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Stuffed Animals Can Be Therapeutic

Updated on June 11, 2010
Let's Party Today
Let's Party Today

A collection of stuffed animals can be fun, even therapeutic. Stuffed animals were my favorite toys when I was a child. When I was 15 years old, my brother asked me, "When are you going to throw away your stuffed animals"? I did not answer him, at that time, because I was somewhat confused. He was telling me only children should collect stuffed animals. The comfort I felt in playing with stuffed animals would, eventually, have to change into comfort with adult pastimes. However, I continued to keep my stuffed friends and added many more friends to them through my adult years. They represent the child in me that still likes to play and have fun.

My stuffed friends have many unique names, sizes, shapes, and colors. They are hippos, ducks, bears, dogs, and monkeys. I have not yet acquired other animals that I like, such as frogs, birds, rabbits, and turtles. The variety of plush animals in stores is mounting and some are hot commodities. Stuffed animal patterns are available online for anyone who wants to make their own animal. Just click on My dream is to have one room of stuffed animals stacked high from floor to ceiling where I can go to quietly meditate.

Today, when I peer into several of my rooms where these animals sit, they dazzle me with their flashy colors (i.e. bright green, yellow, hot pink, cool blue, purple, and other striking colors). Some wear hats and sweaters or other outfits. Some say "I love you" or "hug me" when I press their paw. Some sing and run across the room when I press them. In fact, there is even a stuffed dog that I can heat in my microwave to obtain the smell of the greatest blend of herbs. He is called an aromatherapy dog because of the relaxing, medicinal quality of the herbs that emanate from his fur.

Actually, my experiences with these animals have taught me that all of them can have therapeutic value for the following reasons. The silly smiles on their faces can make me laugh. Even in times of serious problems, they teach me to laugh at myself. I can tell them sad stories and they will listen attentively. They never have a negative thought to tell me, but, instead, maintain that same ridiculous smile. They seem to say, "Smile, even laugh, because you are only passing through this difficult situation".

They are the greatest listeners. They never become restless or tell me they have other things to do. I can practice an upcoming speech with them or read them my written materials. They will never criticize but, perhaps, in their silence, I will note sentences in my material that need revision.

They are a happy, playful bunch when placed together. They seem to mingle well together and to always cooperate with each other, no matter what their shape, size, or color. They have a fun-loving and playful message for me. Work and play balance each other or, maybe, all work is also play, if you have a fun-loving attitude.

These animals can actually spark my imagination. The "anything is possible" is in their eyes. They personify the statement "If you can dream it, you can achieve it". I creatively distributed them around my house as they add character and color to rooms. They,also, provide a feeling of safety, security, and comfort in the rooms that I spend more time.

There are those friends that have survived the old days. They may be ten or even twenty years old. They have the stains from my oatmeal breakfast ten years ago. They have missing buttons and tattered ears. They are still here to reflect on all those good times in my past. They remind me of the celebrations in my life and how far I have come in this world. The connection with these friends is very strong and binding for life. The worn parts on them endear them even more because of all of the memories they generate.

Of course, no discussion on stuffed animals would be complete without mentioning their lovable, huggable qualities. Their soft, warm fur feels nice to brush up against. They are my "up close and personal pets" and represent the affectionate and generous side of me.These animals are very accepting of me and will always be there for me.

I am learning everyday that my enjoyable, therapeutic experiences with my stuffed friends are, also, considered beneficial experiences for other adults, as well as children. For example, it is gratifying to see that there is a movement to send these animals to nursing homes and adult rehabilitation facilities, in addition to children's hospitals, to comfort those persons in these facilities. There is a realization by charities, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations that these plush animals can assist with emotional and physical healing for both children and adults. Also, walk through many work places and you will see these plush animals on top of desks, computers, and shelves. They are today's stress relievers.

Therefore, if my brother asked me now when I intend to throw away my stuffed animals, the answer would have to be "NEVER!"

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Aromatherapy Animals


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