We all had a favorite stuffed animal growing up, and it’s most likely that your kids have one as well, but have you ever wondered whether stuffed toys have psychological benefits to children, apart from being a catalyst to their imagination? And if so, will it have the same effect on adults who are more exposed to stressful situations daily?
Well, different studies have proven that adults can indeed find relaxation in exposing themselves to cuddly things!
A specific study back in 2013 said that a teddy bear has the ability to relieve people of their existential angst, including their fear of death. Researchers at the UV University Amsterdam suggest that this new discovery can open new forms of ‘hug therapy’ to patients suffering from depression and anxiety.
“Our findings show that even touching an inanimate object—such as a teddy bear—can soothe existential fears,” said psychological scientist and lead researcher Sander Koole. “Interpersonal touch is such a powerful mechanism that even objects that simulate touch by another person may help to instill in people a sense of existential significance.”
Apart from teddy bears, video games have been found as a great way to ease the mind.
Playing video games has been proven as an effective way to reduce stress and improve relaxation. A study at Texas A&M back in 2010 said that playing games for a long time relieves tension, making the person “less depressed” and “less hostile during stressful tasks.”
In fact, a number of games with lighthearted, friendly themes have been released within the last year which seems to reduce anxiety and calm the mind. Some titles even utilize the concept of cuddly and fluffy stuffed animals in its gameplay to bring out the happier side in players. While animal themed games may seem a little childish for adults to play, you’d be surprised at how well they can help you recover from stress and release some pent up frustration.
Owning a pet
Having a pet you can cuddle up with is another way to relieve stress.
In China, an adorable calico kitty is being used as an arm cushion to provide patients with the utmost relaxation. Based on the post by Rocket News 24, using a fluffy cushion for relaxation is a traditional Chinese medical practice, but a particular clinic used their pet cat as an arm cushion to relax patients when taking their pulse.
A Calico kitty
Using pets for medical purposes isn’t a new concept. In fact, pets have been found to be great in curing depression, as they offer unconditional love that a patient needs to reduce tension and improve their moods. They have been found to be great companions, too.
So if you and your family ever have a bad day, try playing a game together or have a bit of a snuggle session with some stuffed toys, your pets, and of course, the kids.