Stress balls were initially intended to be used for relieving stress and tension but with their increasing popularity as a stress relief tool, it seems that squeezing it may have other health benefits. Studies show that when you squeeze a stress ball, your nerves and muscles stimulate and contract which makes them stronger. The strength improves the overall nervous system, which reduces essential hormones and can control your stress levels.
Eight benefits of using stress balls to help relieve stress
1. Stress Balls Provide Tactile Stimulation
Stress balls are a great way to relieve stress because they provide tactile stimulation. When you’re stressed out, your body is in “fight or flight” mode. This means that your body is preparing to either fight or run away from the source of stress. So one way to calm down your body is by providing it with tactile stimulation. Stress balls do a great job of this because they can be squeezed, which provides tactile stimulation.
2. Stress Balls Provide Visual Stimulation
Another benefit of using stress balls is that they provide visual stimulation. The stress ball’s sight helps calm the mind and relax the body. For example, if you’re feeling stressed out at work or school, looking at a stress ball may help you feel better! This could be because it reminds you not to take things so seriously. You might even find yourself laughing when squeezing your favorite color or patterned one!
3. They are great for ADHD
Stress balls can also be used for kids who have trouble focusing on their homework or classwork due to anxiety issues such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). These children typically do well when provided with sensory stimuli. According to a study published in the journal “Occupational Therapy In Mental Health,” stress balls can help these kids focus on their work and improve their attention span. This can be an alternative or supplement to therapy, drugs, or Nootropics.
4. Can Help Improve Your Mood
Stress balls can help improve moods. People who used stress balls for five minutes reported feeling happier and more energetic than those who did not use them. This is likely because using a stress ball provides an outlet for negative energy, allowing you to feel better overall.
5. A Great Way to Relieve Tension Headaches
Stress balls are also great for relieving tension headaches. So if you’re someone who suffers from tension headaches often, using a stress ball may be a good option for you!
6. Helps Cope with Arthritis Pain
Stress balls are also great for people with arthritis pain, as they can help relieve stiffness and improve circulation to joints. Using a stress ball three times per day helped reduce inflammation and swelling from arthritis symptoms by 50%.
7. No Batteries Required
Stress balls do not require batteries or electricity because they do all their work on your hand! This means you do not have to worry about replacing batteries either, making these devices much more accessible than other forms of therapy like electrical stimulation (TENS) units; some doctors even recommend using them as part of their treatment plan.
8. May Help Pregnancy
Last but not least, research has shown that stress balls may be beneficial for pregnant women. For example, a study published in the journal “Maternal and Child Health Journal” showed how pregnant women who used stress balls during their third trimester had less back pain and were more likely to experience successful labor. So if you’re pregnant and looking for ways to relieve some of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy, using a stress ball may be a good option for you!
Stress Balls May Improve Blood Circulation
Many doctors recommend using stress balls for improving blood circulation. Studies show that squeezing a ball can raise your heart rate and increase the oxygen levels in your brain. As a result, your heart will pump harder and thus provide better blood circulation. The better your circulation, the lower the risk for stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure. Stress balls also help prevent the development of hypertension and possible heart disease.
If you use your stress ball on a regular basis, you may even begin to notice a decrease in your tension. When you have an anxiety attack, your brain starts to get hyperventilating. This causes your body to release adrenaline, which causes your heart rate to increase. By using and squeezing a stress ball, you can relax your mind and take a moment to think about happy thoughts.
The pressure you exert when squeezing a stress ball activates the stimulation of the nerves in your hands that pass along signals to the limbic region of your brain, which is responsible for your feelings and emotions. The nerve stimulation offers an acupressure effect, which is a phenomenon where the stimulation of one part of your body impacts other parts of your body.
One nerve in particular, your vagus nerve, is connected to every organ in your body. Stimulating this nerve helps relieve tension, fatigue, anxiety, and more. The word “vagus” means “wandering,” which refers to this nerve’s ability to reach from your brain to your intestines and many other vital organs. It creates a feedback loop between the brain and the rest of your body, sending and receiving information about your health and well-being.
How Do Stress Balls Work to Reduce Stress?
1. Anger Management
While facing a lot of stress, one may get quickly irritated with specific outcomes. It raises blood pressure, which results in angry outbursts.
Stress balls help manage one’s anger by giving them a medium to release the frustration by squeezing the ball. By releasing the force onto the stress balls, the person can release the tension in their muscles. This relaxation of the muscle can calm one’s anger down and restore normalcy.
2. Distraction Device
When one faces tension, it is always best to take a time-out from that particular activity. The idea here is to distract the mind from an activity that is causing it trouble in the first place. This gives a chance to enter refresh and start anew.
As a distraction device, stress balls are a great option. Continuously squeezing a stress ball can help one relax, detox, refresh at the same time
3. Aids in the Nervous System
Proper functioning of the nervous system also plays a significant part in reducing stress. The nervous system helps curb down on the essential hormones which can control stress levels. In maintaining a proper nervous system, stress balls are a great help in this regard as well.
A ton of nerves located in our around wrists run straight to our brains. Exercising these nerves with pressure helps them get stronger. Here, pressure exercise with a stress ball is an excellent workout for the nerves that helps the nervous system.
Exercises are always a great way to break a sweat and stress. They release the accumulated tension in the muscles and helps the body relax. In this regard, stress balls are quite handy as well.
Stress balls exercise the wrists, arms, and the whole body in the way of speaking. It is because exercising with stress balls develops a workout for the nerves around one’s hand. Now, since all the nerves in a body are interconnected, you engage in a full-body activity.
Here, it is important to always exercise rhythmically with a stress ball. The sequence can be breathe in, squeeze the ball and hold, breathe out, release the pressure.
5. Improves the quality of life
Living stress and tension free life is an important precedent to promote wellness and enjoy the quality of life. Using stress balls on a regular basis alleviates stress levels, sometimes even works faster than meditation to show benefits. Using a stress ball is one of the natural and cheapest available remedies to fight stress. When you are less stressed, manage everyday tensions in an effective way, your heart stays healthy and sleep better than before, promising you a good life.
How Do Stress Balls Work?
Our brains are composed of two channels: a sensory channel and an intellectual channel. Sensory is what we see, hear, feel, taste and smell, while intellectual is what we use to make sense out of our sensory experiences.
A stress ball activates the sensory channel in your brain (because you feel your muscles contract and relax as you squeeze it), which takes away any excess negative energy that is being used by your intellectual channel.
Stress balls primarily work by allowing your intellectual brain to channel your thoughts into something more physical (sensory). When your mind focuses on the physical action of using the stress ball, you forget about the things that make you feel stressed, anxious, and nervous. For example, let’s say you just got out of a stressful meeting in which you learned that you have to take on an additional project, even though you already feel overloaded at work.
Going back to your desk and using your stress ball after the meeting allows you to take some time to not think about the additional work that has just been put on your plate, and instead take a moment to just breathe.
People can be more effective during stressful times by learning how to relax and focus while under pressure. Using a stress ball introduces a person to this manageable amount of stress—both to your mind and your body—in a controlled fashion.
Are Stress Balls toxic?
According to a famous e-commerce company who sells and delivers stress balls to its clients through online, their products, specifically the stress balls are great for children of all needs: Squishy stress ball relief is useful for all children and adults, but especially those with ADD/ADHD, OCD, autism, or high anxiety levels. These toys help promote a sense of calm, help reduce stress / anxiety and can help to increase focus / attention.
Free of BPA, phthalates, and latex, the stress balls are safe, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic toys for adults and kids ages 3 and up.