
6: Stuffed Animals Remind us of Childhood
Nostalgia is a psychological state of “pleasant remembering.” While memories of the past can be troubling, those that feel nostalgic typically make us happier, and result in better self-esteem. Pleasant memories of the past can make us feel more connected to our families and friends, and can provide a sense of continuity to a life that may seem chaotic. Nostalgia can even ease existential fears, like the fear of death. According to Dr. Christine Batcho, Professor of Psychology at LeMoyne College, nostalgia can help us deal with times of change. She says, “... it's comforting to have a nostalgic feeling for the past that reminds us that although we don't know what the future is going to bring, what we do know is that we know who we have been and who we really are.” What better vessel for nostalgia than a childhood stuffed animal or lovey? These may bring memories of parents, of playtime with siblings, of snuggling and of safety. Stuffed animals give us a way to indulge in those feelings when we need them most.
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