Can a Fidget Spinner Really Help Relieve Stress?

Spin your way into a more relaxed state.

Ah, the fidget spinner. Pointless toy or most significant invention since the wheel?

OK, that’s obviously hyperbole. And we can’t exactly say it’s pointless since thousands of people have a fidget spinner and seem to enjoy it.

So what do fidget spinners do? Should you buy one? Do they make good gifts? Will they land you a job, make you a better husband, solve the nation’s drug problem and usher in world peace?

OK calm down. Looks like you need a fidget spinner. Why don’t we start with the obvious question:

What is Fidgeting?

Fidgeting is making small movements when you’re restless, nervous, or stressed. Like twirling your hair, clicking a pen, biting your nails, or jerking your leg up and down. They say we do this when we’re stressed or anxious. Some of us just like a good fidget.

What is a Fidget Spinner?

The fidget spinner is 2017’s most popular toy, a simple gadget with three weighted prongs centered around a ring with bearings that make it spin. It was invented to calm down rowdy young children. Fiddling with a fidget spinner helps reduce anxiety and is supposed to be good for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or so reports claim.

Someone get Kim Jong-Un a fidget spinner!

Is it healthy to encourage fidgeting?

There are studies that say fidgeting can help people focus and stay calm while accomplishing long tasks, sitting for long periods of time, or listening in a meeting or conversation.

When you realize the health concerns that come from prolonged sitting, like Type 2 diabetes and even ovarian cancer, fidgeting – a form of movement – suddenly seems like a pretty good idea. We’re not saying that fidget spinners will cure major disease. But they are a step up from being completely sedentary. Of course, nothing beats frequent breaks and exercise to keep the body active but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere.

What are the others benefits of fidgeting?

“Training ourselves to fidget effectively involves developing two of the most important skills we can ever learn: self-monitoring and self-regulation,” says the book Fidget To Focus: Outwit Your Boredom: Sensory Strategies For Living With ADHD. In other words, it improves how you govern yourself. This is great because many of us get easily distracted; our brains become clogged with random thoughts and we lose track of what we’re doing. Fidgeting is believed to prevent these kinds of distractions and improve our cognitive activities, providing comfort as we go through repetitive motions.

So do fidget spinners really help relieve stress?

The short answer: there’s no concrete evidence. But consider this quote by Katherine Isbister by research director of the Game Innovation Lab at NYU-Poly in the Scientific American: “A person who can’t get up and walk around to wake up a bit, or go have a nice cup of tea to calm down, may find it helpful to use a fidget item to get in the right frame of mind to stay focused and calm while staying put.”

If I just play with a fidget spinner all day every day, will I feel less stressed?

Ah the question no one is really asking but we’ll answer anyway: we doubt it. If you’re truly stressed day in and day out, you might need to shake things up a little. Develop a passion for exciting new things like traveling, painting, or getting a pet. Or if these are too stressful, simply do something you enjoy and love.

Or – and this is probably the best advice in this article – get some proper exercise. Like we said, a fidget spinner is a very basic first move to getting your body out of a sedentary rut. In most cases, we need to get up, move around, and intentionally get moving.

We can recommend a great, stress-free (very important!) facility to get you into shape. They can even help with other health issues, in case you need more than exercise to cope with stress and the demands of life.

In the meantime, fidget spinners are all the rage and if you want one, they don’t cost much. They’re better than picking your nose in public. Or give a fidget spinner to someone you think really needs it. They may have ADHD or be the world’s most infamous dictator, but who knows – you may have just saved the world.

 

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