Fidgeting devices, executive toys, and stress balls have been gaining great popularity over the last years – there is a growing number of stress relief interactive objects that continue to explode in popularity, from elaborate science-inspired objects to penny spinners and company swags. But they aren’t merely just hype – research shows that fidgety behavior increases the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain that control focus and attention.
When we think of all those moments we unconsciously fidget, we can see that these activities form an important part of our day-to-day lives. Some people have subtle fidgets that are only occasional, some people show behaviors of structured, repetitive fidgeting. Foot-tapping, pen shaking, finger cracking – many of us have the unconscious need of these secondary tasks to help us ease tension. These activities help us block out distractions that break our focus during the primary task we’re doing. All these secondary activities that are considered as hyperactivity and nervous movements are helping us to engage our focus with difficult tasks, as they boost our cognitive performance.
Why it is so calming
During working or learning, we need to have enough stimuli to reach our full potential. Stress toys and kinetic games such as Square Wave can build concentration and improve attention. The simplest explanation for this is that movement stimulates focus. The rhythmic or flowing motion activates the frontal brain, increasing its production of dopamine and serotonin. The frontal lobe is usually an underperforming brain region in people with ADHD symptoms and spectrum disorders. This part of the brain controls several important functions such as voluntary movement, speech control, emotional expression, and attention. By manipulating external objects, our brain gets on a higher intensity level, which will simply make it perform better.
Square Wave isn’t only stimulating, it also has calming qualities: most of our customers feel a relaxing sensation when playing with Square Wave. Square Wave is a lot about being there; it is a soft sway of mesmerizing metallic waves that can put our mind at ease: the rhythm of movement and the repetition of shapes creates order in our thoughts and helps us tune back from daydreaming.
Meditative, just like a mandala
Activities such as playing with Square Wave can increase the attention of students showing signs of ADHD. The effect can be best explained as similar when painting a mandala. Focusing on the soothing concentric motion and the pleasing, fluid patterns can stop a noisy mind. Square Wave can enhance your concentration by eliminating those wandering thoughts that don’t let you work on important tasks.
Not only does your attention span benefit from sensory activities, but fidgeting also eases the spirit and mind: it is an effective way of releasing tension and even improving your creativity. Engineered by the rules of natural beauty, looking at the spiraling design of Square Wave can instantly give us a sense of calmness.
Playing with Square Wave is a naturally meditative activity that can help you relax without the need to stay still: it can be combined with other primary activities. You can focus on its motion to calm your thoughts and become more mindful and collected, or use it as a secondary task to concentrate more on the primary tasks, such as learning or rehearsing for a presentation.
Fidgeting for health and longevity
Studies have shown that fidgety activities such as spinning a Square Wave have a soothing effect on the mood and help people cultivating a more relaxed mind. Stress leaves our mind foggy and interferes with efficient learning. Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire in 2005 found that fidgeting lowers the levels of a stress hormone called cortisol in the brain, helping us gain clarity and become more productive and focused. Another study from the Shamatha Project at the University of California has shown that focusing on the now rather than letting the mind drift may also help lower levels of cortisol.
Another very surprising result has been revealed in 2015 by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. An extensive, 12-year long study which has been performed amongst a group of women aging between 25 and 69 has proven that subjects who have been sitting for long periods had a higher mortality rate than the group which had a more active lifestyle. Nothing is surprising about this, since we know by now that sitting is equally as bad as smoking. However, the study ended with one curious finding: there was no increased mortality risk from longer sitting time in the middle and high fidgeting groups.
Regain your focus and increase your learning capacity
In the times of homeschooling and online learning, children can benefit greatly from fidgeting toys such as Square Wave: they can help children to stay focused longer on a learning task or activity. Optimal brain arousal enables brains to be ready to learn and reach their full potential. “In low-stimulation situations, these restless brains may compel their owners to increase the intensity level with fidgeting, noise, laughter, or conflict, if there is no other route to high stimulation available.” – says Ellen Littman Ph.D., clinical psychologist about maintaining attention. During homeschooling children and adolescents need various and stronger stimuli that help them stay engaged. To improve their attention while studying, just place a Square Wave on their desk that they can spin anytime they need more concentration or need to focus on learning the material they are studying.
Playing with stim toys and calming fidgets can also help to canalize our emotions. Fidget toys have been proven to help with stress disorders and regulating emotions. The greatest thing about them is that they can both energize or calm us – they just do exactly what we need. Fidgeting self-regulates ADHD and attention disorder symptoms by getting the right dose of stimuli.