How to Use Stress Ball Properly

1.

Make a list of your frustrations. A list will help you use your stress ball to work through them.

2.

Place the stress ball in your hands. Make this act deliberate. This act alone forms an encouraging picture as it physically demonstrates something you have control over.

3.

Read the first item on your list and squeeze the ball as hard as you can. While you squeeze, repeat positive sentences like, "It's going to be OK." Choose phrases that help you focus on the big picture rather than multiple details of the situation. Keep in mind that daily frustrations usually play a smaller role in the grand scheme of things than we realize.

4.

Cross out each item on your list as you address that particular frustration. Use a check mark or a straight line through the words--whichever one gives you the most satisfaction.

5.

Perform a different exercise for each item on your list. Squeeze the ball for the first item. Pinch the ball with your fingernails for the second item. For the third item, use both hands and twist the ball in opposite directions. Repeat these three exercises or invent your own as you go.

6.

Finish your stress-relief session. When you complete the list, place the ball on your desk or table. Lay your open palm on top of it and roll it in circular motions. This technique works especially well with Chinese stress balls. Based on the alternative-medicine practice of acupuncture, advocates believe that while the ball rolls over your hand, it touches certain pressure points, which in turn helps relieve pressure. Roll the ball slowly and focus on its contact with your hand.

7.

Read through the list one last time and mentally acknowledge the futility of each frustration. Destroy the list in the manner you prefer.

The mental stresses of everyday life take their toll on the body, too. Physical tension mounts up in your muscles and eagerly waits for an outlet. When appointments show no signs of stopping and the phone keeps ringing, a stress ball can work wonders. Usually made from rubber and filled with a variety of substances, the stress ball acts as a tension transfer tool. Squeeze it and roll it and the tension inside you transfers to the stress ball.