We often received stickers or lollipops from our pediatricians when we were kids. When we are adults, our doctors are likelier to tell us that we need to reduce our stress levels to maintain good health.
Seventy-six per cent of adults reported experiencing at least one stress-induced symptom last month, with headaches, fatigue, nervousness, or anxiety being the most common. Although most people cannot wholly avoid stressors, some mental and physical strategies can help. The relaxation option of squeezing a stress ball, whether DIY or store-bought, has been an accessible and popular tension-busting alternative since the 1980s.
Does the stress ball reduce stress, or does clever marketing combine with a placebo effect? Find out how a stress ball can help you relax.
Stress Balls: How Do They Work?
We refer to stress balls as squishy, malleable objects that typically fit in your palm. Though most of them are round, not all are perfectly shaped orbs. The benefits of stress balls go beyond relieving stress. John Gallucci, Jr., DPT, an expert in injury prevention and sports medicine, says in addition to reducing everyday tension and stress, stress balls have a range of physical benefits.”
These physical benefits manifest themselves in mental benefits as well. Gallucci said, “Squeezing the stress ball helps the mind focus on that movement.” He explains that stress balls relieve muscle tension, which improves sleep and health.
Making A Stress Ball At Home
Using items found in your own home, you can also make a DIY stress ball. “One of the easiest ways to create an at-home stress ball is to put corn starch, uncooked rice, or sand into a balloon,” Gallucci says. Don’t you see any balloons around you? Another option is to fill a sock with uncooked rice, sand, dried peas, or lentils, then close it up with a tight, sturdy rubber band or tie a knot at the opening.
Do Stress Balls Work For Everyone?
A stress ball provides someone experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety with an outlet for their energy. Gallucci says stress balls can help people of any age release pent-up anger and emotions. It doesn’t hurt anyone’s hands to squeeze a stress ball because it is made of a soft, smooth material that compresses easily.