Cuddling your favorite teddy can have a similar effect as cuddling a real animal and can help you feel better in a similar way.
Researchers at UV University in Amsterdam have found that just a few minutes cuddling with your favorite stuffed toy will help lower stress and anxiety.
Mother of 5, Julie Hazell has had many years of experience with depression and runs social media site ‘Dead Ted’ helping young people help themselves.
“The use of stuffed animals can have many mental health benefits” said Ms Hazell.
“Often kids can find it hard to communicate how they feel, the teddy can help by providing a way to express emotions and have a feeling of unconditional support.
“Stuffed animals have been used in war zones to help kids who have suffered trauma relieve their fears, aggression and nightmares.”
Ms Hazell, 58, said providing kids with an avenue to express themselves is what Dead Ted is all about.
She said being the parent of a happy and loving child only to find they have become a sullen and unreachable stranger is very distressing, and for loving parents it’s ‘hell on earth’.
A Research by Tel Aviv University found that of the 83% of children suffering trauma studied 71% had lost their severe stress reactions after just 2 months with the use of stuffed animals.
“It doesn’t matter what age you are” Ms Hazell said. “Being able to relieve stress and depression by cuddling a teddy is timeless.”
The Gold Coast mum said that Dead Ted has provided their bears to kids who have been through emotional turmoil and they have had fantastically positive feedback.
“Dead Ted provides kids and parents with ideas and tools on how to express their emotions and frustrations rather than keeping them inside and allowing them to become destructive forces in their lives” Ms Hazell said.
Dead Ted will be providing an art exercise each day on their Facebook page this week during Mental Health Week 9th – 15th October for anyone wanting to find out different ideas on coping.
“Although Dead Ted sounds very strange and quirky for a ‘help’ site for young people, it’s that very fact that draws kids to it” she said.
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