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9 April, 2024

How to Incorporate Stress Shapes Daily For Better Mental Health

Stress has become an almost constant companion for many of us. Juggling work, family, and personal responsibilities can take a toll on our mental health. Fortunately, there are various techniques and tools available to help manage and alleviate stress, and one of these tools is stress shapes.

Stress shapes are soft, squeezable objects designed to be held and manipulated to reduce stress and anxiety. These simple yet effective tools have been found to promote relaxation and enhance mental well-being. We are going to look at the benefits of incorporating them into your daily routine and provide practical tips on how to do so for better mental health.

The Benefits of Stress Shapes for Mental Health

Before diving into how to use them in your daily routine, it's essential to understand the mental health benefits they offer:

1. Stress Reduction:
They serve as excellent stress reducers due to the physical action involved. When you squeeze one, you engage the muscles in your hand, prompting the release of tension and stress that may have built up during the day. The act of squeezing also creates a sensory experience that can be grounding. It draws your focus away from the stressors in your mind and redirects it towards the tactile sensation of squeezing, offering a momentary reprieve from stress.

2. Anxiety Management:
They can be especially valuable tools for managing anxiety. The repetitive motion of squeezing and releasing the shape provides a simple, rhythmic activity for your hands and mind to focus on.
Engaging in this motion can help redirect your attention away from anxious thoughts or worries, providing a welcome distraction. This can create a sense of calm and reduce the intensity of anxiety in the moment.

3. Improved Concentration:
Using them can enhance your concentration and ability to focus. The act of manipulating the shape requires a certain level of attention, which can help anchor your thoughts and keep your mind from wandering. It can be particularly useful during tasks that require sustained concentration, such as studying or working on a project. They offer a gentle way to maintain focus and minimise distractions.

4. Emotional Regulation:
This is a crucial aspect of maintaining mental well-being. Stress shapes can be employed as a practical tool to assist in this process. When you're feeling overwhelmed, upset, or experiencing heightened emotions, squeezing one provides a healthy outlet for those feelings. The physical action allows you to release some of the emotional tension you may be holding onto. Additionally, the act of controlling it and focusing on its texture can help ground you in the present moment, making it easier to manage intense emotions.

5. Physical Relaxation:
Beyond just offering psychological relief, they have a physical impact on your body. The act of squeezing and releasing them can stimulate a relaxation response. This relaxation response may manifest as a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. As your muscles relax, it can have a soothing effect on your overall well-being. The physical relaxation induced by them can be especially valuable when dealing with physical symptoms of stress, such as muscle tension or headaches.

Incorporating Stress Shapes into Your Daily Routine

Daily Routine Matters

Now that you understand the benefits of stress shapes, let's explore how you can incorporate them into your daily routine to support your mental health:

1. Desk Companion:
Keeping one on your desk at work is a practical way to integrate stress relief into your daily routine. When you feel stress building up during busy workdays, you have a readily available tool to turn to.
Whenever tension starts to mount, take a moment to pick up the stress shape and give it a few squeezes. As you squeeze and release, focus on your breath, taking slow, deep breaths. This combination of physical action and mindful breathing can help bring about a sense of calm and reduce stress levels. Having one within reach can also serve as a visual reminder to pause, take a breather, and prioritise your mental well-being amid the demands of your job.

2. Morning Ritual:
Incorporating squeezing one into your morning routine can set a positive tone for the day ahead. It's a gentle and soothing way to wake up and prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Consider dedicating a few minutes each morning to squeezing one while focusing on your breath. This can be done before or after any morning rituals you already have in place, such as stretching or having a cup of tea. Combining its use with deep breathing exercises amplifies the relaxation effect. As you breathe deeply and squeeze the shape, you're not only energising your body but also cultivating a peaceful mindset for the day ahead.

3. Stress-Relief Breaks:
Throughout your day, schedule short stress-relief breaks as a proactive measure to manage stress. Set a timer for a five-minute break and dedicate this time to your well-being. During these breaks, reach for one and give it a few squeezes. Allow yourself to fully engage in the physical act of squeezing and releasing, letting go of any tension that may have accumulated. In addition to using one, consider incorporating stretching exercises or brief mindfulness practices during these breaks. Stretching helps release physical tension, while mindfulness techniques can further calm your mind and enhance relaxation.

4. Commuter's Companion:
If your daily routine involves a commute to work, consider making one your trusted commuter's companion. Commuting, especially in busy traffic or crowded public transportation, can be a source of stress for many. Keep it within easy reach during your commute. As you navigate traffic or travel on public transport, use it as a means to ease the stress associated with your journey. Squeezing it provides a constructive outlet for any frustration or impatience that might arise during your commute. It's a subtle and non-disruptive way to manage stress, allowing you to arrive at your destination feeling calmer and more composed.

5. Before Bedtime:
Incorporating squeezing into your bedtime routine can be an effective way to wind down and prepare your body and mind for a restful night's sleep. Consider dedicating a few minutes before bedtime to squeezing your stress shape. Focus on the sensation of squeezing and releasing, allowing the rhythmic motion to calm your nerves. The act of squeezing can help release any residual tension from the day, making it easier to let go of stressful thoughts and worries. As you relax your muscles and mind, you pave the way for a more peaceful and rejuvenating sleep.

6. Family Times
Sharing their benefits with your family can create a supportive environment for managing stress and promoting relaxation. Encourage your children to use them as a tool for managing school-related stress or as a calming activity before bedtime. This can instil healthy stress management habits from an early age. Using them in family time can also serve as a bonding activity. It allows family members to connect while engaging in a simple yet beneficial practice that promotes well-being.

7. Incorporate Mindfulness:
Combining its use with mindfulness practices can enhance the benefits of both techniques. Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment and can be amplified by focusing on the sensation of squeezing and releasing the stress shape. During your sessions, bring your attention to the physical sensations and the shape and texture in your hand. Be fully aware of the motion as you squeeze and release it. This mindful approach can deepen your relaxation experience and increase your capacity to stay present and calm in the face of stressors. It's a way to infuse mindfulness into your daily life, even during busy or challenging moments.

8. Replace Negative Habits:
If you have negative habits such as nail-biting or fidgeting, consider replacing them with stress shape squeezing. It provides a healthier outlet for managing nervous energy and anxiety. Identifying and acknowledging negative habits is the first step towards change. By consciously choosing to reach for a stress shape instead of engaging in a detrimental habit, you take a positive and proactive approach to managing stress. Over time, as you consistently replace negative habits with its use, you'll notice a shift towards healthier and more constructive ways of dealing with stress and anxiety.

9. Customised Stress Shapes:
Personalising them adds a unique and meaningful dimension to your relief routine. By choosing shapes, colours, or designs that resonate with you, you create a more personal and emotionally connected experience.

Here's how you can make them work for you:
- Shape Selection: Choose ones that align with your interests or preferences. For example, if you love animals, opt for animal shapes like dogs, cats, or dolphins. These shapes can evoke positive emotions and make the squeezing experience even more enjoyable.

- Colour Choices: Colours significantly impact our mood and emotions. Select colours that promote the feelings you want to experience. For instance, blue is often associated with calmness, while yellow represents positivity and energy. Customising with these colours can help enhance the intended emotional response.

- Motivational Phrases: Consider adding motivational phrases or quotes. These words of encouragement can serve as daily reminders of your goals, aspirations, or values. Whenever you squeeze the shape, you reinforce a positive mindset.

They provide a deeper level of connection to your stress relief practice. They become personal to you, reflecting your unique journey towards better mental health.

10. Share with Others:
Sharing them with friends or colleagues is a wonderful way to foster a supportive and uplifting environment. It creates a collective effort to manage stress and promotes the use of stress-relief tools as a shared practice.

Here's how you can share them with others:
- Create a Support System: Encourage your friends or colleagues to use them as part of their daily routines. Establish a support system where everyone motivates each other to prioritise their mental well-being.

- Gift-Giving: Consider gifting them to your friends or colleagues. It's a thoughtful gesture that shows you care about their mental health and well-being. You can even customise them to make them more meaningful to the recipient.

- Stress-Relief Challenges: Organise stress-relief challenges or activities within your group. Set goals or tasks related to stress management and use them as a shared tool to achieve them.

Sharing them not only strengthens bonds but also normalises the practice of stress relief. It sends a powerful message that taking care of one's mental health is important and encouraged.


Incorporating them into your daily routine is a simple yet effective way to promote better mental health and manage the stresses of modern life. Whether you use them at work, during your commute, or as part of your bedtime ritual, they offer a tangible and practical means of reducing stress and anxiety. By taking just a few minutes each day to focus on squeezing and releasing these handy tools, you can enhance your well-being and build resilience against the challenges that come your way. So, why not give it a try and experience the soothing benefits of them for yourself?

The Stress Balls Only Team