By now we all know that stress and anxiety have a negative effect on our bodies and mind, but what about our vision? I divided the effects into physical and psychological effects on our eyesight.
The first physical effect is the reduction in blinking when we are stressed. The average person should blink around 20 times a minute. However, the modern day person blinks half of this and, when in a stressful situation or working at the computer, this rate halves again.
Constant focus all day on documents or on the computer creates an accumulated stress on the eyes. I am sure all of you have experienced after a long days work that your eyesight is worse, otherwise known as eyestrain. You experience such symptoms as dry, itchy eyes and a sense of visual fatigue or tiredness. Unfortunately, instead of resting our eyes and working to improve our eyesight naturally, we tend to get glasses or increase our prescription.
The other side of visual stress is psychological stress. Again I am sure we have all noticed that in certain times of emotional stress, our eyesight is worse. This was first noticed by Dr William Bates in the 1800’s when using a retinoscope to evaluate clients eyes. He found that their sight was poorer when they were emotionally stressed or fatigued.
Although similar to the emotional stress, when I refer to anxiety, I mean when a person feels under pressure when having poor eyesight. Typically when someone has an eye condition, they are aware of it and, more often than not, have negative feelings about it. When placed in a environmentally stressful situation, such as a busy shopping centre, anxiety levels can rise and make the individual’s eyesight worse.
Time and time again I hear from my clients that their eyesight reduces significantly when this happens and they have to leave the area they are in. This creates further negative emotions about their vision and the next time they are in a stressful environment, the previous anxiety combines with the current and then the worsening of vision is more so.
It takes some time and patience to accept that the place you are in is visually stressful. Taking some time to tune into your surroundings and not allow the negative emotions to arise can prevent the deterioration from taking place and help motivate you to do your eye exercise, instead of shying away out of fear, frustration and/or embarrassment.
Keeping a vision journal is a great way to map your physical and psychological stress and anxiety, allowing you to follow any negative patterns that may be emerging.
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Good luck with your eye exercises and happy healing! 🙂