Anxiety, negative emotions: how the cuddly toy can help children… and also adults!

According to research in psychology, the comforter is not just a simple stuffed animal and has soothing properties. Intended for children, this object helps to reduce anxiety and regulate negative emotions. But it can also help adults find better sleep, as columnist Cécile Coumau explains in “Bienfait pour vous”.

And if the comforter was not intended only for children? This little plush will surely bring back memories for some, such as the feeling of security once in the arms to fall asleep. But the comforter is not just a simple stuffed animal, it also has soothing properties. For the occasion, the columnist Cécile Coumau presents, in Well done for youthe results of psychological research carried out to understand the bond that unites a child to his cuddly toy.

Overall, these studies demonstrated that he had superpowers. “It lowers the level of cortisol and therefore anxiety. It helps to regulate negative emotions and it can even convey messages. As in the hospital for example during an injection given by a doctor, with the aim to show that it doesn’t hurt”, she explains at the microphone of Julia Vignali and Mélanie Gomez.

The teddy bear, the ideal cuddly toy

In addition, there are researchers from the University of Montpellier who wanted to draw the robot portrait of the best cuddly toy. “It’s the iconic teddy bear that has crossed all generations,” reveals Cécile Coumau. French researchers have interviewed thousands of people, and as explained by Nathalie Blanc, professor of psychology at the University of Montpellier 3, this “typical” comforter awakens all our senses. “The touch and the slightly soft character of the fur can arouse pleasant emotions which can help to lower a negative emotional feeling”, details the specialist at the microphone of Europe 1. She specifies that this bear should not necessarily be of disproportionate size or even smiling, to the great surprise of the researchers. “Finally, the teddy bear does not need to display a smile to be considered comforting,” she points out.

Another result of the study caught the researchers’ attention: smell. “The participants said that the teddy bear should smell good. But you still have to take it with a grain of salt. The cuddly toy that we take everywhere and that is ours, it certainly has the smell of our home, of our cocoon”, specifies Nathalie Blanc. Finally, he is the one who has gone through all the trials of life. This explains, in a certain way, that some adults keep their cuddly toy.

The comforter, more effective than a sleeping pill

“It recalls the reassuring time of childhood,” explains Cécile Coumau. In Anglo-Saxon countries as in the United States or even in Australia, many adults finally admit to keeping their cuddly toy under the pillow. In France, people are a little more discreet on the subject. However, many psychologists say it: it is useless to feel guilty. Seeking a little comfort from a comforter is not so serious, especially in the evening when falling asleep when little anxiety comes to disturb sleep, the comforter is better than a sleeping pill.

On the other hand, some parents wonder if they shouldn’t help their children to part with the cuddly toy. “It happens around the age of 6 and it makes sense because the child will enter first grade and the soft toy has no place in elementary school. So normally the child has already started to put it at a distance in kindergarten,” says Cécile Coumau. However, Nathalie Blanc refuses any dogmatism. “Finally, the child will gradually separate from this transitional object from the moment he is able to invest himself in strategies that will be able to appease him. But I do not believe that there is a typical age where we must tell the child that he is too big to have a cuddly toy”, she insists.

Source: Europe1

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