Sometimes, you may feel anxious and unsure of what to do with your hands. You want to move your legs or tap your fingers but don’t want to distract the people around you. The potential solution? A pretty little piece of jewelry: a fidget ring from a brand like Soothe Rings.
What is a Fidget Ring?
Fidget, anxiety, or worry rings are all the rage on TikTok, but where did they come from? Yoga and meditation influencers claim that anxiety rings come from the ancient concept of a Tibetan worry ring and have been used in Buddhist meditation. Unfortunately, those claims are unverified.
Though ancient meditation practices make for a remarkable origin story, the reality is a bit less romantic; the fidget ring fad started with fidget spinners, a three-pronged toy that children or adults can pinch, twirl, and – you guessed it – fidget with. But since it’s not entirely socially acceptable for an adult to walk around with a children’s toy, grown-ups need a more subtle option that blends into their existing aesthetic. And while we’re at it, why not make them glamorous, trendy, and comfortable?
How Does It Work?
There is, in fact, science behind the way fidget tools function. The self-soothing mechanism of repetitive behavior, similar to a child rocking themselves back and forth, can moderate anxiety or distraction. A report from the University of Surrey found that stress balls reduce pain and anxiety by more than 22 percent, and another study from 2022 found that adults experienced “large immediate and sustained increases in on-task behavior during fidget spinner use.”
While this data is compelling, studies on fidget spinners are generally mixed. For adults, fidget tools can be a helpful way to keep your hands busy. But for children, the item itself can take up more attention than the task they’re using the fidget tool to focus on. One study notes that in disorders like ADHD, fidget tools can negatively influence attention for young children in the classroom. Other experts say that fidget rings’ efficacy is hard to pinpoint as there’s no dramatic difference in behavior before and after using it.
Self-Soothing with a Soothe Ring
If you’re interested in trying a fidget ring, Amazon may not be your best bet – you may end up with one that breaks easily or has cheap metals that turn your finger green. I recommend choosing a brand like Soothe Rings. In the words of Debra Kissen, the Clinical Director of Light On Anxiety, in an interview with Today.com, “it’s a low-cost experiment, so you don’t have much to lose.”
The two Soothe Rings in my fidget ring collection are their steel spinner and their classic butterfly spinner. While the steel spinner was a little small for my gargantuan gorilla hands, the butterfly spinner was semi-adjustable. The edges to the butterfly ring added texture to the experience, similar to their chain-link rings (on my shopping list). Additionally, my sensitive skin is highly allergic to cheap materials like copper and nickel, but I had no reaction to Soothe’s rings.
In this low-cost experiment, I feel like I came out as a winner. Am I less anxious and more attentive? I’m the wrong person to ask, as I wasn’t necessarily anxious or inattentive before the ring. But is it fun to spin? Without a doubt.