Comfort items come in all forms


Marisa Sandoval, Editor

On a day where nothing feels right, every person has something that they turn to for comfort. Whether it is a favorite movie that reminds a person of what true happiness, is or a magazine that makes them forget all their troubles. Comfort items provide a physiological link that can encourage a person to think of better times. These things are an emotional anchor humans use to ground themselves when they feel their world is falling apart. 

Most children had their favorite stuffed animal that they were glued to in their early years, kids believed they could not sleep without their beloved teddy bear. This is an example of how comfort items have been in people’s lives from the very beginning.  Comfort items have also been prevalent in children’s television shows. Linus from Charlie Brown is known for always dragging his favorite blanket along with him wherever he went. Children’s television shows have these items to prove that they are acceptable and essential to have. But, as children turn into teenagers, the codependency on stuffed animals or toys sometimes transitions into other things. These can include songs, movies, or books.  

Comfort items have played major roles in my life. In times of need they were there, but also I have some comfort traditions that provide stability in my life. Movies and books always have a special place in my heart. When I need something to make me smile and think about the good in the world I watch “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” or if I want to be reminded of true romance “Pretty Woman” comes in handy. These movies have sentimental and personal value that can flip my day around. 

Along with movies that hold sentimental value for me, I have found books can be a beneficial comfort item. Every year I read “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky and I know I will have one consistent thing in my life. I am able to take a different lesson from it each time I read it. A comfort item does not need to be a singular item or only help you once. It is something that helps ground a person in their time of need. Research done by Allan Schwartz, a neurologist, showed that people feel more calm when they have comfort items because it brings consistency to one’s life. 

The beauty of comfort items is that they are specific to each individual. They are for no one to judge and their meaning is to bring calmness to a person. Comfort can come from all arenas. Humans find ease from various things but comfort items will never have a specific definition because they alter to the needs of their person. The world is a troubling place but these little things can help people leave harsh reality behind for moments at a time.

When looking for a comfort item, there are no specific guidelines that people must think about. People must find what works for them. It can take time as different things must be tested out for people to find what makes them feel loved and safe. Thinking about favorite books and movies is a great start. But, also activities like baths or baking that ground a person can also be a variation of a comfort activity. Having something, someone or an activity that makes a person feel grounded is essential for a healthy mental space that a person needs to navigate reality. Comfort items can also present themselves naturally. Through nostalgia and memories people relate items to things of the past. There is no cookie cutter way to find a comfort item but they are essential for people to have to create a sense of constant security and calmness.