- A $US16 “Thinking Egg” was advertised on Amazon as a solution to stress and anxiety.
- The egg was shown at the top of the website’s Unique Finds page next to a blurb that says the brass object serves as “a useful reminder to help bring ease and mindfulness to the present moment.”
- A video accompanying the egg shows an overworked man being seemingly relaxed by holding the egg.
- This is the latest product in the massive industry aimed at serving customers with products said to increase mindfulness and improve mental health, with questionable results.
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Mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and burnout are seemingly seen more frequently as working hours across society increase.
Now, an entire industry has sprung up purporting to solve these issues through various means. The latest, as advertised on Amazon’s Unique Finds page, is a $US16 brass “Thinking Egg.”
The egg, which is made by Vancouver-based design firm Orijin Design Company, was advertised next to a blurb that said it is “ergonomically designed as a useful reminder to help bring ease and mindfulness to the present moment.”
From the pictures and video that accompany the egg’s posting, its only advertised function is to be held or set nearby a user, but a description on the product page says that it “serves as a great productivity tool that discreetly and elegantly keeps restless hands busy all while being extremely portable.”
Orijin founder Oscar Bonilla said he found himself overwhelmed with daily tasks. He said the egg is meant to “remind me to just slow down: to wake up, to actually be present and aware of what I was doing.”
Four of the egg’s five reviews at the time of this article were positive and said the egg feels high-quality, and one user said she even purchased more after getting one as a gift. However, one review reads that the only thing the egg reminded the buyer “of is that I spent $US16 on a @#@[email protected] metal pebble.”
The description of the brass egg says its power comes from its material, as brass “has been said to have healing properties to boost the immune system while also increasing melatonin (sleep and wakefulness).”
In addition to brass, the company’s website has eggs available in different materials that it writes will serve different types of relief to its holder.
“Lava Stone,” that serves to “strengthen, stabilise, and dissipate anger,” “Howlite,” which is supposed to “alleviate anxiety and stress while also promoting strength and self-discipline,” and “Pine Wood,” which “has been used medicinally for thousands of years… [and] helps with emotional stability and concentration.”
The egg’s place at the top of Amazon’s finds page seems appropriate amid a swell of mindfulness and well-being products, including hit meditation apps Calm and Headspace, which have both been valued at around $US250 million, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The industry, while massively successful, isn’t without its fair share of criticism. Therapist Jeremy Safran told the Guardian that the business of mindfulness poses harm to the very issues it promises to solve.
“It’s the marketing of mindfulness practice as a commodity that is sold like any other commodity in our brand culture, a brand that promises to deliver,”Safran told the Guardian. “McMindfulness is the marketing of a constructed dream; an idealised lifestyle; an identity makeover.”
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