Seven years ago, a friend (who I barely knew then and barely know now) gave me the perfect present - a rose quartz shaped like a ball. I had it in my drawer for a few years and on a particularly anxious day, I held it in my palm. I couldn't put my finger on why but it made me feel better.
Your anxiety object can be whatever makes you feel better. For some people, this may be a blanket, or something to wear that offers them comfort. For many others, it is a soft toy, or a pillow. For people who are out and about often, a small object such as a stress ball, a keychain, a crystal, a puzzle, a magnetic balls toy can be useful. (These are some my friends use. Technology is generally best avoided.)
Anxiety objects are great for diverting your focus from anxious thoughts as you look, touch and play with them. Notice their shape, their texture, temperature, colour, size, and any other details. The smaller objects work well because they are available in the moment when other aides are often too difficult or out of reach - e.g. meditation, nature, writing, etc.
My rose quartz, which I cleanse ever so often under cold running water (there are many ways to charge crystals, and this one works for me) feels cool to touch and I pay attention to how smooth it is and how it becomes warmer as it is in contact with my skin. I will often place it on parts on my body that feel hot like my forehead or neck. Sometimes I sleep with it in my palm or against my chest. Rose quartz is also known to have a lot of nurturing properties, though I can't say I know much about other crystals.
If anxiety objects have worked for you, feel welcome to share your story in the comments.
Illustration by Mari Andrew.