In the rat race of success, in the hectic routine and lifestyle, stress is a common factor that plagues all. Be it at home, work, or during travel, stress simply seems to follow you everywhere. Owing to the competition and will power to succeed, all of us face stress at some point in our lives. Dealing with stress can be traumatic and difficult. It can have some serious consequences on health and relationships.

Have you always wondered how to get rid of stress? Lowering stress levels in normal day-to-day life is not so easy. Sometimes it is not possible to get rid of factors that make us stressed; nor do we have the time to resort to stress relieving exercises or lifestyle. However, a simple solution called "Stress Ball" is there as a resort. It can effectively reduce stress and help you to have a peaceful life.

What is a Stress Ball?

Stress balls are nothing but small balls filled with clay or malleable gel that can be easily held in your palm. It is spherical in shape and can be easily squeezed using your palm and fingers. Stress balls can be made in various sizes and shapes to meet individual requirements. They also come in different themes catered to meet different desires. Stress ball utilizes the fingers in the form of exercise, thereby relieves stress.

Health Benefits of Stress Ball

Health Benefits of Stress Ball

Squeezing a stress ball activates the muscles to contract and releasing it helps the muscles to relax. This repeated action of gripping and releasing helps relieve off stress and tension. Stress Ball is helpful in psychological, emotional, and physiological ways.

Emotional Benefits of Stress Ball:

The emotional benefits of stress ball are-

  • Releasing Tension with Stress Ball: When you clench your wrist and squeeze the ball, the muscles of your hand tighten up, and when you release the ball the muscles relax. This helps in relieving stress and tension. Stress ball is ideal to use while sitting at your desk or cubicle after a stressful meeting.
  • Benefits of Stress Ball in Enhancing Mood: Squeezing a stress ball stimulates the brain and releases endorphins that act as sedatives and painkillers. This gives you a calming effect and improves the mood.
  • Stress Ball Benefits for Attention Diversion: Focussing on squeezing the stress ball helps in diverting your attention from the factor that caused you stress. The repeated action of gripping and releasing the stress ball mimics the calming effect you get while practising yoga and meditation.
  • Nerve Stimulation as a Benefit of Stress Ball: Clenching and releasing the stress ball stimulates and activates the nerves present in your hands. These nerves pass signals to the limbic region of the brain that is responsible for emotional behaviour. The stimulation of nerves gives an acupressure effect; wherein stimulation of one part of the body affects other parts of the body.

Physical Benefits of Stress Ball:

The physical benefits include:

  • Stress Ball Reduces Risks of Injuries by Muscle Strengthening: Regular and consistent use of stress balls strengthens the muscles of the hands. If the muscles are strong you can prevent any form of Injury. Some of the simples exercises that you can try are:
    • Squeeze the ball to the count of 4 and release. Repeat the same action 20 times. This improves the strength of your wrist.
    • Pinch the ball between each finger and the thumb each one time. This strengthens your fingers.
    • Twist the stress ball in both hands. This serves as a good hand strengthening exercise.
  • Stress Ball Exercise Improves Circulation: The contraction and relaxation of the fingers and wrist while squeezing the stress ball increases blood flow to the wrist and hand area. This improves blood circulation, improves muscle functions, and removes toxins and other waste products from the body.
  • Physiotherapy related Benefits of Stress Ball: Most physical therapists use stress balls to improve muscle tone of fingers, wrists, and hands. Stress ball contains different types of medicated gels that are used for varied purposes. The different gels impart different resistance and helps strengthen the muscles.
  • Stress Ball Benefits in Treating Joint Disorders: Stress ball can help treat hand-joint disorders like arthritis. Stress balls help the hands and fingers to relieve off the pain that arises from joint disorders.

Psychological Benefits of Stress Ball:

  • Stress Ball for Managing Children with ADHD: Regular usage of a stress ball helps treat children suffering from ADHD. It also helps manage fidgety and shaking fingers. Stress ball also helps the child to focus thereby improving attention and listening skills.
  • Stress Ball and Autism Therapy: Stress balls help manage and regulate self-stimulatory behaviour of autistic kids. Children can learn to squeeze the ball and develop cognitive skills. It is also an excellent alternative used in occupational therapy. Regular usage also helps a child to get rid of tension and frustrations.

Chinese Stress Balls

Not all stress balls can be squeezed. Another type of effective stress ball is the Chinese Stress Ball. They are also called as "Baoding Balls" that stimulate the nerves and make them relaxed. Chinese stress balls are made of harder material. Some of them have metal like substances that make a jingling sound when you shake them.

For a relaxing and calming effect, rotate 2 Chinese stress balls in one hand and make them rub against each other. You can also rub them using both your palms together. By rubbing these balls, you hear a jingling noise that causes a soothing and stress relieving effect on your nerves.

Tips While Using Stress Balls

Some of the tips for using stress balls effectively are:

  • Treat stress balls as a form of meditation.
  • Ensure full concentration while squeezing stress balls and do not get distracted.
  • While squeezing stress balls or rolling them in your palms, pay attention to the feeling you get on your hand.
  • Concentrate on putting all your stress and worries into your hand and from there transfer it to the stress ball. Tell yourself that the stress balls are absorbing all the stress and taking it away.
  • Once done, leave yourself clear of any stress and stay positive.

Precautions While Using Stress Balls

While using stress balls, you should be careful and aware of a certain factors. Some of the precautionary measures to take while using stress balls are:

  • Be careful while squeezing, as squeezable stress balls can break if too much pressure is applied.
  • Check for any leaks or weak spots present in your stress ball. If any, throw them out and get yourself a new one.
  • Do not squeeze a stress ball over a computer or a keyboard.
  • Use stress balls only for relieving stress and tension and not for any other activity.

Anyone can use a stress ball. They are inexpensive and very easy to afford. Many companies give it away for free as a means to promote their product. They are easily available in the market. You can order them online or purchase them at any commercial store. You can use both the squeezable form and the hard Chinese stress balls as they both have the same calming effect.

Stress balls can be used to treat general pain and joint related conditions. However, if you are suffering from a specific condition and are doubtful about using a stress ball, discuss with your physician to use the best technique to help you out. Stress balls can be used regularly for the overall well-being of an individual. Bid Goodbye to stress and worries by using something as simple as stress balls.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: December 6, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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