Purrble can help teach kids how to manage stress

Stress isn’t bad. It’s the critical jump start that prepares your body to survive a threatening situation. In fact, stress is necessary and may be considered a good thing.

Managing stress, however, is where you can get into trouble. If every little thing triggers a fight-or-flight response, your body is overreacting. You need a strategy or a tool to help you get back in control. Purrble is a plush toy from Sproutel that can help.

When is stress bad?

Stress is normal. It is healthy. It keeps you alive and equips you to tackle life’s challenges. When your brain identifies a threat, it tells your body to release a flood of hormones that puts you in a heightened state of alertness. Your heart starts hammering and your blood pressure elevates. You are ready for action.

You can compare stress to exercise. According to the CDC, adults should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity weekly. If you don’t exercise, you open the door to allow all kinds of diseases to attack your body. However, if you decided to run a marathon every day of the year, your body wouldn’t be able to handle it and it would begin to deteriorate.

When stress is chronic, it takes a toll. You need to train your mind and body how to break the cycle so you are not running a marathon every day.

What is Purrble?

Purrble is a toy that was a result of the collaboration between the Committee for Children, a 40-year-old nonprofit, and Sproutel, a company made up of artists and engineers who are devoted to creating a healthier world. The Committee for Children is known for the Second Step program and the Imagine Neighborhood podcast. Sproutel is known for its innovative, interactive companions that help children understand and manage their illnesses.

Rufus, the Bear with Diabetes and My Special Aflac Duck were Sproutel’s first two offerings. Rufus helps kids who have been newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes learn to be brave, while My Special Aflac Duck helps children prepare for medical procedures.

Purrble is the company’s latest offering. It is a special stuffed animal designed to help reduce stress when kids (or adults) get overwhelmed.

How does Purrble work?

Purrble is based on the idea that helping others helps you. Taking care of someone reduces stress and improves self-esteem and happiness. It also incorporates behaviors, such as fidgeting — that fidget spinners leveraged to great success: to help focus and calm a child, so they can better manage big emotions.

When Purrble gets upset, its heart races. The child can feel the Purrble’s agitated heart rate. The built-in sensors respond to touch, stroking and fidgeting. With attention and care, a child can get Purrble to calm down. A happy Purrble purrs, grunts, giggles and sighs. While the child is focused on providing comfort to their Purrble, their own anxiety levels decrease, helping them to manage their own emotions as well.

Who can benefit from Purrble?

In many ways, Purrble is like an emotional support animal. It can be used by a wide range of people in a broad scope of situations. Kids can use Purrble when they are alone or with others. It can help with situations ranging from travel anxiety to doctor’s visits. Adults may find comfort using Purrble to soothe work-related stress or when experiencing an unpleasant emotional state.

Tips to get the most out of Purrble

The following quick tips can help you get the most out of your Purrble.

  • Give it a name. Naming something creates an immediate bond. When a child chooses a name for their Purrble, it helps them develop a better relationship with the toy and makes it easier to empathize when it gets stressed.
  • Keep your Purrble on hand. Stressful situations can occur at any time. While a child might benefit from keeping their Purrble in their room, an adult may wish to keep one in the car to help combat road rage.
  • Focus on the details. Paying attention to your Purrble’s mood enables you to forget about your challenges. Hold your Purrble close, feel its softness, listen to the sounds it makes and pay attention to its heartbeat. As your Purrble calms down, so will you. 
  • Create routines. Regularly using a Purrble can create routines that reinforce positive emotional states. For example, holding a Purrble at night, before bedtime, can be a great way to wind down and relax, making the transition to sleep more natural.

Where to get Purrble

Purrble

Purrble is a relatively new toy. Like any popular product, there can be moments when it is unavailable. To get a Purrble in time for big events, such as a new year of school, it is best to put your order in now. Currently, Purrble is in stock on Amazon for $59.99. 

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