By now we’ve all heard of fidget spinners. You know those little toys that spin around and… well that’s about it, they spin around. Some people (teachers in particular I’m told) find them very annoying but they do have their plus side. For someone like me who has anxiety, I find them to be a very useful tool in managing symptoms.
I’ve been using fidget toys for a while now. I’ve previously written about the springy bracelet I wear that I use for fidgeting. I’ve also had a fidget cube that I liked but that went missing. (Suspect number one – a small boy who lives in my house.) Recently my Mum bought me the fidget spinner and it is by far my favourite fidget toy. I don’t even care that my fidget cube is M.I.A. anymore.
When my anxiety flares, I fidget, my hands just need to move. If I don’t have something like a fidget toy in my hand I end up scratching my skin until it bleeds. Since I’ve been using fidget toys, the number of times I’ve been left with painful, bloodied hands has been reduced to almost zero.
There are plenty of reports online declaring the benefits of fidget spinners to not just anxiety sufferers but also for those with autism, ADHD and a variety of other conditions. Articles such as this one from an experienced occupational therapist: Fidget Spinners Therapeutic Benefits. However if you look close some of these claims come from manufacturers and retailers so must be taken with a grain of salt, such as this one: What Are The Benefits of Fidget Spinner. There are also plenty of reports online declaring the opposite, that they are simply a distraction and are of no therapeutic benefit, such as this one: Experts have their doubts about ‘fidget spinners’ helping ADHD, autism and anxiety sufferers. However this same article also has a quote from a Dr Johnstone stating:
“Say for anxiety, you’re focusing on something that is producing anxiety, then to divert your mind from that by spinning this toy and focus on it and think about it only, then you’re not thinking about the anxiety-producing situation.”
I believe it’s one of those things, as with anything, that will help some people and wont help others. Individuals need to try it and see what they think.
For me, I like it. There are benefits for me having a fidget toy, whether it be a fidget spinner or something else. There are also times where I play with it because I’m bored or just because I like watching it spin and the little whirring sound it makes.
Do you have a fidget spinner or other fidget toy? Have you found any benefits to using it? Let me know in the comments below.
This is a video I made up just for a bit of fun.