THE FULL STORY

Comfort and joy

A third of adults cuddle up to teddies every night for emotional comfort – and research shows there are real health benefits.

Is it really a surprise to know that cuddling something brings contentment? I still have two teddies from when I was an infant, as well as a collection of many more, including those I have sourced over the years for clients to use as mascots and giveaways. Plush toys are consistently the most often redeemed item in loyalty programmes - no corporate collection is complete without one!

But our soft toys are not just for corporate gifts, or for children, they are also believed to have potential health benefits, according to Prof Bruce Hood of the University of Bristol, who has researched our attachment to childhood toys. (Source: The Guardian 2020).

“It’s about having a sentimental attachment to things,” Hood says. “It’s completely normal for adults to continue to have these childish attachments.” He also doesn’t see any problem with us doing this, as “they provide emotional comfort.”

Prof. Hood says, on the subject of why we are nostalgic about our favourite bear, “My hunch is that it’s to do with sleeping practices. In western cultures, we tend to separate children from their parents after the first year – after which they sleep on their own, and self-soothe using blankets and soft toys. These become part of the sleep ritual.”

The Danes are credited with being the happiest nation on earth; their “hygge” manifesto includes lighting candles, sitting by a fireside with a mug of cocoa and a small group of friends. Soft blankets and cosy clothing add to the sense of harmony and hygge has become quite the buzz-word for relaxation and contentment. Meik Wiking, from the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen admits that nostalgia is certainly part of feeling "hygge" when he quotes “the study ‘Nostalgia: Content, Triggers, Function’ in The Journal of Personal and Social Psychology - nostalgia produces positive feelings, reinforces our memories and sense of being loved and boosts self esteem”

Nostalgia also plays a very important part in the advertising industry as a whole. The Christmas TV adverts of the big retailers have become mini-movies that we all eagerly await the launch of, as they try to create that elusive sense of comfort and of joy.

So, we needed no better reason to make one of
our gift packages contain a super soft bunny, for you to cuddle up to. Get your personal hygge on when you have a cosy night in with a steaming mug of cocoa, topped with marshmallows (it even comes with an unbreakable mug in case you nod off) and a sleep mask to make sure nothing disturbs your dreams. Make your next promotional gift something that your clients or co-workers will want to hang on to. We may be in need of more comfort than usual this winter and a cuddly toy is certain to bring joy.

Wishing you all you wish for yourself this New Year - and sweet dreams!

For more information on using toys and plush gifts as part of promotional advertising campaigns, call 0116 255 4336.