Stress balls are polyurethane foam balls (or rather, shapes) intended to be squeezed. They are used not only for relieving psychological stress but also for preventing problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome that is frequent among guitarists, assembly line workers and computer operators. Stress balls are also used for exercising hand muscles and for relieving monotony.
These days, stress balls come not only in ball shapes but also in different, often amusing, shapes. The shapes include animals, medicinal pills, humans, aliens, and numerous other respectable objects.
What Is Stress?
In common language, we can say that stress is the disruption of a peaceful state. It typically occurs when unexpected things happen to us. For example, the sudden appearance of a danger could lead to heightened physical alertness, making us ready to fight it or flee from it.
Stress can often be helpful as when it improves our physical or mental performance. This kind of stress is known as eustress. However, when we are unable to cope with the stress, it leads to distress.
During our career, we come across numerous situations that cause stress. Lack of support from colleagues, frustration, personal conflicts, humiliating experiences and so on are common examples. There are various ways in which we can handle the stress.
We will look at the significance of stress balls for relieving this kind of stress in a separate article.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome (that leads to painful hands) are common among guitarists and assembly line workers, and also among computer users. Other occupations and sports could lead to pain in the muscles of arms and upper back.
Physical therapy is typically used to relieve these kinds of stress injuries. Yoga movements could bring relief to many sufferers. Another common remedy used in offices is squeezing stress balls. These days, you are likely to find stress balls in many office cubicles.
If the pain and symptoms are serious and persist for long, you might have to take recourse to the services of a physiotherapist.
Other Uses of Stress Balls
Stress balls are often used for entertainment. Squeezing a malleable ball is a pleasing experience. It could help break monotony associated with office work, and if done systematically, it could strengthen hand muscles.
The different shapes in which stress balls come these days, as mentioned earlier, help enhance the monotony-relieving and entertainment values of the balls (or non-balls).
Stress balls help relieve stress in situations where more time-consuming relief techniques are just not possible. In addition to the stress-relieving effect, stress balls also help in exercising hand muscles, relieving monotony and providing a little entertainment. Stress balls come in shapes other than round balls these days, adding to their monotony relieving and entertainment value.