A love letter to the piece of jewelry that helps me keep calm and carry on
Call it what you want: a fidget ring, anxiety ring, worry ring. I’ve found it to be a solution to all of the above.
I would say that I wake up most mornings with my inner voice’s default setting sounding something like “You have so much to do today. It’s going to be really stressful, and I’m not sure you can handle it.” While this is an annoying “feature” of mine, I’d bet it’s not unique to me.
Measuring my typical day-in-the-life anxiety on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being absolutely no worries or concerns, and 10 being a full-blown anxiety attack, I’d say I wake up feeling a solid 4.5 most mornings. And on a busy day, where I’m wearing multiple hats between being a small business owner, content creator, and program manager at a mental health start-up, that number often slides its way up closer and closer to 10.
My meditation and mindfulness practice has always been an antidote for anxiety and overthinking. And you don't have to search for very long to find a list of other empirically-supported benefits of mindfulness including stress reduction, less emotional reactivity, and a greater ability to focus. But on a day where life feels like a high-wire balancing act at the circus, that mindfulness practice can fly out of the proverbial door and leave me struggling to practice what I preach.
Stumbling upon my first anxiety ring
A little over a year ago, I found my first anxiety ring. It was technically marketed for fidgeters, claiming to improve focus. Unsure of what to expect, but open-minded and optimistic, I decided to give it a try.
Surprisingly, improved focus was actually the first thing I noticed. Sitting in front of a computer screen all day long can lead to some feelings of restlessness, inability to focus, scatterbrained-ness… I'm sure there are quite a few of you that can relate. I've inherited my father's "foot tapping" when I'm fidgety, and that trait especially loves to make an appearance when I'm on back-to-back video calls.
But the reason my anxiety ring has changed my life and upped my mindfulness ante is because it's a constant physical reminder: You are here. Be here now. It feels like the millennial take on traditional meditation beads. When my inner critic pipes up about how awkward I just sounded in front of my boss, my ring helps me notice those thoughts, and then wave them goodbye. When I look at that long to-do list and feel like there's simply not enough time in the day to get through it all, my ring helps me come back to the present moment and focus on taking things one step at a time.
Spin the stress away
So, do you need a ring to practice mindfulness? No. Do you need a ring to be present? Absolutely not. You don't need anything. That's what's so great about mindfulness: it's accessible to everyone at all times. But if you're like me, and you sometimes find yourself losing balance up on the high-wire of life, an anxiety ring can serve as a nice reminder to come back to the present moment.
If you’re interested in trying out an anxiety ring for yourself, check out Mindful Enough Shop. Here’s to spinning the stress away!