Items to help Cope with anxiety

At first glance you may see a person squeezing a bunch of grapes, yet on closer inspection, you can see that these are not real fruit. I see adverts regularly while surfing the internet, for toys that help calm your kids down. Squishy balls, Chewy toys, Spinners, Fidget toys in fact anything to keep the hands busy.

There are many different types of toys which are predominantly meant to distract the user from the anxieties they experience in their minds. Are they aimed at children only? No, is the short answer. They look like something that you would amuse a young child with, yet the extra sensory opportunities that these ‘Coping toys’ offer is a revelation to those that need a diversion, and these are embraced by the Autistic communities the world over, as well as those with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Chewy Toys for sensitive teeth and mouth, Clicking toys for sensory attention therapy, Texture toys for comfort in coping, the list is extensive. Personally I would avoid the cheap makes for safety reasons, and if you are considering buying for a child or younger person, please do your research and ask questions, ie risk of choking.

You don’t have to have any extra needs to enjoy using these toys, perhaps they help you concentrate or they intentionally distract you from worrying about something in your life. There are all sorts of uses for them and from my experience, they are easily available and inexpensive to purchase.

Sometimes people use these on the commute to the city, as it passes the time on a long journey.

Another tried and tested distraction for anxieties, is to purchase or make Worry Dolls.

In Guatemala there is a belief that if someone has a problem or concern, they can find help in the little dolls “quitapena” (worry dolls). Tradition says that these dolls should be placed under the pillow before sleeping, then the little dolls will take the problems away during the night.

It is also believed that another power of the “Worry Dolls” is to help and protect children during their dreams. Among other things, it is also known that the colors in the doll’s clothing have meaning… the white color symbolizes the air and the sacred word, which in a few words would mean purity. Yellow represents land and work. Red is the symbol of fire and wisdom in the Mayan worldview, representing life and energy. And the black that represents water, or the origin of life, death, rest and germination.

And this is the story behind the famous Guatemalan “QuitaPenas” dolls. **

**Ref Antiguana Spanish Academy**

4 thoughts on “Items to help Cope with anxiety

  1. Hello, thanks for this. I found the part re the worry dolls interesting.
    It made me think.

    Like most people, I have a key fob, and when walking, especially when alone, I “wear” it as a ring on my right hand middle finger, then twirl it around that finger with my thumb. I can’t say i am overly anxious, as a businessman, oft stressed but I find it relaxing and helps me think!

    If I may I would like to share a couple of local – as in Beijing, China observations.

    You may oft see elderly men, twirling a couple of “artificial” walnuts in their palms.
    Apparently the belief is that this keeps the brain healthy and the body young.
    It is peculiar to men and in my travels, have only seen it here in Beijing.

    I was on a hi-speed train a while back and a gent a few seats up was playing with his nuts. They make a sort of grinding sound which can become irritating after a while. I didn’t time this guy but he was active for probably over an hour.

    Another activity you may see, again, mostly on men, but of any ages, is a bracelet strung with maybe 2 cm, polished dark wood balls. They “rotate” them around the strap, one by one in a continuous action. ( much as my key ring, above)
    They constantly move one ball down and around followed by another if you understand. A bit like a juggler with balls in the air.

    Apparently this is related to Buddhism There is a chant that accompanies it although I have never heard it. Perhaps in private? The purpose is to bring good luck. This is not restricted to Beijing.

    Hope you are able to read this Steve, not sure if your usual mail system is blocking my previous comments.

    Like

  2. Interesting how people are different. I was having an undercurrent of anxiety as I read, and the colorful visuals depicted actually made it kind of worse and / or brought out how bad it really was. I get light sensitive and bright colors worsen it

    Liked by 1 person

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