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For people of all ages, stress is an inevitable part of life. Combine that with factors like anxiety or ADHD, and you have a recipe for disaster if that built-up tension doesn’t find some sort of outlet. Using stress toys can help you stop fidgeting, and ultimately help you focus better on tasks if you get easily distracted.
For anyone in virtual school, these stress-busters are a serious lifesaver and learning assistant. Stress toys create an enjoyable sensory experience that helps you get out of your head, grounding you in a soothing way. They also have benefits for those requiring hand strengthening, or improving fine motor skills. These accessories make a big difference, but only take up a small amount of space on your desk.
They’re a therapeutic way to decompress, and there are plenty of different devices to fidget with to your heart’s desire. Amongst them are stress balls, fidget spinners, and most recently, push pop toys that are almost as satisfying to press on as bubble wrap. Up your attention span with these effective stress toys that will help you find more balance in your day-to-day life.
1. Bluetrack, Inc. Motivational Stress Balls
When you’re feeling close to your breaking point, there’s nothing more soothing than squeezing on a stress ball and releasing that tension. It also feels great for carpal tunnel syndrome. In addition, these stress balls each have a motivational message on them, like “Good things Take Time” and “Keep Calm and Stress Less” These stress-busting devices have the power to physically relax while reminding you to take a breather whenever you need to.
2. Hsxfl Classic 3D Metal Pin Art Board
A few decades ago, these metal pin art toys were all the rage. Today, you can still buy one, and no one will judge you if you press your face into them for some stress relief. Suitable for the whole family, you can make an impression of anything. Shake them up and down to put the pins back in place.
3. WQFXYZ Silicone Push Pop Bubble Sensory Toy
Push pops are a popular fidget sensory toy, and it’s no wonder why. There’s something about pushing those soft silicone bubbles and arranging them in a row. You can even turn it into a decompressing game to play with friends — take turns pressing bubbles to arrange in a row — the player that presses the last button loses. The popping of the bubble creates a satisfying ASMR sensation akin to popping bubble wrap, making it the prefect stress toy.
4. Luskidol Butter Chocolate Slime
When’s the last time you let yourself play around with slime? The 2nd grade? This throwback 90s toy is having a full-throttle comeback right now due to just how well it works as a stress toy. Who would have thought? Stick your fingers in the jar and feel the slime push up on all sides to dodge your finger. Take it out of the jar and mush it around in your hands for an extra fun slime time. We know it’s kind of juvenile, but trust us, it’s worth the shot.
5. Generic Desktop Punching Bag
When you can’t make it to your local boxing class, consider a desktop punching bag. This faux leather mini boxing bag can be inflated and comes with fingerless gloves. If a workout normally calms you down and reduces tension or feelings of stress and anger, this boxing bag can bring relief from those frustrating feelings, along with helping you build up your strength and fitness level. It’s a great alternative to de-stressing with screens.
6. Special Supplies DNA Squish Stress Ball
These squishy stress balls are so satisfying to squeeze, pull and push, especially with the tinier squishy balls that lie inside. The colorful nature of this stress toy is soothing, while the texture is smooth yet durable. It comes in a four-pack, so you can hand it out to friends and family — or keep them all to yourself, making sure that your car, office, and home are never without one of these feel-good devices.
7. Joyoldelf Cool Black Foil Poker Playing Cards
Surprised to see a deck of cards? Don’t be. If you know how to shuffle, you’ll understand just how oddly satisfying it is. Shuffling a deck of cards over and over is a great and almost effortless way to relieve stress with a “toy”. While it’s not necessarily the best stress toy you thought of off the top of your head, we’re sure you’ve got a deck of cards lying around you can pick up and play around with. See what it does yourself!
8. Panic Pete
You already know damn well what the deal is. Squeeze his body and watch his eyes, nose and ears pop right out of his head — just like how you’re feeling internally. It’s a great gift for those with high-stress jobs and has been around for decades. Thanks for keeping us sane, Panic Pete.
9. Duddy-Cam Fidget Pad
This fidget pad is unlike the generic spinners that you can find everywhere, and has multiple features, letting you flip, glide, roll, rub, switch, and more. These actions can reduce stress and anxiety symptoms, for those that need a little more stimulation than the everyday spinner. For kids or adults that spend hours glued to the screen using a joystick or video game controller, this mimics the sensory effect of a joystick-like action without the detrimental screen time.
10. helegeSONG Steamed Buns Squishys
Got buns, hun? With these steamed bun stress balls, now you will. In this package, you’ll receive one steamed bun squishy and one plastic bamboo steamer for safekeeping. Whenever you’re feeling the slightest bit stressed (and maybe a little hangry), rip this baby out of its bamboo steamer and go to town. Just be sure to not actually eat it.
11. MAGTIMES Rainbow Fidget Spinner
If you prefer a more classic stress toy, this rainbow fidget spinner will hypnotize you with its powerful, multicolor effect as you spin it around. One reviewer said that it provided an overall satisfying spin and that they liked the “little whirr sound” that came with it. Made from high-quality, durable steel, this stress toy has a bearing that revolves at top speed, letting you spin for longer. It boasts a three to five-minute spin with flipping techniques, and can be turned into a stress-busting game if desired — who can spin the longest?
12. Goda Acupressure Massage Rings
It’s not always possible to get acupressure on the go, but these massage rings by Goda are the next best thing — just roll them up and down your finger for the effect. The set of five is constructed from steel, improving both energy and concentration. Acupressure rings are made from tiny, triangular points that stimulate your fingers, providing relief. Unlike acupuncture, these do not penetrate the skin — they just add a desirable amount of pressure.
13. Funmode Glow in the Dark Push Pop Bubble Toy
If you’re a nocturnal worrier, consider Funmode’s glow in the dark, fluorescent push pop bubbles, which come in either pink and orange or blue and green. While this is a popular buy for kids, one adult reviewer called it a “fun way to keep myself entertained when bored.” While another got creative, saying “A happy side function of these is that I use them as a coaster.” Stain-free tables, and stress-free minds.
14. 3-Pack Squishy Stress Balls
These stress balls go beyond your average squishy tension reliever. These actually change color when squeezed, with purple and blue turning into pink, and yellow turning into orange. For a longer lifetime on these toys, squeeze these gel balls with the seam part towards the palm during your play session. One buyer comments, “This is marketed as being fun for kids & teens, but I want to put out there that it’s fun for adults as well! The color-changing is fun and mesmerizing. Perfect to get your mind off of any stressors.”
15. Sensory Fidget Toys Bundle
If you’re someone that frequently loses things (we get it — tiny gadgets like fidget spinners are hard to keep track of) invest in a bundle pack of stress toys like this, which offers plenty of variety in many different forms for an insanely reasonable price. Amongst the accessories in this pack are a piece of fluffy slime, squishy mochi animals, mini cubes, and other unique products that sensory seekers might not be able to find on their own.