Stress is part of our day-to-day lives and also the principal cause of illnesses and physical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, depression, ulcers and many others. We all experience stress, we all go through longer or shorter tense periods and we all need strategies to help us relax and calm down. Some people choose exercise and go to the gym regularly or jog to let off steam, others meditate, and there are people who have already found out about the amazing stress relieving effects of squeezing little objects called stress balls. These balls filled with gel or clay help release stress in an easy and almost unnoticed way – all you need to do when you feel on the edge is to grab the ball and squeeze it a few times.
Do Stress Balls Really Work?
Definitely! When you squeeze the ball, your attention from the problem that is stressing you out is redirected towards the mild physical activity, calming your racing thoughts and helping with other stress-related symptoms as well.
How Does a Stress Ball Relieve Stress?
There is more science behind the positive effects of stress balls than you would think. The brain uses two channels to process the information from the outside world: the sensory channel processes sounds, smells, sight and tactile information while the intellectual channel works to assemble all these stimuli and puts them into context. We experience stress when the intellectual channel becomes overburdened, that is why shifting the brain’s focus towards the sensory channel relieves stress symptoms instantly. The easiest way to make the brain shift focus is by engaging into physical activity. Even the mildest exercise helps, especially if the stimulus comes from the hands, bringing you instant relief whenever you start squeezing the little ball.
Types of Stress Balls
Stress being as old as humanity and civilization, the oldest stress balls have their origins ancient China. These tiny objects called Baoding balls were made from wood or metal and they were not squeezed, but rolled. They all had a tiny hole with bells inside and they relieved stress not only through the physical activity, but also through the sound. Baoding balls are still widely used, but there are many other, more modern types of stress balls available, too:
- Bean bag type balls are among the most common everywhere in the world,
- Foam balls are also very popular,
- You can also find balls that have a cloth skin with gel inside.
The Best Stress Balls Available Today – Some Suggestions
Stress balls come in all colors and sizes, allowing everyone to pick the ball that feels most comfortable and soothing to squeeze. Here are some recommendations:
Cyber Gel Stress Ball
Slightly larger than 2 inches in diameter, the Cyber Gel Stress Ball features soft and resistant material on the outside and indestructible gel on the inside for unlimited squeezes whenever you feel that you need some stress relief. The semi-solid gel filling is non-toxic, so the ball is perfectly safe if it gets into the hands of your kid as well. The ball is mildly scented, emanating a scent that matches the color and adding one more pleasant sensory stimulus to the enjoyable squeezes.
Serenilite Dual Colored Stress Ball
This 2.25-inch ball features a smooth, dual-colored shell and durable, soft gel filling. The elastic shell and the gel jump back into shape instantly when you let go of it and the ball also provides mild and pleasurable stimulation for your hand and wrist during the squeezing motion.
Beside stress relief, the ball has many other positive health effects as well, being frequently recommended to people suffering from arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Squeezing the Serenilite is great for strengthening the muscles of the hands, the fingers, the wrists and the lower arm, so it is frequently used during physical therapy. The dual-color outer shell combines matching pastel colors to increase the calming effects of using the ball.
Chinese Health Baoding Balls
These one and a half inch balls are made from shiny chromed metal, a material that is durable and lightweight at the same time. The package contains two balls in an elegant box with silk lining.
These hard balls are not for squeezing, but they relieve stress just as effectively as soft gel balls. Each ball has a hole with a small chime inside – when you roll the balls on the table or you play with them using your fingers, you can benefit not only from the stress-relief effects of physical exercise, but also from the mild chiming of the bells inside the ball. You can use the balls to improve dexterity as well – pass them among your fingers, play with them, roll them in your hands and enjoy the calming effects of all that exercise, with the added benefits of the chiming of the bells and the shining of the cool metal.
Choose any of the brands presented here, and you will feel your stress and anxiety fading away within seconds.