We seem to be living in very stressful and trying times. Everyone we know is dealing with something. It might be a bully boss. Or it might be working long hours, only to be faced with a two-hour commute in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Chinese Stress Balls
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One of the natural stress approaches that seems to be catching on is believed to come from Asia. These are Chinese stress balls, meant to be quietly manipulated in your hand when things seem ready to boil over.
As you’re probably well aware, stress is very bad for us. It causes our bodies to produce too much cortisol, often referred to as the “stress hormone.” Elevated cortisol levels are very unhealthy. Over time, this can lead to depressed immunity, as well as other problems.
How To Relieve Stress From Work
Many holistic healers believe adrenal fatigue is a modern-day epidemic, caused by long-standing low-level stress. It’s not the kind of immediate reaction that makes us spring into action if we see something burning on the stove, or hear the sound of a fire alarm.
Instead, the type of pressure many of us have dealt with is more insidious. It’s more like a slow burn, which eventually saps the life of our adrenal glands. (As someone who’s recovered from this condition, I’m very aware of how it develops.)
So, anything we can do to keep our stress level if check can only be good for us. Unfortunately, there are circumstances far beyond our control. We can’t do anything about them. But we can try to mitigate our response.
Stress Balls For the Office
It’s safe to say that going to work is a cause of stress for many people. And it appears that some of the stress is caused by difficult coworkers. Countless people today toil in unhealthy and even toxic working conditions. I’m not referring to the type of poisons from industrial chemicals. Instead, I’m talking about workplace bullying, which has become so common that one-third of all American workers say they’ve been mistreated on the job, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute.
So it’s probably no wonder that stress balls have really caught on.
Office Stress Reliever Toys
But, even if you work under more pleasant conditions, things can still get stressful. There are budgetary constraints that may prevent hiring enough people to get the job done. You also face deadlines.
Apparently, many people are facing these challenges with stress balls, at least judging by the number of different types of these devices now available.
Do Stress Balls Really Work?
Okay, so the trend of squeezing stress balls has caught on in the west. But are these devices also known as baoding balls, really effective? Can they help counteract all the pressures we face today?
Clinical studies have been mixed. One group of researchers in Wisconsin found that stress balls didn’t have any noticeable effect among the people they observed. However, another study published in The Pharmaceutical Journal did show that manipulating a stress ball, during varicose vein surgery, did, in fact, have less pain and anxiety. Similar results were seen in patients who watched a DVD during the procedure, or simply chatted with the nurse.
The takeaway message seems to be that some form of distraction is potentially beneficial. At work, stress balls seem like an easy way to create a little distraction.
Chinese Stress Balls For Work
I also want to make the distinction between those squishy balls that are given out at health fairs and the real Chinese baoding balls. These have been used for ages to balance your energy and relieve stress. Real baoding balls are firm. They’re designed to be rolled in the palm of your hand, instead of squeezed. These hollow balls contain chimes inside, so you hear a pleasant soothing noise as they’re manipulated.
These are what real Chinese stress balls look like. The stress balls shown here contain chimes. The color of the box may vary. But it would make a great gift for someone who’s dealing with workplace pressures. Directions on how to use these balls are included.
Stress Reliever Toys For Work
It appears as if distraction is a good thing, at least as far as stress is concerned. The stress ball concept has definitely caught on outside of Asia. So there are now endless variations on this theme. These aren’t the traditional Chinese baoding balls, but they are fun. So you can find really interesting twists on the idea of soft squeeze stress balls, including sensory balls and geometric tangle balls.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.