stuffed animal help with anxiety

Do Stuffed Animals Help With Anxiety and Depression?

The majority think stuffed animals can provide great physical touch for cuddling, but do you know that stuffed animals can also help with anxiety and depression? This article will help you learn about stuffed animals' usage in the psychological area as a method to help patients with various mental diseases like panic attacks, anxiety, depression, etc.

Why do stuffed animals help with anxiety?

depressed man with stuffed animal

It is normal to have occasional anxiety in life. However, anxiety disorder is different. People with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Yet, stuffed animals are known for giving comfort and softness, and a lot of people find them soothing and relaxing. Below are several reasons that stuffed animals can be used to help anxiety.

The physical touch of stuffed animals

physical touch soft stuffed animal

Physical contact between people and stuffed animals, including cuddling, hugging, squeezing, and smashing, is considered the most direct and useful function. The softness and smoothness of stuffed animals can bring top-tier comfort which gives a pillow-like touch. A lot of people find it relaxing to hug a big soft stuffed animal that would calm them down. There are also new stuffed animals designed that have tiny PVC Colloidal particles as stuffing, which makes the stuffed animals even softer. The sand-like texture is also playable, just like fidget toys for pressure release.

Stuffed animals as transitional objects

transitional objects

Simply saying, transitional objects, mainly stuffed animals, play the role of replacement of mother companionship to help children get less lonely. Children will unconsciously recognize those stuffed animals as their mothers. As a result, kids usually have strong connections with their transitional objects. Similarly, using stuffed animals that patients have a connection with will mentally ease their agitation and anxiety. If you want to learn more about transitional objects in detail, you can click the link to read about the psychology of adults and stuffed animals.

Psychological explanation

There still isn't research exploring the degree of how stuffed animals can reduce the impact of anxiety. But, there is research conducted by psychology researchers writers found online discussing the certainty that transitional objects like stuffed animals can be used as attachments during anxiety treatment. 

Stuffed animals compared with pets

stuffed animal compared with pets

Although sounds ruthless, for anxiety disorder patients, maybe the lifeless stuffed animals can play a better role in easing and soothing the patients' emotions. Following are some comparisons. Stuffed animals can provide companionship as long as the patients want, meanwhile, live animals can't do that. Secondly, anxiety patients are usually in agitated or even angry status, and in this condition, live animals aren't suitable to stay with these patients together. If they do something bad for their pet, the situation will only get worse. Last but not least, stuffed animals can serve as pressure-releasing fidget toys, which patients can pinch, smash, and squeeze to help them forget about anxiety and relax. As a result, stuffed animals can do a better job specified for anxiety patients rather than normal treatment methods. There are the softest stuffed animals provided at PlushThis, come take a look!

What kind of stuffed animals are best for relieving anxiety in adults?

For those patients who have anxiety disorder, it is better to ask doctors and make an appropriate plan, stuffed animals should also be consulted for use. For normal people, choosing stuffed animals to relieve anxiety is simply to consider several factors: appearance, coloring, fabric, stuffing, and sizes.


fantasy imagination stuffed animal with children

The visual elements are keys to helping people relax. The theory is to stimulate the brain to release dopamine. And the products which can stimulate the brain to do so are called "dopamine products". Dopamine products usually have bright colors, which are believed that can easily stimulate the brain to release dopamine. The appearance of stuffed animals also matters. Choosing a stuffed animal that suits your style will visually make you feel better whenever you see it. You may wanna choose classic cute stuffed animals, or you may wanna try something novel like goth plush style or emo plush.


Fabric and stuffing are the core of a stuffed animal. The stuffing determines the abundance and elasticity of stuffed animals. Different stuffing has different effects, some are more elastic and supportive while being harder. Some are softer, but the whole toy can't pose a gesture. It depends on your need so that it won't make you feel uncomfortable. Fabric is the part of stuffed animals that is directly in contact with human skin, so choosing an appropriate fabric material is also important. Usually, fabric with short hair has a smoother touch, while fabric with long pile hair has a more aesthetic effect. It also depends on your need, whether for appearance or for touch, is your choice to make.


large bear and small girl stuffed animal

Sizes matter, you must learn your demands, whether you like to sleep with your stuffed animals, in which a bigger one would do better, or you want a small stuffed animal that can be taken to anywhere you go and play it like a fidget toy, it would work better as long as it fits your need.

Can stuffed animals help with depression?

depressed woman with stuffed animal

Depression is a mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in daily activities. Depression can impact a person's physical and mental health, leading to sleep disturbances, a loss of appetite, and decreased energy levels.
Stuffed animals can be a powerful tool in combating the effects of depression. They offer a sense of comfort and security that can help individuals feel more grounded and safe. Studies have shown that hugging a stuffed animal can release oxytocin, a hormone that promotes feelings of happiness and contentment.
Additionally, stuffed animals can serve as a source of emotional support. They can provide a non-judgmental listening ear, allowing individuals to express their feelings and thoughts freely without fear of rejection or criticism.

How to Use Stuffed Animals to Help Heal the Psyche Trauma

Since stuffed animals have the effects of physical relaxation, mental comfort, and companionship, and provide a sense of security, they are introduced as attachments for treating patients with psyche trauma in modern medicine. Also, they serve as transitional objects. Although transitional objects are established has to be developed chronologically, under proper guidance, the patient can try to trust and establish a solid relationship with stuffed animals and share their negative thoughts with those stuffed animals. In particular, the patient can buy a stuffed animal he/she likes, give it a proper name and let it accompany with the patient and establish emotional connection. For adults, it's like a being an "infant" and trying to learn everything again. So sometimes those stuffed animals are also called reborn dolls.


What is the psychological effect of stuffed animals?

They have very helpful assistance to soothe people. They have great physical touch which makes people relaxed, good looking to tempt the brain to release dopamine. They act as transitional objects to provide mental support, etc. Stuffed animals are way more useful than we think.

Is it normal for adults to sleep with teddy bears?

Yes, it is, actually there are many benefits for adults to sleep with stuffed animals. You can click the link to learn more about this topic.


All in all, this article summarizes the practices of stuffed animals in medical areas for treating mental illness. If you think youself or the people around you need mental assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out for help. Also, if you need something to cure your mind and help you relax after a long day of hard work, feel free to come over to PlushThis and pick some cute stuffed animals to either fill your room or lie freely on them!

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