Have you ever felt so stressed that you squeezed your fists so tightly that your knuckles turned white? Some of that stress could be alleviated by a stress ball. These small, malleable balls are good for helping on ease their anxiety. Because of the large variety in shapes and sizes now available on the market, they are often referred to as stress relievers. There are many types of stress balls. There are stress balls made of foam rubber, or gel. Many hackie sacks are even marketed as stress relievers. There are even stress balls that you can make at home. This can be done by filling a balloon with sand or another grain-like material. (The balloon must be unblown.) This can also be done by cutting out a rectangular or squarish piece of cloth, preferably thin cloth, and putting sand, or a sand-like substitute, in the center of it. After the sand is placed, the corners of the cloth can meet and the sides can be sewn together. Once the sand is secured within the cloth, it can be used as a very simple stress reliever.
Stress relievers can be used to relieve stress. How, though? Simply squeezing it may not suffice. One might actually break it if they allow their stress to transform into aggression. The goal of a stress ball is not to break the ball itself. Rather, one of its many goals is to put its user in a more relaxed state through movement of the hands. Either your dominant or non-dominant hand can be used to squeeze the stress reliever. To relieve stress with a stress reliever, one must be calm and take deep breaths while they squeeze the stress ball. This combination of slight physical activity by exercising hand muscles and calming breaths can make for a more lasting state of relief.
Along with relieving stress, stress balls are also used in physical therapy so that patients can practice hand movements. Stress relievers are often seen in office settings because they help relieve stress injuries from repetitive movement such as injuries that result from carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you care about someone who is stressed out and want to give a gift to them, look into buying them a stress ball with a kind note that reminds them to calm down every now and then.