When you read that email from a customer that’s misunderstood your communication with them…or you’ve just gotten off the phone after a frustrating call with your boss…or the person in the cubicle next to you is drumming on the cubicle wall again…you reach for one of those logo stress balls on your desk and start squeezing. And you start to feel a little better, but why? What is it about a stress ball that actually helps relieve stress? More importantly, what is stress itself?
Today, we’d like to look into those two questions a little bit. Of course, this is no technical medical explanation of the nature of stress, but you can help yourself out a lot by understanding how stress works and why simple objects like logo stress balls have the ability to disperse it. Here goes!
What is Stress?
Ever since the term “stress” entered the field of psychology, it has been surrounded by controversy. The word had been used long before that point, of course, to refer to strain or pressure on a physical object: think of a “stress fracture” of a bone or a “stress test” designed to find out how much pressure a building or other object can endure before breaking. If you transfer that idea to the area of psychology, you can get some idea of what most people mean when they refer to stress or being “stressed out.” But the confusion arises when you try to get more specific than that. Is “stress” the outside factor that causes the problem? Is it the individual’s mental response to that factor? Or is it the body’s physical response to the mind’s reaction to the outside factor? Sorting out these different viewpoints would be interesting, but outside the scope of this blogpost. For now, let’s consider stress to be the “whole package”: outside factors as well as our mind and body’s response to them.
Stress is Healthy (Sometimes)
Although it might be hard for you to believe, stress is a positive thing for human beings. When you are confronted by a situation that challenges you, the feeling of stress is what prompts your mind and body to kick into a higher gear to meet the challenge. Increased blood flow and oxygen supply, higher brain focus, and sweat production to cool the body are a few examples of physical changes that happen to prepare your body and brain to meet a challenge. The trouble comes when our lifestyle presents us with numerous, consistent challenges that our body responds to with these stress responses. Those responses, when prolonged and repeated, take a toll on the body and can lead to stomach ulcers, fatigue, and other health problems. In the long term, beating stress is all about convincing our bodies that every phone call, email, and annoying cubicle partner is not a situation that calls for a drastic stress response!
Why Logo Stress Balls Work
Psychologists tell us that one of the biggest factors impacting whether or not a situation stresses us out is our feeling of control. If we think we are in control of the situation, we don’t feel that we need the added focus, blood flow, and oxygen supply of the stress response. If we think we are out of control, though, we do. And that idea of control is one of the reasons why logo stress balls, although they are very simple, have the ability to relieve stress.
Even if a situation is out of your control, you can restore some sense of control by getting your hands on a stress ball and squeezing it. You know, of course, that controlling that stress ball isn’t having an effect on the larger situation, but directing your brain’s attention toward a smaller, simpler situation that it is able to control is usually enough to slow or stop the physical stress responses.
But there’s another reason logo stress balls work, and it’s more direct. One of the ways your body responds to a difficult challenge is by building tension. Think of stretching a rubber band out before you shoot it at that annoying cubicle partner, or pulling a bowstring back before shooting an arrow at a target. If you need to use physical energy to meet a challenge, that tension is very useful, but if you’re just reading an email, it works against you. Squeezing a stress ball is the equivalent of slowly releasing that bowstring without shooting the arrow, or putting that rubber band down instead of creating a red welt on the back of your cubicle partner’s neck. The physical tension release helps your body get back to its normal condition and accomplish the work ahead of it with a more relaxed approach.
Capitalizing on the Power of Logo Stress Balls
As you can see, these little soft, squeezable objects are more than just something to take up room on your desk. They serve a real purpose and have a demonstrable effect on the body when tension is causing it to “lock up.” With the stress that the average employee feels coming at him or her from every angle, they might feel that having logo stress balls in the car, on the desk, and even at home is a very helpful benefit!
Stocking logo stress balls customized to reflect your company’s name and image is a great idea, whether you are planning for a busy season of trade shows or just looking for something to hand out to visitors to your location year round. Keep in mind that each time that stressed-out office manager grabs your customized stress ball, gives it a few squeezes, and immediately feels a little better, your company has provided a small but welcome service for him. When he needs the services that your company provides, he’s likely to remember your name and give you a call.
To learn more about our wide range of logo stress balls and customization options available, email or call us today!