Help your anxiety: Can stuffed animals make you feel better?


At the end of each day, winding down is supposed to feel good. But it’s not easy if you struggle with anxiety. You might find yourself laying in bed at night feeling consumed by worry and wondering: Why does my anxiety get worse at night? How do I stop night time anxiety?



Doodle of blue brain organ with face napping in a red and orange bed with green Z's drifting from its mouth.

As children, most of us had stuffed animals to keep our cribs comfy and make us feel less alone. We dragged ratty old Quackers along with us everywhere until he was filthy, matted, and missing an eyeball. But why? Stuffed animals are companions that make us feel less alone. 

They can also help kids develop an appreciation for relationships with others during pretend play because it helps kids consider other “people.” They were our first BFF! Take this Thymus Plush, for example—the perfect little spoon for your kiddo, and for you!

Photograph of child in light blue pajamas holding an orange thymus plush toy from I Heart Guts

So at what age should a child give up a stuffed animal? Never! We might see stuffed animals as merely children’s toys, but stuffed animals can comfort people of all ages. 

Stuffed animals can help relieve stress in adults in the same ways they help kids, studies show. Sleeping with a stuffed animal can help with anxiety, quieting those nighttime thoughts that can feel overwhelming. If you’re looking for tips to manage anxiety and stress, look no further. Grab yourself a forever friend from the plushie collection at I Heart Guts.

Photograph of hands holding a pancreas plush toy. The pancreas plush toy is light blue with lime green thorn-like design through the center.

Plush toys can reduce anxiety naturally by offering a sense of security. Especially during times of change, stuffed animals can bring a constant sense of companionship because you know the toy will be there at the end of the day. They help ease loneliness, which means you can never have too many. Three’s a crowd, so grab your plush organs in pairs.

Do stuffed animals make you feel better? Yes! We know that (real) therapy animals have amazing mental health benefits, but did you know that stuffed animals can often have a similar effect on people? Stuffed animals have even been professionally recommended in psychotherapy for people suffering from PTSD, bipolar disorder, and other mental illnesses.

Product photography of I Heart Guts plush toys in pairs: Colon & Rectum, Kidney & Bladder, Testicle & Prostate, Brain & Pituitary, Breast & Breast, Bladder & Penis, Lungs & Larynx, Vulva & Penis, and Placenta & Uterus.

Stuffed animals are even used in some types of therapy. They can help us grieve and cope with trauma. M. Rose Barlow, Professor of Psychology at Boise State University, says, “Animals, live or stuffed, can aid therapy for both children and adults by providing a way to experience and express emotions, a feeling of unconditional support, and grounding.”

The moral of the story is to hang onto your childhood cuddle bug. They’re the OG friends with benefits. Mental health benefits, that is—and let’s be real, that’s a better cuddle buddy than most of your exes. Looking for more tips on managing stress and sleeping better? Read our blog post about why sleep feels so good!

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