Monday, 6 September 2021

5 Reasons Why Teddy Bears Are Good For Mental Health

Teddy bears have been a classic and timeless choice of gift for over a hundred years, after the very first teddy was created in 1902 in order of Theodore Roosevelt, who had refused to shoot a bear during a hunting trip.  A bear was created and gifted to him, and shortly after he gave his permission for his name to be used for the replica toy bears which were mass produced and sold. From there, the humble Teddy Bear quickly became one of the most popular toys in the world.

Most people think about babies and young children when it comes to the ideal recipient for a gifted teddy bear, with Personalised Teddy Bears being such a perfect new baby gift, but did you know that there teddy bear ownership has real mental health benefits for older children and adults too?

My eldest child is now almost 9 years old, and has collected teddy bears and stuffed animals ever since he was a toddler. He always chooses a new stuffed animal as a souvenir whenever we visit somewhere new, and they are always top of his Christmas lift too. 

Here are just a few of the benefits of teddy bears...

They Can Help With Attachment Issues

Studies have shown that working with live animals can help patients to form healthy and trusting relationships and attachments, but research shows that stuffed animals can have a very similar effect. In fact stuffed animals can be used in psychotherapy treatments to assist patients suffering the effects of PTSD and bipolar disorder, among other things.

They Can Help To Ease Loneliness

Stuffed animals and dolls alike, have been shown to benefit dementia patients who are suffering from feelings of isolation and loneliness. The human-like presence of a friendly face and soft, comforting material as well as the presence of an object that can be spoken to like a friend can reduce feelings of loneliness and provide comfort and reassurance. 

They Provide Security & Familiarity

Stuffed animals and teddy bears have been shown to reduce negative feelings such as anxiety and stress, particularly in uncomfortable and unfamiliar environments. This makes them an ideal bedtime companion for anyone who suffers with night-time anxieties, and is also likely the reason that you often see teddy bears sold in hospital gift shops.

They Can Remind Us Of Childhood

Teddy bears can invoke feelings of nostalgia, which can provide a lot of reassurance. The presence of items that invite pleasant memories from our childhood act as a reminder that life is always in a constant state of change, and that this doesn't need to be feared. 

They Can Assist In Reducing Anxiety

When cuddling a teddy bear or stuffed animal, our bodies will release happy hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. These happy hormones slow down our heart rate and steady our breathing, making us feel calmer and less anxious - this can be beneficial for all people, but can be of particular aid to those dealing with trauma and grief. Teddies are also known to have a grounding effect on people. 

With so many emotional and mental health benefits to teddy bears, I'm happy that my son enjoys his hobby of teddy collecting and I hope it's something that he'll continue.

Do you have a favourite teddy from childhood? 

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