Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What Is a Fidget Spinner and Why Is It Helpful for Mental Health?

What Is A Fidget Spinner

“Fidget spinners” are all the rage right now, being sold in the millions in every color and pattern imaginable. The small toy is becoming a phenomena but was actually designed as a tool for helping patients with ADD, attention deficit disorder, and ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, find focus and calm. Fidgeting, distraction, and stress are not exclusive to ADD and ADHD. Critics of the claims that the fidget spinners “help” reduce “symptoms” of ADD and ADHD point to the argument that any kind of distraction or fidgeting due to boredom is automatically labeled as ADD or ADHD, even though it is not. There is no valid way to say that a small toy is the answer to a mental health disorder, because disorders like ADD and ADHD are more than a difficulty concentrating or sitting still. However, there is no need to shy away from toys, games, phone apps, methods, or anything which reduces or relieves symptoms for people struggling with mental health. In a high stress world running on instant gratification and lightning fast communication, there is more stress and distraction than there has been in previous years.

How Do Fidget Spinners Relieve Stress?


Distraction due to high stress, or the kind of distraction experienced in ADD or ADHD includes the mind racing in a hundred different directions on a hundred different topics or more. Therapeutic methods like meditation and mindfulness are effective in relieving stress because they bring the focus down to a single activity, which is breathing. The focus on the breath is as powerful as the breath itself. The fidget spinner toys might be helpful in reducing stress or distraction because they harness the focus in one direction, on one task. Coming to a calm place by focusing can be helpful to then shift focus to something else. However, people with ADD and ADHD are known to be able to really hone it in once they find what they want to focus on. The toy could become more of a distraction itself than an aid for reducing distraction in others. As part of a daily routine full of different techniques, tools, and methods for focus, stress reduction, and ADD/ADHD management, a fidget spinner can have a great part to play. Recovery and treatment still needs to be diverse and multifaceted.


Offering an integrative approach to treating co-occurring disorders, the residential treatment programs at Cottonwood Tucson provide safety and understanding to adults in need of long term care. For information on our programs, call us today by dialing (800) 877-4520.

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