Weighted blankets for anxiety: Uses and benefits
Anxiety is a normal part of life from time to time, especially before a big decision, during a life change, or other times of stress. However, anxiety disorders can cause crippling feelings of fear, worry, or restlessness.
There are many ways to manage anxiety disorders. A combination of medication, lifestyle changes and other treatments can help limit the impact of anxiety and its symptoms. Weighted blankets are one example of a treatment that may help.
What are weighted blankets?
Weighted blankets are blankets lined with evenly distributed weight. The weight varies based on who the intended user is and size of the blanket.
This special type of blanket is designed to be warm and to provide gentle pressure to a person, mimicking the feeling of being held.
The sensation may have a positive effect on people’s moods. As a result, weighted blankets are gaining in popularity as an alternative means of combating anxiety and other sensory disorders.
People who are good at crafts may be interested in making their own weighted blanket at home.
For some, the idea of creating a weighted blanket is a fun challenge. For others, a homemade weighted blanket may be a way to reduce costs.
Whatever the reason, people considering the choice between purchasing a premade blanket versus making a weighted blanket should take some of the following into consideration:
Getting weight right in a homemade blanket may be difficult. Buying a premade blanket can help with getting the right weight for the person using it.
Manufacturers have to follow strict guidelines for their products. Therefore, the materials used need to pass certain criteria that help ensure safety and quality.
By contrast, some guides for making weighted blankets at home may use some questionable material. Those looking to make a weighted blanket at home should research several methods of creating blankets before purchasing materials and deciding on one method.
Time vs. cost
It may save money for a person to purchase the materials and make a weighted blanket. However, creating the weighted blanket will mean time spent crafting it.
For some, this may be a suitable trade off. However, for those looking to save time, the extra money spent may be worth the cost.
Purchasing a new weighted blanket means the product is likely to come with a limited warranty to replace the blanket if it is defective. There is no such protection with a homemade blanket.
If a person makes a blanket at home and messes up, they will need to fix it or start over. This can waste time and money, especially if a person gives up and purchases a blanket after all.
Aromatherapy is a popular option for people looking to reduce anxiety. Aromatherapy often uses natural extracts from plants to produce strong smells that trigger the body to react positively.
Oils extracted from lavender, for example, reportedly help reduce anxiety when used as part of aromatherapy. Lavender triggers the body to release natural chemicals and hormones in the brain that promote relaxation.
Eating a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help improve anxiety. People should avoid caffeine, alcohol, and added sugars, which have all been shown to increase anxiety.
Also, spikes in blood sugar can cause anxiety attacks, so avoiding extreme hunger or foods high in sugar is a good plan.
Increasing outdoor time
Getting out in the sun safely for about 15 minutes a day can have a positive impact on mood. The sun’s rays trigger the body to produce vitamin D, which helps anxiety levels.
Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins in the brain that promote positive feelings.
Following general recommended guidelines for exercise can have a positive effect on both anxiety and overall health and wellness.
However, a person should consult their doctor before beginning a new exercise routine to make sure it is suitable for them.
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