Are you a person that fidgets a lot? Do you bite your pen caps, play with your hair, take your rings on and off, crack your nickels, or always need to have a ball in your hand? If so you are one of the billions of people around the world that has a problem with fidgeting. Fidgeting is not always a bad thing and can actually reveal the creativity and cognition levels of a person. Often times fidgeting is a behavior that arises from the brain needing stimulation they are currently not getting in their present setting.
As humans we are very bad at focusing at one thing at a time and paying attention to what's in front of us. While our ancestors (from tens of thousands of years ago) were killed by their prey if they could keep focus today's humans live in a completely different world surrounded by distractions and stimulants everywhere. Wherever we go we have commercials, screens popping up with notifications, and dozens of other things trying to grab our attention which is why no wonder children and workers fidget a lot.
A reason why people fidget is because of anxiety or boredom issues. During our free time when we are not at school or at work we don't mind being distracted and entertained by TV screens, laptops, smartphones, tablets and gadgets. This causes a chemical reaction in the brain where we are constantly creating dopamine and seeking more distractions to feed into our addictions. Suddenly when we are exposed to an environment where all attention has to be centered to one source the brain has difficulty remaining focused which leads to fidgeting and other anxiety symptoms.
The good sign in all of this is that fidgeting means your brain is active, busy, and has a lot of capacity. It simply looking for an outlet to let out extra energy that it is not used to controlling.
By utilizing fidget toys the brain has a better time of staying awake and not going into a daydreaming sequence from boredom. These gadgets can give a brain a mini break which allows them to resume their focus when ready.
The Game Innovation Lab at NYU recently conducted a study among 84 students where during an exam half of the students had a fidget toy available and the control group did not. The reports showed that those with a fidget toy had a significant higher performance than the control group without a fidget toy.
There is plenty of research that shows that taking sporadic breaks and getting exercise can improve cognitive abilities and boost memory. While not everyone has the luxury of being able to take long breaks and do exercise it is very easy to find an appropriate fidget toy or fidget cube that can ease the anxious behavior.
In another study, sixth graders that played with fidget toys had better grades than the ones without stress toys.
Stress balls have even shown to reduce anxiety symptoms in patients awaiting surgery, which also leads to better overall recovery time from the surgery.
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