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Stress balls: The hand sized stress busters

Stress balls, why are they so good for helping to relieve stress? I used to ask myself that whenever I used to see someone squeezing one in their hand.

I mean how can a little ball of foam or rubber squeezed in the hand help to reduce stress levels? Ridiculous right? Well no actually, after suffering stress myself and being advised to try these little stress busters; I can honestly say I would be at a lose without mine most days.

Why stress balls work

When I get stressed I tend to bite my nails or twist my hair round and round until it looks like a birds nest most of the time.

This is especially true when I am at at my computer desk trying to work out what to do next. So it was amazing when I found stress balls that could keep my hands busy.

By simply squeezing one I could get all my frustrations and tension out with no damage what so ever to anything or anyone around me.

The squeezing action tenses the muscle and then when released the tension is also released from your hand and arm, relieving any stress in these areas. A relaxed sensation helps to promote a general sense of release and relaxation.

You may have noticed others around you who are exhibiting other similar anxious behaviors such as:

  • Tapping on table tops
  • Playing with coins in their hands or pockets
  • Clicking their fingers or cracking their knuckles
  • Tapping their feet under the desk

It is not uncommon for these balls to be distributed at meetings or during therapy sessions to prevent these nervous behaviors from developing. They also aid concentration.

The squeezing action has more than one benefit other than getting rid of pent up stress, it also helps with:

  • Improving blood circulation
  • Relieves muscle tension
  • Promotes muscle relaxation 
  • Improve coordination,
  • Prevent arthritis,
  • Prevent rheumatism
  • Help concentration during meditation.

What are they?

These balls are often made from rubber or foam and simply give under the pressure of the squeeze and return to their normal shape when let go. The materials used to make them are completely non toxic and so are safe to be used by anyone.

They can be used over and over again and can be squeezed as hard as you like without them becoming damaged.

There is another type of stress relief ball which differs from the brightly colored foam balls which you squeeze, these are known as Chinese stress balls.

These are a lot smaller and are designed to be held in the hand two at a time. They are often made from hard resin or ceramic and contain a little chime inside which sounds as they are moved about in the hand.

Instead of squeezing these balls, the idea is to move them over and over or around and around each other in one hand. The gentle sounds of the chimes and the level of concentration needed to move them helps to focus the mind away from stressful thoughts.

Stress balls come in many different guises and colors. Some have smiley faces on them or even stressed faces to bring a little humor to the situation. Others may be textured for a better grip or be extra hard or soft depending on the requirements of the user.

I have a variety of stress balls sitting on my desk; they look colorful and fun and depending on my mood help me to focus my thoughts on what I am doing as well as helping me to relax both physically and mentally.

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