There’s nothing like squeezing or smooshing something when you’re stressed. A stress ball is just the answer! If you’ve ever seen a stress ball, you know what they are. If you haven’t, a stress ball is a round ball or object, usually smaller than a tennis ball that is used to diffuse tension. Many people who sit at a computer or desk all day use a stress ball to help prevent or relieve the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
When the stress ball is squeezed, you create a certain amount of muscle tension in not only your hand but also your body. When you relax your squeeze, that muscle tension is released, thereby providing a sense of relaxation. With repeated squeezing and some deep breathing, the effects on your body will surprise you. Squeezing a little harder each time you wrap your fingers around the ball will produce soothing effects to the muscles of the arm, and then the shoulder. This technique is called progressive muscle relaxation and can actually be felt in every major muscle group in your body if you concentrate and tighten muscles related to that muscle group. For example, you don’t need a stress ball to tighten the muscles of your legs. Just squeeze them tightly together for a few seconds and then relax. You will feel the same effect as your arm did when squeezing the stress ball in your fist.
A stress ball can be extremely effective as a stress relief management tool, though many people don’t realize the benefits that can be gained from this very inexpensive piece of ‘equipment’. A stress relief ball can come in many shapes, sizes, and textures. A stress ball can be soft and squishy like a nerf ball or filled with beans, seeds, gel, or fabric type stuffing. Some stress ball manufacturers have created a gel-filled ball that can also be heated or cooled to add a wonderful, massage type experience to your muscle tensing and relaxation moves. Any kind of stress ball is also effective in treating symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This condition affects muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the hand and wrist and is caused by years of repetitive use by the hands. This usually occurs in word processing and other tasks that require hands to be held in certain positions for hours every day. So, in addition to using a stress ball to rid yourself of that stress, it is also an effective tool for exercise and it prevents or relieves painful symptoms caused by arthritis and generally weak joints.
However well they are made, these stress balls wear out with constant use, so you’ll want to replace yours with a new one every six months or less in order to achieve the maximum benefit you want. A stress ball is one of the cheapest, easiest preventative pieces of ‘medical’ equipment on the market today. Hide one in every room at home and in your desk at work. Rely on them to help get the tension out safely, before it spews out unexpectedly without warning. A stress ball just may save your job and/or your marriage.