“Dad, can you spin faster than this?“, my 5 years old son showed me this awesome cool spinning toys. Except that this cool toy belongs to his aunt, and it’s supposed to be a good stress busting gadget at work. This cool toy, a.k.a. fidget spinner became an overnight craze, although much debate has been going on whether the fidget spinner is any good for anxiety relief.
The fidget spinner itself has an interesting story. It tells the tale of how inventor Catherine Hettinger was suffering from an autoimmune disorder while caring for her daughter, patched up something that resembles the now commercialized fidget spinner. And her daughter found a new way of playing at it.
Well, the story doesn’t have a fairytale ending though. At least not yet. As Catherine found herself lacking fund in renewing the patent in 2005, after getting it registered in 1997. Today, the fidget spinner is widely commercialized but the inventor has been unfortunate to receive nothing out of it. (Read the whole story here).
The Fidget Spinner Is A Cool Toys
There are many shapes of fidget toys, but the fidget spinner seems have made its way to the top pretty quick. At a glance, it looked like a drone with three propellers. Except that it spins on the horizontal axis, It fits right in your palm, and with the ball bearing built in, it spins really fast with just a tiny flick. It’s fascinating for the children and looks cool for adults too. (I must admit that I had fun playing around with the fidget spinner).
What’s even better is that fidget spinner made its way to Forbes office, as it’s branded as the “must have office toy for 2017“. It’s claimed to be a good stress reliever. And I’m sure it made its way to many other workplaces as well.
Apart from simple flicking and spinning on the desk, the fidget spinner seems to have encouraged creative tricks to be performed with the fidget spinners. It has indeed found a huge following on a global scale. However, claims that fidget spinner can be effective for anxiety relief are subjected to debate.
How Effective Is Fidget Spinner For Anxiety Relief?
I have to say it depends on how bad is your anxiety is. It’s a wonderful distraction from an anxious mind. If you suffer from anxiety, you know moments where your mind would whisper how so many things could go wrong tomorrow and how willingly you believed those thoughts.
The fidget spinner comes in handy when you’re having obsessive thoughts or when your anxiety translates into fidgeting restlessly. You probably can relate to when you’re checking your handphone for the hundredth time while waiting for an interview. That’s the kind of situation that the fidget spinner could really be handy.
Fidget spinner grounds your thought on the presence, just like what mindfulness does. No, it doesn’t replace other therapies or techniques like cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness meditation. But it’s something physical that you can relate to easily to distract your mind.
Improvising Fidget Spinner With Mindfulness Exercise
By itself, fidget spinner is a good distraction for your restless mind. But it’s also a good exercise to develop mindfulness when you’re not meditating. Most people who suffered from anxiety find it hard to meditate due to their extremely restless mind. It’s so tiring that they often gave up before getting started.
The fidget won half the battle by easily shifting the concentration from your thoughts to playing with the fidget spinner. Here’s how you can train your mind to be mindful with the fidget spinAner. At every flick, observe the feeling of your finger touching the fidget spinner, just as you observe your breath in meditation.
It sounds simple but that’s what mindfulness really is. Observing without judging. That’s how you build your mental strength against anxiety in the long run. Check out the video below, where I flick the spinner widget in simple rhythm for mindfulness practice.
Should You Get The Fidget Spinner For Your Anxiety?
Is it a good for anxiety relief? It depends on how bad your anxiety is. It’s not a magical spinning ring that’ll cure your restless mind immediately. But it’s a good candidate to be part of your long-term stress and anxiety coping strategy. If you’re wondering where you can grab one for your own, read on.
Try checking it out n your local toy stores. With its popularity, I bet most toy stores would stock them. The price range could be from anything from $2 to $15, depending on the materials and design. If you don’t want the hassle of walking to your local toy store, there are great choices to choose from Amazon. Some are low cost to own, while some offers fancy design like this.
Over to you:
Have you tried the fidget spinner for anxiety or stress relief? How does it work for you? Share your thoughts in the comment below.