Stuffed toys are not just for kids. Many adults still own and cherish their soft and cuddly companions, and there is nothing wrong with that.
In fact, psychologists say that stuffed toys can have positive effects on your mental health, especially in times of stress, loneliness, trauma, and anxiety.
If you are an adult and have a cuddly toy or a plush friend, there is no reason why you should not hang on to your friend. Keeping treasured toys or buying new ones is a great way of connecting with others.
Collecting plush toys or teddy bears also has many benefits. As a species, we have always enjoyed collecting. This is an interesting topic. Let us take a closer look and what cuddly toys can offer all of us.
Here are some of the benefits of stuffed toys for adults:
Stuffed Toys Can Reduce Daily Stress
Stress is a common problem that affects many people in different ways. It can cause physical and mental symptoms, such as headaches, insomnia, irritability, and depression.
One way to cope with stress is to have a stuffed toy that can provide comfort and relaxation. According to a study by one General Physician, stuffed toys can act as a good ‘stress ball’ that can eliminate the negative energies of a long tiring day and turn the room into a therapeutic setup emanating love and positivity.
Stuffed toys can also be your trusted and loyal buddy who listens to you whenever you’re feeling blue.
Stuffed Animals Ease Loneliness
Loneliness is another mental health issue that can affect your well-being and happiness. It can make you feel isolated, sad, and hopeless. Sometimes, you may not have anyone to talk to or share your feelings with.
In such situations, a stuffed toy can be a great companion that can ease your loneliness and make you feel less alone. According to one recent survey, it was found that 43 per cent of grownups admitted to still owning soft toys from when they were kids, and many of them considered them as their permanent companions.
Cuddly toys are often used in hospitals to lighten the atmosphere. Both hospitalized adults and children say that cuddly toys make them feel better. After all, many of us buy a cuddly toy or two when we visit someone in hospital.
If you are going into hospital, you may want to consider bringing your cuddly friend. Just in case, it is a good idea to give him or her a clean first of all.
Stuffed Toy Ease Trauma and Grief
Trauma and grief are emotional responses to painful events or losses that can have lasting impacts on your mental health. They can cause symptoms such as shock, denial, anger, guilt, sadness, and fear. To cope with trauma and grief, you may need professional help or support from others.
However, you may also find comfort in a stuffed toy that can help you express your emotions and feel safe. Clinical psychologist Donald Winnicott coined the term ‘transitional object’ to refer to comfort objects that can help people deal with separation anxiety and rebuild impaired attachment bonds.
Stuffed animals can be transitional objects that can offer assistance and security.
Stuffed Animals Can Reduce Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is a fear of social situations that can cause nervousness, self-consciousness, and embarrassment. It can affect your ability to interact with others, make friends, or perform well at work or school.
One way to overcome social anxiety is to practice exposure therapy, which involves gradually facing your fears in a controlled environment.
Psychologist Aniko Dunn recommends stuffed toys for people suffering from bipolar disorder, PTSD, and other mental health conditions that may cause social anxiety.
Stuffed Animals Improve Sleep Quality
Sleep is essential for your physical and mental health, as it helps your body and brain to rest and recover. However, many people struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep due to various reasons, such as stress, noise, or temperature.
A stuffed animal can help you sleep better by providing warmth, softness, and comfort. It can also create a sense of familiarity and security that can calm your mind and body.
A survey carried out in the United States found that four in ten adults still sleep with a stuffed animal from their childhood, and many of them reported having better sleep quality because of it.
Stuffed Animals Promote Creativity
Creativity is the ability to generate new and original ideas or solutions for various problems or tasks. It is a valuable skill that can benefit you in many aspects of life, such as work, education, or personal growth.
One way to boost your creativity is to play with a stuffed toy that can stimulate your imagination and curiosity.
You can create stories, scenarios, or dialogues with your stuffed toy that can challenge your thinking and spark your inspiration. Playing with a stuffed toy can also help you relax and have fun, which are important factors for creativity.
Plush Toys Promote Happiness
Happiness is a state of mind that involves positive emotions, such as joy, satisfaction, and gratitude. It is influenced by many factors, such as genetics, environment, relationships, and activities.
One factor that can increase your happiness is having a stuffed toy that can make you smile and laugh. A stuffed toy can also remind you of happy memories from your childhood or other times in your life when you felt loved and cared for.
Moreover, a stuffed animal can be a source of affection and companionship that can fulfil your need for social connection.
What have we learned? We have learned that no matter what age we are, or at what stage of life we are, the humblest teddy bear has a role to play.
If you don’t have a plush toy, maybe you should invest in one and see how your new friend makes you feel.