California; Hayward — The newest trend among Gen Z is the adoption of "comfort necklaces" as a coping mechanism for anxiety, nerves and other unsettling emotions. This trend involves individuals, often subconsciously, reaching for and touching their necklaces for comfort, a behavior that has gained popularity and recognition on platforms like TikTok.
These comfort necklaces, whether worn for fashion or sentimental reasons, have become a tangible source of reassurance for Gen Z. TikTok is now flooded with videos featuring individuals clutching their necklaces during moments of anxiety, with the hashtag #comfortnecklace amassing a considerable 4.9 million views. The trend has spurred discussions around the emotional significance of different types of jewelry, expanding beyond just necklaces, according to the New York Post,
Psychologist Amelia Thompson explains that the comfort necklace trend aligns with the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Necklaces, serving as grounding objects, provide sensory and sentimental aspects that can offer reassurance. The act of touching the necklace becomes a form of self-soothing, helping individuals stay connected to the present moment. Thompson notes that sensory stimulation can alleviate anxiety symptoms, while sentimentality can evoke positive memories and feelings.
This trend might also be a coping mechanism for Gen Z in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The chosen necklaces act as tokens of comfort, fostering a sense of security and aiding in anxiety management during a time of increased isolation and uncertainty.
Importantly, the comfort necklace trend is seen as a form of self-regulation that is embraced by Gen Z without the stigma often associated with mental health. Thompson suggests that, while professional services and medication have their place, these self-organized methods play a crucial role in promoting mental health in ways that feel authentic to the generation.
However, it's emphasized that such coping mechanisms should not substitute seeking professional help. Raul Haro, a marriage and family therapist, mentioned in the story from In The Know the importance of professional assistance and building a strong support network to effectively manage emotions and improve overall well-being.
Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.
Edited by Nykeya Woods