Fidget Toys for Anxiety(A brief guide)

Fidget Toys for Anxiety

In this blog post, we will discuss Fidget toys for anxiety, what they are and if they are helpful relieving anxiety. 

Fidget toys for anxiety: do they actually work?

Fidget toys have become very popular in the past few years and people say they use them as a way of increasing concentration and focus, and to reduce anxiety. However, scientists might disagree about their effect to decrease or relieve anxiety symptoms. 

Anxiety is caused by many stressful factors we are exposed to in our day to day basis. We display a full range of anxious behaviors without even noticing. Some people chew their nails and some might tap into things. 

Well, you may never know if they can help if you don’t give them a chance. We did some research and we gathered some of the most popular and reviewed fidget toys for anxiety in Amazon! This can help you decide if you would like to try them or not, depending on your needs. Your choice!

Fidget Toys for Anxiety(A brief guide)

Anxiety: Response mechanisms

When we feel threatened or we perceive a situation is potentially dangerous, then our body reacts by releasing adrenaline and other chemicals into our bloodstream which will eventually increase your heart rate, make you sweat, sharpen our senses and heighten our physical abilities. Then your brain decides if we should fight or run to protect our physical integrity

Is it a matter of survival?

As mentioned, we need this type of physiological response to ensure our survival when we come in contact with something potentially dangerous. For example, let’s say you are walking down the street and someone comes up to you and takes a very sharp knife and threatened to kill you if you don’t give him your wallet. In this case, your body reacts and makes the response by attacking the person in front of you or it can make go the other way and run as fast as possible. 

Fear response and the Brain

When we have an intense physiological response to a situation or object that we qualify as harmful or dangerous, our brain starts activating certain regions. One of them is the amygdala, which has been said to intervene in emotional responses such as fear and anxiety. 

Current imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRI, used in research studies, have identified a heightened response from the amygdala when being exposed to things or situations that potentially generate anxiety symptoms. The amygdala and other limbic structures are connected to our pre-frontal cortex regions which are said to be involved in planning, decision making and inhibiting socially unacceptable behaviors. 

Fidget toys for anxiety: Free of medication or therapy?

Well, fidget toys might help short term but sometimes therapy, medication or a combination of both is needed long term to help you with your anxiety. However, they might seem like a good idea to start with. They may not take away your anxiety forever, but they are certainly worth trying. 

Also, it is worth mentioning that we are not suggesting you should stop taking your anti-anxiety meds or quitting therapy. You could also benefit from getting medication, psychotherapy and using one of the fidget toys for anxiety. 

Fidget toys for anxiety: On-the-go toys

These toys will always keep you accompanied since you can actually fit them anywhere, your purse, backpack or even your pocket! They will always be there to remind you that you are not alone. 

The squeeze a bean (squishy soybean pendant toy)

This toy will give you more benefits for the price than you imagine. This the ultimate keychain accessory for you! Besides being fashionable, these three cute soybeans in the pod will pop out when you squeeze. They are great for stress relief, keeping fidgety hands occupied. Some reviews about it were from very satisfied customers but some others might have said it is not really meant to be squeezed. 

Flippy Chain Fidget

This toy is made of solid stainless steel rings and it promises to lower stress and anxiety anywhere you take it. 

Fidget toys for anxiety: Sensory toys

This is specially made for people with autism, who can get stressed and feel anxious due to sensory overload. These toys are meant to stimulate and help with the overload in their senses.

Bestoyard Fiddle toy: sensory toys for autism, ADHD and OCD

Colors: yellow, blue, green. Purple, rose, red and multicolored.

Size: About 10 * 3cm/ 4 * 1.2 inch

This is a really good option for children (6 years or older) with autism, ADHD or OCD. It contains 12 colorful, classic, finger fidget toy pieces that actually don’t need assembly or batteries for a change. The best part is that you or your kids can actually use them anywhere! In the classroom, an airplane, your office, a theater. Just made for anyone and to be used anywhere!

Some of the advertised benefits are:

  • self -regulatory tool
  • Strengthen hands
  • Great fun gift
  • Good for classroom and office

Fidget Pad with 8-Fidget Functions

They advertise it as “the most ergonomic, easy to use, addictive fidget toy on the market today”, but when you look at it at first, it is not so clear as to how you are supposed to use it. However, it seems to have a lot of interesting functionalities, let’s take a look at them. 

  •  A Clickable Omnidirectional Joystick 
  •  4 Retro Colored Buttons (2 Clickable Button and 2 Silent Buttons for Discreet Fidgeting) 
  • A Never-Ending Gear Roller 
  • A Grip Textured Massage Roller 
  • A Clickable Switch 
  • A Spendable Dial 
  • A Spring Loaded Slider 
  • A Grip Textured “Zen” Section

Note: Some of the benefits of the functionalities are, stress relief and increased concentration. 

Sensory Chew Necklace

This is perfect for those who tend to chew on things without even noticing. This offers some sensory input, which can have a calming effect on some people. Also, besides chewing,  the back of the necklace has tiny raised bumps for a different sensory experience. 

Thinking Putty

This toy helps with self-regulation. They can squeeze, pull, swish or roll to help manage anxiety or it can be used as a calming tool. Also, it keeps children distracted and focused on the task at hand. This toy comes in different colors but the emerald seems to be more visually stimulating because of the bright color. 

This type of toy also helps to improve fine motor skills and hand strength. 

Stress balls

These are the traditional stress balls. They are made from foam and are of a medium consistency, not made from plastic or rubber. 

Fidget toys for anxiety: Desk toys 

Rainbow Fidget Toy Cube 

Rating: 4/5 

This cube is said to be highly addictive and helps you relax and focus. You can use it anywhere and it is designed for people who can’t keep their fingers still, and whether you consider yourself a clicker or a flicker, a roller or a spinner. It is very convenient because you can carry it with you anywhere in the office while commuting or at a meeting. 

The stretchy strings are hypoallergenic, non-toxic so it is considered a safe product for kids. However, they can be wrapped around the neck or used to restrict blood so it is necessary to supervise your kid while playing with it. 

Funxim Infinity Cube Fidget Cube Toy suitable for Adults & Kids

The Infinity cube has a simple design, composed of eight cubes. Each cube can be rotated from any direction and angle. 

This promises endless fun, improved concentration, and focus. This is special for kids with hyperactivity, restlessness, and agitation. 

Fidget Toys for Anxiety(A brief guide)

Fidget pen

If you are at work in a meeting, don’t want to carry with you your stress ball everywhere or you just simply want to be discrete but still get the benefits of a fidget toy, then this is the best option for you. Some come with magnetic clips that you can wrap around your fingers or they may even have detachable and re-configurable parts for you to have endless options.

Fidget toys for anxiety: For the classroom

Sensory Fidget Stretchy String Toy for Kids and Adults

This is another option for kids and adults with ADHD, OCD, and autism. These are super soft, can stretch out to 98 inches in length and feel neat in your hands. Besides playing with it, it can also help exercising your arms.  

Fidget Toys for Anxiety(A brief guide)

Silly Stretchy String

These noodling stretching strings are a very fun way of releasing your stress. They come in different bright colors and you can actually stretch, twist, wrap, strum or bend.

Why is this post about fidget toys for anxiety important?

Fidget toys for anxiety are not only becoming very popular but are also gaining some reputation when it comes to helping cope with anxiety. More people are interested in getting them, however, there are so many available options. You might need some help finding the one that fits your needs.

There are conflicting opinions, some might say that fidget toys for anxiety are a waste of time, that they do not work and you are just losing your money. Some other people might say they are available when needed the most. At a stressful meeting, an exam at school or while waiting for your dentist appointment. They all seem to help in their own unique way so the idea here is trying it, so that way you can make sure if it actually works for you or not.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) about fidget toys for anxiety

Do fidget toys help anxiety?

Some might say they do help with anxiety. For example, for some, fidget spinners have a soothing effect, especially for people with autism or those with ADHD.

How does fidgeting help anxiety?

Fidgeting seems to provide a way to relieve you from excess energy and it distracts you. Anxious fidgeting happens because your body has elevated quantities of stress hormones, preparing your muscles to run. 

Are stress balls good for anxiety?

Stress balls seem like a good option for someone with arthritis. Also, it can help us by distracting us from stressful situations. Some studies have evidenced that they do help reduce stress and anxiety levels and also can help with pain. 

Why do squishies relieve stress?

Squishies wok the same as any other stress-relieving toy. The stress ball prompts you to squeeze it, making you feel less tense and relaxed. 

Do fidget cubes help with anxiety?

Fidget cubes seem to help reduce anxiety. It distracts you from thoughts or stressful situations. It also helps with concentration and focus. 

Recommended links

  1. Amazon: Fidget toys for anxiety

References

HealthLine

Fidget Toys for Anxiety(A brief guide)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.