There are a lot of stress management programs available today, but some of us who really need them just cannot make the time to indulge ourselves in these programs. Of course, they would be very helpful in relieving stress and promoting relaxation, it's just that it would be very stressful to even consider carving out some "me" time, (she growled through tight jaw, gritted teeth, argghh!). The solution which follows is particularly relevant to those of us who are workaholics, (I'm not addicted to work, it's just that I know that if I don't do it all, it won't get done, or get done right!).
One stress management technique is available that could be the solution for these individuals – the stress ball! Although the stress relieving action of the stress ball is still not determined and proper studies have yet to be conducted, a lot of people are using these balls to relieve their stress and feel relaxed, not least because it is a very humorous apparatus, but mostly because it can be utilised anywhere and at any time.
When we are stressed, we build up tension in our bodies especially if the work involves lots of sitting at desks, writing or using computers. This easily builds tension in the shoulders, back and neck, because sitting is a very unnatural position and holds our spine in strained ways. Our heads are bent forward, causing the back of neck muscles to work hard to hold it properly. And when we sit for hours on end, we are not moving the muscles or getting blood flowing to relieve these strange and strained positions. When our bodies are constrained and holding tension, this actually adds to our internal feeling of stress.
Using a stress ball allows you to release these built up tensions. The soft squishy ball serves as a medium by which tension can be released. Squeezing the soft ball in your hands from time to time provides a brief change in your routine. It refreshes because it gives your hands a different texture to feel, your finger movements are different, you will be holding or moving your arms/shoulders in a different way. The squeezing motion causes an increase in blood circulation through the arms and shoulders, thus relieving some tension, moving through knots and helping your body to remove toxins that build up when you are motionless. Also it can feel kind of funny and make you smile!
While you're squeezing the stress ball, you should be looking away from the computer screen and giving your eyes a bit of a break. You may be using the time to think through a problem and, just like pacing up and down, squeezing the stress ball can help you think better because circulation is very important for oxygen delivery – especially to the brain. It will definitely perk you up if you use the stress ball throughout the day.
Another reason people use stress balls is if they are angry with someone or something. The energy of anger can be very palpable if it is not released. The best way to release it is through physical activity, but sometimes it is not possible or appropriate to go for a run, stomp your feet or shout out loud. Here's where a stress ball can be a big help. You can squeeze with all your might and this helps to discharge the anger and allow you to get on with other important things in your day and not be drained by the angry thoughts that are often very distracting.
People do not always have time to indulge in stress management programs like meditation, yoga and others. The stress ball provides stress relief while at work by increasing circulation, relieving restlessness, enhancing concentration and releasing mental stress or anger. It is not very time consuming, does not disrupt your work and does not disturb other co-workers. It is very portable and can be fun.