Taking the first step to better your mental health by attending therapy, waiting in a doctor’s office for results, or being up next for a big presentation are all events that can feel very overwhelming and stressful. Sometimes, we just need to be able to fidget with something to distract ourselves from the anxiety that we are feeling. There are many beneficial tools that can aid in reducing stress. Some even have other benefits to them! In this blog post, I will be sharing with you some of my favorite stress reduction tools that can be used when stress and anxiety feel like they are taking over the driver’s seat.
My first and all time favorite stress reduction tool is a Pop It. Fidget poppers may calm those experiencing anxiety or stress by providing something external to focus on. It can be beneficial for individuals, who have been diagnosed with ADHD, because using a tool, like a Pop It, increases their concentration. Also, fidget tools like this can make a positive impact on those that struggle with skin picking or hair pulling because it gives them something else to focus on instead of engaging in their maladaptive behaviors. Pop It fidgets can be used for more than just calming anxiety and can provide great benefits for those that use them!
Stress balls may help one’s muscles relax and relieve tension, anxiety, and negative energy. Using a stress ball aids in reducing physical tension that is built up in your body from everyday life stressors. Although stress can manifest itself in the mind, it can also manifest in the body. Similar to fidget toys, stress balls can relieve stress and anxiety by taking one’s attention to something else. If one squeezes a stress ball and counts to five before releasing and does it ten times, chances are that your mind will have slowly started to redirect its attention away from the anxious thoughts.
In my opinion, this is the most fun stress reduction tool that can be exciting to utilize for all ages! Play-doh can be used as a break from daily stress and may boost one’s creativity. When it comes to using play-doh with children, it is beneficial because it encourages creativity, helps express emotions, and relieves anxious energy. If guardians want to have fun with it, you can make your own edible play-doh with your children which allows them to get involved in the making of it and it is safe to be consumed. As for adults, playing with play-doh can relieve stress and tap into your creative side. One is never too old to play with play-doh! It can be a great way to bond with your children or have a nostalgic time with yourself.
Last but certainly not least, journaling is a great way to evoke mindfulness, reduce stress, and improve one’s mental health. It is a great way to take 15 minutes for yourself and let go of any thoughts or emotions you may have been holding in throughout the day. Journaling can also be useful when trying to figure out any goals one may have in their personal life or career. It can be helpful to write things down and see the goals in front of you. I find journaling to be helpful right at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day before bed. My favorite journal was my gratitude journal. It gave me prompts to write about at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day. I found that it really helped with my mood when I wrote in that journal.
My hope for you, reader, is that one of these tools helps relieve some of the stress you may be experiencing and brings more joy into your life!