Health & Wellness Articles

Squeezing Your Stress Away

Stress Ball: The Anytime Exercise Equipment


What if we told you that it’s possible to work out and relieve stress at the same time? And that it’s easy, requires little concentration and won’t cause you to break a sweat? Or that by consistently using this hand-held object, you will notice an increase in strength?

You’d probably respond, "What’s this magic device?" Well, it’s not the mirror on the wall or Jack’s bean stalk. We present to you the stress ball, a palm-sized rubber ball filled with beans or seeds or another similar object. Stress balls come with a short instruction manual: you just squeeze. Over and over.

How they benefit you is simple. When you squeeze, the muscles not only contract in your hand, but up your arm as well. Hold the squeeze for a second or two and then release. As your muscles relax, the tension will leave your arms and hands, thereby relieving stress. It’s a great way to take out your frustration.

There are numerous benefits besides just relieving stress. You’ll improve hand strength and dexterity. Even if you’re not a professional athlete that needs to grab a basketball like a magnet, you’ll type more efficiently and grip and grab things easier. Stress balls also stimulate blood circulation and can help to reduce arthritic pain and stiffness. Just by squeezing a simple ball!

So take a ball with you in your purse or briefcase. When you’re talking on the phone at work, instead of doodling on that new proposal you just printed, distract your hands with a stress ball. Have a few minutes to kill? Squeeze away. Trying to stay awake in a meeting? You’d be surprised how effective these can be at boosting your attention level. And if you’re relaxing in front of the TV, why not use it then? Maybe even try one in each hand.

Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed at work or home, instead of losing your temper or breaking down in tears, take a second, take a few deep breaths and exercise with your stress ball. Use it each day as a stress management tool; it can go just about anywhere that you can.

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Member Comments

  • Great reminder - I need to do this.
  • Great idea I do have stress balls they were stored away since my hand surgery They are now out and i am using them starting today.
    I actually have several different stress balls located all over the house and they double as my OT exercise equipment for my hands. They will only work if I use them and I have trouble remembering to use them.
  • Here's a youtube video I found on how to do some good exercises using the stress ball. Just sharing - http://www.youtub
  • I have an apple-shaped one on my desk at work, and I always used assorted ones as a warmup for my piano students.
  • The folks in the exercise, PT room at the nursing home I was in for awhile, passed out puddy in a plastic cup with a lid. These are also great! I don't know if it is Silly Puddy or what but it shouldn't be that hard to find. Just DON'T STRESS OVER IT! :D

    Businesses often pass out stress balls with their logo at job & health fairs. One can make their own small hand held bean bag using scraps of materials and beans! Just remember to give the beans some room to move (do not over stuff) and that will give you a squeezable stress ball!
  • I need to know where to get one of these balls.
  • Who knew a stress ball could be beneficial. I have several - I'm going to start using them. one at home, one in the car, one in my desk, etc....Thanks for the advice.
  • Will get one ASAP! Great idea!
  • Can someone tell me where to buy one of these stress balls? Thanks!
    We have several of these around the office. However... all they have been used for is to throw at each other & "bomb" each other. I will confiscate the next one that enters my zone & start squeezing! :)
  • Now I know what I should have asked for Xmas! - Maybe having something to do w/ my hands would help with wanting to snack as well!
    Definitely will look around for one of these!
    I have Shingles now from stress.
    It is a terrable thing to get. Be sure to get vacinated against this (if you have had the Chicken Pox)

  • I have a stress ball, but haven't been using it. This is a good reminder to take it out and put it where I'll actually see it and use it.

About The Author

Liz Noelcke Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.