In this make and take, students discover the benefits of deep breathing and muscle tension release in reducing the effects of stress by creating a homemade stress ball. These devices are fun to make, and can be squeezed into entertaining shapes.
Stress can contribute to illness in many ways: asthma, obesity, heart problems, migraines, and depression are just few examples of diseases related to stress. People can become stressed because of family troubles, school or work issues, or arguments with friends.
Stress is often accompanied by muscle tension. When you squeeze a stress ball, the muscles in your hand contract and release, releasing some of the tension being carried by other parts of your body. If you take deep breaths while squeezing and releasing the ball, you progressively relax, eventually releasing the hold stress has on your body. By squeezing a stress ball your attention is diverted away from the source of stress, leading to increased relaxation.
Deep breathing helps your body reach balance by reducing your heart rate and blood pressure, reducing the amount of stress hormones being released, and relaxing your muscles. It works best when practiced daily at a time other than bedtime. It is a mentally active process that becomes better with practice. Yoga is based on the practice of deep breathing