Feeling more stressed than ever? Of course you are. At this point, the link between the pandemic and chronic stress has become so well established that you might not want me to talk about it any further. So I won’t. Instead, I’ll present a potential solution: a siopao stress ball, which you might’ve already heard about if you’ve been spending too much time on TikTok.
Stress balls and other squishy toys have long been used to ease tension. In 2015, the European Journal of Pain released a study that revealed how patients in surgery showed 18% less anxiety and 22% less pain than others who received the same treatment.
Thirteen years ago, Reuters reported that financial advisors brought stress balls to client meetings to calm investors down. Needless to say, the toy actually has the potential to affect surgical success and economic behaviour — in other words, it’s not just a TikTok trend!
How to choose a stress ball
Mary Tatum, a licensed mental health counsellor, recently shared the important factors in choosing a stress ball. First, it must be durable with lasting tension and resistance. “A stress ball is not beneficial if it goes flat or becomes too soft. The materials should feel comfortable and soothing rather than sticky or slippery,” she wrote.
Second, it must have good resistance. “A good stress ball should fight back a bit.” It should have enough weight resistance that hand, finger, and joints feel exercised to an extent.
Finally, Tatum wrote that the best stress balls should have multiple sensory features. “If anxiety management is the primary goal, then a stress ball with multiple sensory features like scent or colours will help calm the brain and nervous system faster and more effectively than the resistance alone.”
Now, let’s talk about the siopao stress ball
To be completely honest, we know little about this product beyond the fact that thousands of TikTokers rave about it. Both the Shopee and Lazada pages of this siopao stress ball barely have product descriptions for us to determine its weight and durability.
Regardless, we do know the siopao stress ball is cute. And by the looks of it, it’s very soft and squishy. Product reviews attest that it has helped users cope with the stressfulness of online classes and work, as well as alleviate the boredom of staying at home for too long. Some even claim that it smells amazing, “a scent like candy” — but we can’t be sure about that.
All images credited to Shopee.