Stress balls are small balls or objects filled with a malleable gel or clay that are held in the palm of your hand. The act of repeatedly squeezing the ball may help to release tension and relieve stress.
The balls can also be used as a physical therapy tool to help strengthen the muscles of the hand and wrist. Consult with a medical professional before treating stress or injuries on your own.
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Stress balls help to relieve stress. Exercises with stress balls may also help to strengthen muscles in the hand and forearm.
Using Stress Balls for Relaxation
Decreasing stress and tension can help to improve the quality of your life by promoting better sleep, warding off illness and enhancing a general feeling of well-being.
Squeezing the ball activates the muscles of your hand and wrist; releasing the grip allows the muscles to relax. The repeated pattern of grip and release helps to alleviate tension and stress, and it is an activity you can do at your desk without anyone working or studying around you.
You can continue the relaxation beyond your hand and forearm. Move through your entire body, one muscle at a time. Squeeze and tighten the muscle, then allow it to relax.
You can also give yourself a hand or foot massage to help relieve stress. The University of Colorado recommends rolling your feet over a golf ball to relieve tension, but you can also try this technique with your stress ball depending on the firmness of the ball.
If squeezing the stress ball isn’t enough, try some other stress-relieving activities when you have time for a break such as a short meditation, deep breathing or yoga poses. Taking a walk or getting some sun may also help to relieve anxiety.
Strengthening and Rehabilitation Exercises
The muscles in your hands and wrist can become weak from numerous conditions, such as overuse, arthritis or a fracture or sprain. It may be caused by an injury higher up on your arm, such as your elbow. Certain medical conditions and treatments may also cause weakness, including fistula and chemotherapy-related numbness.
Squeezing a stress ball can help to rehabilitate your hand and improve grip strength, advises Performance Orthopedics. Hold the ball in the palm of your hand and squeeze it as tight as possible and release. Complete three sets of 10 repetitions.
Your doctor or physical therapist may instruct you to do this exercise on both arms or just the affected arm. You can also place the ball on the table and press your fingers into the ball.
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center notes that you can also use the ball for your feet and toes. Place the ball on the floor and curl your toes into it and push on the stress ball with the balls of your feet.
Avoid stress balls that have an added scent or are made of polyurethane foam. The Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark found that children’s toys made of the same substance emitted high levels of harmful and carcinogenic compounds, including dimethylaminoethanol and methylene chloride.
Do you feel stressed out during the day? If so, you’re not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, stress is one of the leading health concerns in the United States. Fortunately, there are many ways to combat stress, including stress balls. Stress balls are small, squeezable balls that can help relieve stress. This blog post will discuss the eight benefits of using stress balls to help relieve stress!
1 Stress Balls Provide Tactile Stimulation
Stress balls are a great way to relieve stress because they provide tactile stimulation. When you’re stressed out, your body is in “fight or flight” mode. This means that your body is preparing to either fight or run away from the source of stress. So one way to calm down your body is by providing it with tactile stimulation. Stress balls do a great job of this because they can be squeezed, which provides tactile stimulation.
2 Stress Balls Provide Visual Stimulation
Another benefit of using stress balls is that they provide visual stimulation. The stress ball’s sight helps calm the mind and relax the body. For example, if you’re feeling stressed out at work or school, looking at a stress ball may help you feel better! This could be because it reminds you not to take things so seriously. You might even find yourself laughing when squeezing your favorite color or patterned one!
3 They are Great For ADHD
Stress balls can also be used for kids who have trouble focusing on their homework or classwork due to anxiety issues such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). These children typically do well when provided with sensory stimuli. According to a study published in the journal “Occupational Therapy In Mental Health,” stress balls can help these kids focus on their work and improve their attention span. This can be an alternative or supplement to therapy, drugs, or Nootropics.
4 Can Help Improve Your Mood
In addition, research has shown that stress balls can help improve moods. For example, a study published in the journal “Psychology of Well-Being” found that people who used stress balls for five minutes reported feeling happier and more energetic than those who did not use them. This is likely because using a stress ball provides an outlet for negative energy, allowing you to feel better overall.
5 A Great Way to Relieve Tension Headaches
Stress balls are also great for relieving tension headaches. So if you’re someone who suffers from tension headaches often, using a stress ball may be a good option for you! A study published in the journal “Headache” found that participants who used stress balls for 30 seconds reported feeling less stressed than those who did not use them.
6 Helps Cope with Arthritis Pain
Stress balls are also great for people with arthritis pain, as they can help relieve stiffness and improve circulation to joints. A study published in the journal of Arthritis & Rheumatism showed how using a stress ball three times per day helped reduce inflammation and swelling from arthritis symptoms by 50%.
7 No Batteries Required
Stress balls do not require batteries or electricity because they do all their work on your hand! This means you do not have to worry about replacing batteries either, making these devices much more accessible than other forms of therapy like electrical stimulation (TENS) units; some doctors even recommend using them as part of their treatment plan.
8 May Help Pregnancy
Last but not least, research has shown that stress balls may be beneficial for pregnant women. For example, a study published in the journal “Maternal and Child Health Journal” showed how pregnant women who used stress balls during their third trimester had less back pain and were more likely to experience successful labor. So if you’re pregnant and looking for ways to relieve some of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy, using a stress ball may be a good option for you!
So there are plenty of reasons why you should start using Stress Balls today to help relieve your stress levels. If you’re not sure how to use them, there are plenty of resources online that can help guide you. And if you do have any questions or concerns, be sure to speak with your doctor about incorporating these devices into your treatment plan.
Most of us are familiar with stress balls. Whether you have one sitting on your desk right now, or you have seen them used in a comical sense among stressed out office workers on TV, stress balls have become increasingly popular over the years—and for good reason.
Research shows that using a stress ball can actually enhance emotional stability and deliver significant physical benefits. Knowing this, make sure that you not only have stress balls in your workspace but that you provide them for your customers or prospects to help them improve their sense of positive energy.
Here are some commonly asked questions and our answers, along with favorite stress ball activities.
Do Stress Balls Work?
At first glance, it may seem like something so small and simple couldn’t be that effective. But, like the old saying says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” These small-but-mighty stress relievers truly do work—and that’s based on research and science.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, David Posen, the author of Is Work Killing You?: A Doctor’s Prescription for Treating Workplace Stress, says,
“The benefit of squeezing is that it releases some kind of energy – it also induces you to relax.”
When we’re stressed, our muscles tend to clench, and squeezing a stress ball forces us to release and relax those muscles.
What Are Some Stress Ball Benefits?
So now that we know that they work, let’s highlight some of the stress ball benefits:
- Relieve arthritis pains
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Promote better sleep
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve concentration and creativity
- Strengthen muscles
Not Sure How to Use a Stress Ball?
One reason stress balls are so widely used is how easy it is to use them. Here’s a basic and effective outline on how to use a stress ball:
- Squeeze the stress ball in your left hand for 30 seconds.
- Pulse it for 30 seconds.
- Repeat with the right hand.
This video also is a great visual guide on how to use a stress ball.
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Any Ideas for Stress Ball Activities?
Of course! These stress ball uses and activities will help you relax both your body and mind.
1. Tone Your Muscles
Even if you aren’t experiencing stress or anxiety, simply squeezing a stress ball firmly in the hands can help to strengthen the muscles of the forearm, wrists, and hands in no time at all. You can do this practically anywhere – while working, at home while watching TV, or even in the car.
2. Relax During Meetings
Many of us feel that our work weeks are nothing more than a series of meetings. If you find yourself getting tired, irritated, bored, or simply disinterested during one of your business meetings, consider using a stress ball to keep your hands occupied and your mind at peace.
3. Play Games with Your Kids
Use your stress ball to play catch with your kids at home, without fear of punching a hole in your window. Other ideas include learning how to juggle, batting practice, and a good old fashioned game of catch.
4. Massage Your Feet
Slip off your shoes and roll your feet on a couple of stress balls on the ground. This can stimulate acupressure points that provide calming benefits, as well as a boost to your creative thinking abilities.
5. Enhance Communication at Home
Ask your kids or spouse how their day was, and then sit back and listen quietly until it is your time to hold the stress ball. This helps to encourage communication while minimizing disruptions.
6. Do a Stress Ball Hunt
Take a break from working and get everyone in the house involved in a stress ball hunt (think of it as a riff on an Easter egg hunt). Choose someone to hide them, and the rest find them. Winner gets a stress ball.
7. Help Your Customers De-Stress
Custom stress balls are great to mail to your customers if you’re not able to see them face to face—check out these ideas for lumpy mail campaigns.
Now that you know the stress ball uses and benefits, check out these favorites:
Round Stress Reliever Ball
Your classic stress ball, in all the colors you could ever want.
Mood Stress Reliever Ball
The heat from your hand makes this stress ball change colors!
Happy Mood Dude Stress Reliever
How could you not smile when you look at this happy guy?
We hope these stress ball activities help you find some peace and relaxation. If you come up with more ideas, tell us on Facebook or Instagram!