A stress ball is a small ball made of malleable material that is intended to be squeezed or manipulated with fingers to relieve stress. It is a small squeezable ball that can help relieve stress. Stress is a chronic problem that many of us will experience at one point or another. Here are the many benefits of using stress balls and the ways in which it works.
Provide tactile stimulation
One of the ways a stress ball relieves stress is by providing tactile stimulation. When you’re stressed out, your body goes into fight or flight mode. The tactile stimulation from squeezing the ball helps calm you down. Squeezing the ball also acts as a distraction taking your mind off what upset you, and helping you calm down.
The action of squeezing a stress ball releases the tension build-up, relaxing your muscles. This may be one of the reasons stress balls help relieve tension headaches. A tension headache often feels like a tight band around the head with pain ranging from mild to moderate.
Manipulating a stress ball stimulates the nerves present in your hands. These nerves are connected to the limbic system in your brain which is associated with your emotions. Squeezing the ball works like acupuncture where stimulating one area affects other parts of the body. It also overall improves the nervous system. The squeezing and relaxing strengthen the nerves around the wrist and hands.
Improves muscle strength
Stress balls can help strengthen your arm and wrist muscles after an injury or if you just start feeling weakness around them. Squeezing a stress ball daily will help your muscles regain strength. For children, squeezing them strengthens their growing muscles. If you’re doing it as part of physical therapy to rehabilitate your hand, hold the ball in the palm of your hand and squeeze as tight as possible then release. Complete three sets of 10 repetitions. This should improve your grip strength over time. Using it even before injury also helps strengthen the muscles preventing easy injury.
Improves blood circulation
Physical activity, even something as small as squeezing a ball improves blood flow. This increase in blood flow means a better flow of nutrients to the cells in the process enhancing mental and physical activity.
ADHD and autism
Stress balls are great for children and adults with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). They can help you focus and improve your attention span. It also helps manage fidgety fingers. For children with autism, squeezing the ball can serve as an outlet to relieve frustrations while building fine motor activity. The child can learn to squeeze the ball instead of rocking, spinning, or using repetitive words and phrases.
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The brain stimulation from the activity of squeezing the stress ball can help release endorphins which are feel-good hormones. Endorphins also act as a pain reliever and help improve mood.
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