Fidget Toys for Anxiety: Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Treating anxiety is extremely important. It is a highly treatable disorder but very few of those affected get proper medical treatment. This is a serious health-care problem to consider but thankfully there are also many alternative methods that can help.
Anxiety experts have turned to exploring how nutrition and dietary supplements, meditation, yoga, anxiety blankets and even fidget toys can help with anxiety.
However, while many people have no problem understanding that the rest of the mentioned factors can help with anxiety, fidget toys still raise questions with curious and often skeptical anxiety-sufferers.
Nevertheless, fidget toys really are helpful, and although they are not the cure, they can be a very useful tool for when you need to relax and concentrate on work.
Our Favorite Fidget Toys for Anxiety:
Valtcan Titanium Hand Spinner
Our top choice
JOEYANK infinity cube
Fidget spanner alternative
Bike Chain Roller Fidget Toy
Budget friendly option
What are fidget toys?
You have seen these toys billions of times without recognizing them as a helping tool. From classic stress balls to tangles and squigglets to now popular fidget spinners, many people have something to keep hands busy when the urge to fidget comes.
Many of us have been told times and times again to keep still – in school, at family dinners or meetings. But rather than this “forceful stillness” helping people to be more present in the situation, it actually furthers the restlessness we feel and can, moreover, be really distracting.
Scientific American makes a simple but brilliant point that is often forgotten: people are different. Some work best in complete silence and some need distractions to complete their work. And for that reason, “people fine-tune their environments to get things just right.”
So, for some people, especially those fighting disorders such as anxiety and ADHD, fidget toys can truly help with attention, stress, and restlessness. As contradictory as it sounds, they can help you relax.
How and why do fidget toys work?
Some ask, why does fidgeting help with feeling relaxed, less stressed?
When it comes to anxiety, it is the heightened levels of stress hormones that lead to fidgeting. Your muscles are prepping for a sudden exertion. You have extra energy that has to go somewhere, into something, and it usually goes into biting your nails, playing with a pen or whatever your choice of fidgeting activity is.
These activities relieve the tension as many anxious people know. Fidget toys work on the same idea, only they are better for your body (biting your nails should really be avoided) and are more socially acceptable since they are less distracting for others (they don’t make too much noise).
This is a great tool because it does not distract your mind from the task at hand – if you are in a meeting or in class. Although you are playing with a toy, you will not concentrate on the game (or, if you do, your focus will very soon shift towards whatever needs your attention).
The playing becomes unconscious, a repetitive motor movement and these predictable rhythmic movements are very calming, decreasing your stress levels and letting your mind concentrate on what you need to do. Therefore, for school kids, students and professionals – all those people who cannot really afford to miss out on information that is being presented around them – fidget toys are a useful tool!
Important: Fidget toys are a tool, not a cure! They help relieve the anxiousness and the accompanying stress when you are having an episode. Although they are getting more and more acceptable in society, even in schools, any type of fidgeting is still frowned upon in any official or most social situations. There is a lot of work to be done when it comes to explaining that fidgeting can truly help.
Things to consider before buying a fidget toy for anxiety
Fidget toys come in different shapes and sizes. They offer a variety of stimulations – from clicking to spinning to re-molding and beyond. It is good to think about what is your normal fidgeting activity and then look for the toy that allows for the same – or at least the most similar activity. A toy like that would be a great first toy after which you can try others if you want to experiment.
If you already have an object you use for fidgeting – why buy a toy? Most objects we use – such as pens – are quite nosy or in other ways socially unacceptable. I, for instance, loved to play with glue, making a small mass that I could remold for hours. The smell was definitely unattractive to everyone around me, and so were by sticky fingers.. Fidget toys are made in a way that distracts/disturbs others as little as possible.
Although it is very easy to find super cheap options, for under $10, it's important to look into what you are buying because due to frequent use, some lower-quality toys might break. And so, without noticing, by paying $10 after $10 after $10 you get to a bigger number quite quickly.
To help pick the best toy (or toys) for yourself - or for a friend if you are looking for a thoughtful gift – there is a Top-10 list below, with product description to guide you.
Our recommended fidget toys for anxiety
Luxury 400 Diamonds Inlaid Hand Spinners Fidget Toy for Kids and Adults (Rose Gold)
The rose gold spinner with diamonds is a classy fidget toy you can easily take to work without looking childish. A perfect solution for classy professionals with anxiety who need some more grown-up-looking fidget toys.
It is of a beautiful and durable design that won’t scar or break easily. Moreover, it is very silent and won’t disturb your co-workers.
Luxury 400 Diamonds Inlaid Hand Spinner works well as a birthday present for people and children who like shiny things.
Valtcan Titanium Hand Spinner Fidget Toy (Titanium)
This is a simpler, sportier version of a spinner, perfect for professionals whose personal style does not include diamonds and gold, but who would also like to avoid plastic. It can be used in both professional and casual environment. The design is extremely durable, with the toy being made from titanium.
Again, a very thoughtful birthday gift, and one that can be given on its own.
On the higher end of price for a fidget toy, but the reviews confirm its value for money. Helps with anxiety, restless leg syndrome, but can also be of use if you are trying to decrease your use of social media (e.g. check your phone less). This is very important as social media negatively impacts anxiety.
JOEYANK - Infinity Cube
In case you need a fidget toy which you can play around with all the time – rather than watching a spinner spin for three minutes - the infinity cube is a very good choice for you. It works on the principle that you can constantly fold it into a cube and then back into a cuboid. Infinitely. It is a perfect mindless talk that can help with relaxing.
JOEYANK Infinity Cube is made out of metal, thus is cold when touched which many users particularly like. Moreover, it is very silent and can be used in a business or school environment as it won’t disturb people around you. Highly recommended on Amazon.
Homder 12 Pack Colorful Sensory Fidget Stretch Toys Helps Reduce Fidgeting Due to Stress and Anxiety for ADD, ADHD, Autism (6 Colors)
Some kids’ favorite fidgeting activity is molding. For them, the best relief can be found in the stretchy strings from which they can make many different things.
These awake creativity as well as serve as anxiety relief. An important feature is that there are endless possibilities of what they can do with it, and thus it highly unlikely that they would grow tired of it, unlike of some other toys that can be used only in one way.
Better for home than to be used in class as children can start hitting each other with them. They are soft and won’t cause any injury but might disrupt the classroom.
Led Anti Stress Ball - Squishy Light up Ball
Both children and adults love the Squishy Light up Bal. They are the better-looking stress-balls that can really help with Anxiety, Stress, ADHD, and Autism.
These amazing-looking squishies work on the principle of a stress ball, but have all the qualities of an eye-catching toy, especially when it comes to children. Due to the innovative design – every time you squeeze it, a new lighted shape appears – it entertains as well as helps.
Stress balls are, alongside with the fidget spinner, most widely used fidget toys and are sure to help. They are silent and quite socially accepted . This is especially important if you want to take a fidget toy into an important business meeting.
Flippy Chain Fidget Toy Relieve Stress Reducer
Flippy chain is one of the smallest fidget toys, perfect to play with in your jacket pocket while walking down the street. But even without the cover of the jacket, it is possibly the least noticeable. It is completely silent and unlikely to disturb either sonically or visually.
If you need to do something with your hands all the time, some rhythmic unconscious movements, then this is the best toy for you. Perfect for schools as it won’t distract others in any way, even if they are looking straight at you – thus, it is also great for important meetings.
This fidget toy helps with being able to focus on what is being said because of its simple usage. Reviews mention great results with school kids.
Fidget Dodecagon Cube
If you like to constantly change what you do with your hands and find fidget toys with only one option to soon become boring to you, then you need to try the fidget decagon cube.
This toy provides 12 options! You can push buttons, you can squeeze a little balloon, you can play with little rowels... there are so many options to choose from!
This is one of the most popular present options when you are unsure exactly what kind of fidget toy that person could use. It is also good first toy when you are choosing one for yourself, so you can see what activity you find most useful to relieve anxiety.
DMaos Fidget Cube Spinner
This is a new and different type of spinner. Quite unusual to see but very useful. Like other spinners, it works on the basis of the user spinning it once and then letting it work on its own for a couple of minutes.
This is a very high-quality product, made from steel with smooth metal brass, that reaches high speed.
Many satisfied users support the product, but it is preferable not to use it in school during class (perfect for breaks though). Suitable for business meetings due to its professional look.
Fidget Stick Roller Anxiety Stress Relief Focus
This is yet another fidget toy perfect for playing while doing homework or working at the office. A great choice for all those who like to move small things around their desk as a way of keeping fidgeting.
The roller is very simple to use, great to keep one hand busy while reading or even writing with the other one. This toy is made from solid wood which is a guarantee that it won’t break easily. It is light and simple to carry around.
A pack of eight will ensure that you have enough to leave around places where you need them most and that the rollers are available to you at all times.
Bike Chain Roller Fidget Toy
Many people play with their rings which can often lead to losing very precious and sentimental jewelry. This roller chain is a great solution for people who have the need to play with something that’s around their finger but want to keep their rings safe.
The chain roller can, however, be morphed into various shapes to add to the value of the toy. It allows for great creativity in terms of what shapes you create and with reference to how you further use those shapes.