“Venting” frustration in cathartic gestures like abusing stress balls only makes it worse. From Bushman, Baumeister, and Stack (1999):
Contrary to the catharsis hypothesis... people who read the procatharsis message and then hit the punching bag were subsequently more aggressive than were people who read the anticatharsis message.
Our findings suggest that media messages advocating catharsis may be worse than useless. They encourage people to vent their anger through aggressive action, and perhaps even foster the displacement of aggression toward new, innocent third parties.
More on Bushman's experiments:
The people in both groups were told they were going to have to compete against the person who [angered them]. One group first had to punch a bag, and the other group had to sit and wait for two minutes.
After the punching and waiting, the competition began.
The game was simple, press a button as fast as you can. If you lose, you get blasted with a horrible noise. When you win, blast your opponent. They could set the volume the other person had to endure, a setting between zero and 10 with 10 being 105 decibels.
Can you predict what they discovered?
On average, the punching bag group set the volume as high as 8.5. The timeout group set it to 2.47.
The people who got angry didn't release their anger on the punching bag, it was sustained by it. The group which cooled off lost their desire for vengeance.
In subsequent studies where the subjects chose how much hot sauce the other person had to eat, the punching bag group piled it on. The cooled off group did not.
When the punching bag group later did word puzzles where they had to fill in the blanks to words like ch_ _e, they were more likely to pick choke instead of chase.
Bushman has been doing this research for a while, and it keeps turning up the same results.