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Stress and anxiety can take many forms and affect people differently. Various treatment options are available, including small devices that may help alleviate symptoms. Such items can make thoughtful gifts for people in need of stress relief.

In this article, we take a look at four of the top gifts that people can purchase for stress relief. We also explore the causes of stress and anxiety and answer some frequently asked questions.

A quick look at the 4 best stress relief gifts

The National Institute of Mental Health states that stress is a common reaction to difficult life events, such as work challenges, relationship issues, life changes, or traumatic events. While some people tend to experience stress as a one-time, short-term event, others have repeated stress over long periods.

Anxiety is a common reaction to stress, and it typically presents as a constant feeling of dread that interferes with day-to-day life. The feeling can be present even when there is no clear trigger.

Anxiety disorder types

There are different types of anxiety disorders, including:

Each can have its own related causes. For example, 2017 research notes that a combination of biological, genetic, and environmental factors can contribute to social anxiety.

In March 2022, the American Psychological Association surveyed more than 3,000 adults in the United States. Of the participants, 81% reported experiencing stress due to the increase in costs resulting from inflation, and 81% found supply chain issues and global uncertainty to be sources of stress.

These findings suggest that stress relief gifts could help a significant number of people better manage their stress and feelings of anxiety.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that everyone has at least one thing that helps them relax and de-stress.

For example, someone who likes aromatherapy may find candles with essential oils relaxing.

A 2020 study found that laughter can also decrease stress. As a result, fun gifts that induce a happy mood could benefit those with stress.

Individuals looking to purchase a gift to help someone relieve stress should first consider:

  • The recipient: Although many individuals experience stress, not all stress relievers will be effective for everyone. Finding a gift that suits the person may require some extra thought.
  • Budget: Anyone looking to purchase an item within a specific price range can carry out some research to find the best option.
  • Features: Some products may include unique features that a recipient can appreciate and find both enjoyable and practical.

Medical News Today has selected products that take a range of approaches to relieving stress.

MNT also considered the following factors:

  • Trust: MNT opts for products that pass legal manufacturing requirements.
  • Testimonials: Whenever possible, MNT chooses products that many people have tried and recommended.
  • Budget: MNT includes products that suit a wide range of budgets.

Here, we look at some of the best stress relief gifts for a person to consider.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for a relaxing massage: Theragun Elite Handheld Percussive Massage Device

Price: About $400

This handheld massage device is designed to stimulate circulation, generate heat, and release muscle tension. It contains a commercial-grade motor with up to 120 minutes of use and Bluetooth compatibility. It comes with a digital screen and wireless charging capabilities.

The product comes with five attachments, including a standard ball, a thumb, and a dampener. Each can target different body areas.

Most reviews are positive, with users commenting that the device relieved their shoulder and back tension after stressful days. However, some reviewers mention receiving a faulty device.

Best for a budget: SunnyBay Microwavable Neck Heating Pad

Price: About $40

This heating pad may best suit those looking to purchase a relaxing, convenient, budget-friendly gift that uses temperature therapy. Individuals can heat it in the microwave for warmth, or they can put it in the refrigerator or freezer for cooling.

The company says that this product can relieve tension in the neck and shoulders, noting that it easily conforms to the body and is stretch-resistant. However, some reviewers claim that the product falls out of place easily.

Best for aromatherapy lovers: Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath with Pure Epsom Salt

Price: About $25

People who purchase this foaming bath will receive a set of two bottles.

According to the company, one contains melatonin and essential oils to regulate a person’s sleep-wake cycle and relieve aches and pains. The other contains lavender and chamomile to encourage relaxation and help relieve stress.

Both products contain Epsom salt, which is rich in magnesium.

According to a 2017 review, magnesium levels can affect a person’s sleep and ability to manage stress. The authors note that soaking in Epsom salt increases magnesium levels because the skin absorbs this mineral. This product may, therefore, reduce stress and promote relaxation. However, further research on the possible benefits of Epsom salt is necessary.

Best for muscle stress: ProsourceFit Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set

Price: About $30

This set, which comprises a mat and a pillow, could be ideal for anyone with tension in their back. The company says that the set supports a person’s entire back, stimulating the nerves and promoting blood circulation.

The pillow contains more than 1,700 acupressure points, and the mat has more than 6,000.

The company recommends that people use the pillow and mat daily for 10–30 minutes.

Reviewers comment that they find the product very helpful in treating their pain and stress. They also like being able to choose from a range of colors.

This table shows how the above products compare.

Theragun Elite Handheld Percussive Massage DeviceSunnyBay Microwavable Neck Heating PadDr. Teal’s Foaming Bath with Pure Epsom SaltProsourceFit Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set
Best formassagebudgetaromatherapymuscle stress
Free shipping?yesper Amazon conditionsper Amazon conditionsper Amazon conditions
Free returns?yesyesyesyes
Priceabout $400about $40about $25about $30

People who have anxiety or experience consistent stress may wish to consider consulting a doctor, particularly if they find it difficult to manage their day-to-day routine.

Anyone who feels as though they need external help should talk with a specialist, psychologist, or counselor.

Below, we answer some common questions about gifts that can help with anxiety and stress.

What gifts help with anxiety?

Gifts that can help with anxiety depend on the recipient but typically include items that initiate laughter or induce calm. For example, those with muscle tension can find muscle therapy helpful. People with a very busy lifestyle may find soaking in an aromatic bath more effective.

How can you promote relaxation at home?

Relaxation is a very personal experience. For those who like fragrances, aromatherapy can help. Others may listen to music, read a book, or meditate. People who enjoy socializing may feel more relaxed after spending time with friends.

What are common signs of stress?

The signs and symptoms of stress can vary among individuals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list common effects of stress as including feelings of fear or anger, changes in appetite and desires, and physical reactions, such as skin rashes.

It is advisable for anyone who is experiencing difficulties managing their daily routine to speak with a doctor.

Stress and anxiety are common, but introducing positive practices to everyday life can help induce calm and improve mental wellness.

Many products are available that can help a person de-stress. The most suitable option for a person will depend on their circumstance and preferences.

Although stress relief gifts can be helpful for people experiencing mild or short-term stress or anxiety, anyone who has persistent symptoms that hinder their daily routine should speak with a doctor.