Stress balls are an excellent way to relieve stress anywhere you are, at any time. Their portability allow you to take them with you to work or school or even out while you're running your daily errands. Coming in a variety of unique shapes, sizes and colors, stress balls have become a hugely popular way to not only relieve stress and tension, but to also give your hands a nice workout.
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The most common materials found inside commercially made stress balls are a type of gel or foam. These stress balls are made from a strong, durable rubber coating to ensure that the ball will not break with the repeated squeezing and stretching that comes with normal usage.This durable coating will also prevent any leaks of the gel or foam, which can sometimes be toxic.
You can make your own homemade stress balls using balloons and your choice of filling. This allows you to use safe, nontoxic fillers like sand, baking soda, rice, cornstarch or flour. These materials have the malleable properties that are best suited to provide a certain level of resistance within the ball itself. However, homemade stress balls are not as durable as commercial ones and may break more easily and require gentler treatment.
There are commercial stress balls that are not filled, rather they are made out of a special pliable foam rubber called closed-cell polyurethane foam rubber. The manufacturer injects a special liquid into a mold, resulting in a chemical reaction that creates carbon dioxide bubbles. These bubbles create the foam, which the mold forms into a soft, squishy shape.
Types of Stress Balls
Stress balls come in a great number of different shapes, sizes and colors. Not only can they be filled with different materials, but they can also be made of different outer coatings, varying from latex balloons to a firmer rubber to softer, squishier stress balls made of fabric or other materials. There are also stress balls available that are scented to provide additional stress relief through aromatherapy.
Benefits of Stress Balls
In addition to providing a great tool for relieving stress, stress balls can improve hand and arm strength and also serve as a rehabilitation aid for conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Repeated squeezing of a stress ball can provide you with an increase in manual dexterity in the fingers and hands, as well as increased hand muscle strength. Many people, including surgeons and professional athletes, use stress balls as a simple and effective way to increase hand dexterity.