Questions from a carrot

Stress relievers.

They’re foam, they come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. You squeeze them as much as you’d like. They don’t bounce much. They tend to clutter desks since you can’t possibly use more than one of them. And they aren’t really good for much else.

The idea is that, in squeezing them, you somehow release tension. I have one on my desk at work. I got it from a colleague, who picked it up at a conference. It’s shaped (and colored) like a a carrot and it promotes a company who has Rabbits in the title – so I suppose the carrot idea comes from their branding.

But really, what’s the point? I feel no less stressed if I am squeezing it. It relieves no tension or pressure. And while I haven’t read up on the medical testing, I have the sneaking suspicion that some clever marketing strategist convinced someone somewhere to buy these things as a personalized piece of marketing collateral for their company. Thus spawned the stress reliever.

My question remains – what’s the point? I’m not irritated or annoyed by the things. More just curious at how they became so prevalent. Wouldn’t one be enough? They’re not crazy sturdy, but they definitely don’t lose their squishy-ness quickly.

And, aside from being mildly amusing when I’m bored, or giving me something to play around with while I’m stuck on the phone, I just don’t see the purpose of the things. This doesn’t cause any antipathy on my part, but, like I said, more curiosity.

So, audience o’ mine: do you have a stress reliever? Do you use it regularly? Do you find relief from squeezing it or playing with it? Could you survive if the world was stress reliever-free? Do you know anyone who loves them or has to have them? If so, why? What’s the most interesting stress reliever you’ve seen? The least imaginative?

I guess I’m looking to sate my curiosity this Monday.


davidrsheehan is a contributing writer for Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog. You can also tweet directly with him: davidrsheehan.



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7 responses to “Questions from a carrot

  1. KevinKMJr

    All of the stress relievers that I have clutter my desk drawer filled with promotional items at work. I think that everyone of them are a simple ball with a client logo on it. Very basic. The clients give them to me and I end up, in turn, giving it to the agents that I train that work on those projects as I discover my drawer has once again become cluttered with stress balls and other oddities that are all branded in some way or another. The only stress ball that ever really fit a companies branding was an blue & white cell phone company ball that I got that their logo is perfect to be placed on a sphere. I called it my little Death Star.

    As far as the usefulness of these stress balls, I believe that they assist in mild appeasement in getting a prize from someone else for our employment and/or participation. They also serve as very mild distractions during the work day. I use them in my training classes as rewards and a way for someone to chose the next reader/answerer/…etc by passing the ball as they are soft enough that employee relations won’t throw a fit over something being thrown through the air…lol.

  2. eelliso1

    Amazingly enough, among all of the hand outs I receive with KSU logos–a stress ball is not one of them. I have this awesome pen that sort of folds in half and hooks on a key chain. Now that is useful!

    I have no idea what I do for stress–probably housework. I know that sounds stupid, but for whatever reason if I am stressed, I find MORE work to do, not less.

    I do that when bored as well. You would think I have a really clean house, which is sadly just not true. Well in fairness we are doing some renovating and a great deal of my time is just not spent there.

  3. I don’t have a foam-thinger. My stress reliever is exercise.

  4. KevinKMJr

    My stress reliever is blowing stuff up on the ‘puter! Gotta love shooter games!

  5. Sex, drugs, and unholy black metal. Also Muay Thai when I can find a training partner.

  6. Po

    When feeling stressed I sometimes turn to the bottle… just sayin’

  7. davidrsheehan

    Oh gosh… so we need AA for Po, a guitar or zippo for Brett, and a new version of Halo for Kevin. I dunno who the Skin Horse is, but he/she we’ll just toss a pair of shoes to and lock them outside.

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