Keeping Your Cool With Your Stress Ball
Bob was sitting in his doctor's office waiting for the test results. The doctor came in, sat down at his desk, and immediately noticed that Bob had a blue ball in his hand that he would occasionally squeeze. "I have your test results Bob" the doctor said and Bob started to squeeze the little ball faster. "It appears as though you will need surgery" the doctor continued as the squeezing got faster and faster. "Apparently your wrist is shot from constantly squeezing on that little ball" the doctor said. "Oh" Bob replied, "this is my stress ball." The doctor noted the irony that when Bob needed his stress ball the most he has to stop using it but scheduled the surgery anyways.
A stress ball can come in many different forms and different people find different things about stress balls relaxing. Basically a stress ball is a little ball, made of rubber or some other squeezable material, that some people carry around with them and squeeze it when they begin to feel stress in the hopes that squeezing the stress ball will calm the stress. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Many people use the rubber ball from the game handball as their stress ball while others use a thick foam ball that forms to your hand and feels almost like a bag of oatmeal in your hand. Some like the sound the stress balls make when they are squeezed and some like the feel. But for most it is the instant gratification of squeezing that stress ball and taking out frustrations immediately that helps.
Doctors are torn on whether or not the little stress relievers work or if they can make the feeling of stress worse. Some doctors maintain that taking a deep breath when you feel stress coming on is more effective that prolonging the feeling of stress by pumping your feelings up with a little rubber ball. To many doctors the deep breath method is a release of stress while the ball squeezing method is a way to amplify the stress and thereby makes it worse. Studies have shown it can go either way and that stress ball's effectiveness is completely dependant on the person using it.
The work of a small ball to help ward off stress can become neutralized if the user allows the squeezing to become a habit. If a person is habitually squeezing a little rubber ball then the effectiveness of that ball as a stress reliever can be reduced. Maybe there is just a better way to deal with stress?