The Science of Plushies
A 2006 study published in the journal BMC Psychiatry found that participants who held a stuffed animal during a challenging social interaction had lower physiological stress responses than participants who did not hold a stuffed animal. The study also found that participants who held a teddy bear reported feeling less social anxiety afterwards.
A more recent study published in 2018 found that people with generalized anxiety disorder who cuddled with a stuffed animal for five minutes had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, afterwards. The study also found that people reported feeling less anxious and more optimistic after cuddling with a stuffed animal.
So it seems that the science backs up the claim that plushies are good for anxiety! If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, consider cuddling with a plushie for some relief. Who knows, you might even find yourself feeling more optimistic about life in general.
Stuffed animals have been used as comfort objects for centuries, and there’s now scientific evidence to support their use as tools for managing anxiety. So if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, consider reaching for a plushie instead of relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol or drugs. Not only will you feel better in the moment, but you’ll also be taking steps towards managing your anxiety in a healthy way.