Today I wanted to talk about something that has helped me more than I can put into words with my anxiety. Although it sounds ridiculous, something as simple as a piece of plastic has made going outside and doing things like travelling to college so much easier. I had heard of Tangles before I bought one, but I didn’t really think they’d be much help, until a friend told me how much hers had helped her to manage her ADD. I saw one in The Works (a relatively small shop in the UK which sells things like books, stationary, and arts and crafts) for only £2, and decided that even if it didn’t help, it wouldn’t be a massive waste of money.
If I could go back in time and visit myself making the decision to buy one a few months ago, I’d give myself a pat on the back so hard I’d get whiplash. I began to carry it everywhere with me in my pocket, and I felt like I had so much more freedom; I could leave the house and although I’d still be very anxious while walking alone, I finally had something to relieve it. I didn’t realise how much it had actually helped me until I lost it. It fell out of my pocket while walking home one evening and not having it made walking places difficult again. I’d always used music as a distraction from anxiety, but it wasn’t almost as effective as my Tangle. Things returned to being very difficult for me again when I lost it.
A few weeks later, my friend bought me a new one for Christmas, and I still can’t thank her enough for it. Things became easier again, and I felt like a weight had been lifted off me when I had a tool to manage anxiety again. I think recently I’ve become very used to taking it everywhere with me; I fiddle with it everywhere I go and rarely even notice I’m doing it. It takes away a lot of anxiety that I’d otherwise be very affected by and allows me to go out more without fearing my surroundings. It also helps me focus on college work, as I can fidget with it to help me focus on my work, and anxiety is common for me when I work through coursework, and my Tangle can relieve it a lot.
Tangle Creations’ wesbite describes a Tangle as:”That fun, twisty thing! Tangles have endless uses and serve a variety of different purposes. It can be a puzzle, a movable sculpture, a desktop toy, a fidget, a brain tool, an anti-stress device, a teacher supply, or even a cosmic art toy with special powers! The possibilities are limitless!” They are available in a variety of colours, and some have different textures. For example, the Tangle Therapy toy is covered with a rubberized material, designed to be more comfortable for its users.
According to this website, the Tangle’s features have many benefits for both mental and physical health. The possibility to manipulate it into different shapes results in focused attention being placed on the toy, leading to relaxation and stress reduction. This range of motion exercises also causes improved flexibility and range of motion for hands and wrists, which can relieve minor symptoms associated with repetitive motion problems. Similarly, twisting and turning the toy can increase your range of motion. The fact that the toy can be twisted and made into different shapes limitlessly means that it can be used for long periods, helping with stopping smoking or stress.
Aside from how much it helps me, Tangle toys have many other benefits. They are relatively cheap and affordable, and definitely worth their price (Tangles are available from Amazon for as little as £3.50). They are also very discreet and easily hidden (to the point where even I don’t notice I’m playing with mine at times), and very quiet, as they only really make noise if they’re used forcefully. The only downside I find is that the Therapy Tangle, and other toys with nicer textures are difficult to find, but I find that the regular ones work fine for me and provide enough to distract me. If you find that a regular Tangle doesn’t work as well for you, one thing I do is make sure mine is in my pocket when I warm my jacket on the radiator in the morning, because the warmth means I have more to focus on as a distraction. Finally, I also find that people around me are very understanding about me having it. I was at first nervous about what people would think of seeing me with what looks like a childrens’ toy, but very few people have asked about it, and not a single person I’ve explained it to has passed any judgement about it.
Overall, as ridiculous as it sounds, my Tangle has completely changed my life. Although anxiety is still a big issue for me, I feel like I’ve been given some control back, as I can go outside freely knowing I have something to manage it with. It has also helped significantly with college, as I now feel more comfortable walking there and back, as well as having something to help me calm down when the pressure of deadlines catches up to me or something to fidget with while I focus on work. If you struggle with anxiety, stress, or any of the other issues that I’ve mentioned in this post, then I could not recommend a Tangle more. It may not work for you as well as it has for me, but it is more than worth a try.
Thank you for reading! I hope you have found this post helpful and I wish you the best of luck in your recovery. Keep growinggg!