Worry Dolls

The Origin of the Worry Dolls

The worry dolls from Guatemala have helped thousands of people worldwide get a good night’s sleep.

Worry Dolls

Guatemala is a country in Central America which has a long and rich cultural history. The Mayan culture was strong and there are many impressive Mayan ruins to explore.

These dolls are originally from the highlands of Guatemala. They are very tiny dolls. Usually they are only 1 inch long or 2.5 cm, though larger dolls have become more common. There is not one singular correct look for these dolls.

In Guatemala they are sold by the thousands in markets all over the country. As these dolls are handmade, each doll may have a different appearance.

They are extremely popular souvenirs. Tourists have brought the dolls back to their home countries and they are now used by many worldwide.

How to Use Worry Dolls

The idea of a worry doll is to help a person get rid of their worries before falling asleep. Worry dolls are most popular with children.

The person feeling any kind of mild anxiety holds a doll and tells the doll about one thing that is troubling. The troubling matter is transferred to the doll.

The doll may be placed under the pillow. Some prefer to place the doll in a special Box.

Finally the person can sleep tight knowing the worry has gone, the doll has taken care of the concern and will make it disappear.

If a person has more than one fear, more dolls are needed as each doll deals with one fear.

This claim is not absolute. Many do reuse their worry doll many times and tell all their troubles to that particular doll. They seem to have a special connection to their favorite doll.

Worry dolls are mostly used with kids. Many parents choose to remove the doll during the night. The child may then have “proof” that their worries are gone.  

The intent of using the worry dolls is to help the person deal with their troubles by stating them out load and by showing they are willing to let go of their worries before going to sleep.

Children who have trouble sleeping because of some kind of imaginary fear (which is very real in their world) could possibly benefit from using worry dolls.

There is a delightful legend about the worry doll you can read here.

Make Your Own Worry Doll

Worry dolls are relatively easy to make. You can use small wooden sticks, clothes pins or pipe cleaners. Use colorful yarn and wrap around the doll. You can also use colorful shreds of any material you have lying around.  

Some use beads to make the head; others use a piece of fabric.

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