Visual Overload as a form of Stress
Is Visual Stress causing you Stress and overwhelm?
There are many forms of stress in our daily lives. Visual and noise stress are particularly prevalent
forms of stress that our ancestors did not experience. Visual overload is increased rapidly in the last 40 years.
This article deals with specifically visual stress, the very fact that you are looking at a screen to read
this article is an example of an activity that causes visual stress.
Both visual and noise stress are such common micro stressors these days that frequently we are not
really aware of them.
So please take a moment to read this and give the “creating blackness” exercise a go! It is often
recommended by Optometrists and Ophthalmologists (eyes specialists) to rest the eyes and reduce eye strain.
Not only will our eyes thank you but you will be reducing your stress levels and protecting your eyesight as well.
Do you realize that a lot of stress enters through your eyes?
We are subjected to so much visual stress in our current lives than ever before.
Long hours reading make your eyes sore. The use of artificial lightning has dramatically increase
the time that our eyes are exposed to light. No longer to we live our lives by the natural rhymes of day and night.
Fast-paced commercials can exhaust your eyes. The bold and glaring ads on signs, billboards, and
magazine ads are all brightly coloured and competing to grab and hold your attention.
Our eyes originally evolved to scan peaceful natural colours and images of nature, such as blue,
green brown and some desert colours.
Most of us now live in a busy and often frenetic modern visual environment that is a continuous assault on our eyes.
There are now also many emotional stressors that involve the eyes.
Overwork, clutter and too much time looking at a screen can not only tire your eyes but add to your
physical and emotional stress.
Some days, everywhere you look you see reminders of jobs undone, things that you still have to do,
work that feels never ending.
Clashing colours, household clutter or mess, the changing packed stimulus of and cities are the
visual equivalent of noise
This form of visual stress, especially if accompanied with noise, can increase anxiety, tension and
often contributes to the development of headaches.
Your eyes are your primary tool for observing and understanding the external world. They are
constantly scanning the horizon for approaching danger and/ or opportunity. In the modern
environment they have to work so much harder and are exposed to many artificial environments.
The value of creating a little “blackness in your life”
When you eyes are tired they can greatly improved by being in a little darkness or blackness.
The blackness gives your eyes a rest from processing all the incoming stimuli. This also gives your
brain a rest and can therefore also reduce stress.
Many eye specialists recommend that you rest your eyes several times a day by creating a little darkness for them.
There is a quick “blackness Exercise” that only takes a minute to do.
Preferably do this when you are seated at a desk or table.
- Put the heels of your palm directly over your closed eyes.
- Block out all light without putting too much pressure on your eyelids.
- Try to see the colour black. You may see other colors, or images, but focus on the color black.
- Let the muscles around your eyes relax. This includes your eyelids, under your eyes, the
- crease between your brows, your forehead, and your cheeks.
- (Think of this as a great little exercise in reducing the development of wrinkle around the eye as well.
After a minute, slowly lower your hands and gently open your eyes.
Please remember to give this simple exercise a go your eyes will thanks you and you will feel les
overwhelmed, less stressed and calmer.
As stress is a causative factor in over 80% of chronic illness and a major contributor to obesity and
weight gain it is important to put as many little stress reducing tactics as possible into your day.
For help with reducing your Physical, Emotional or Nutritional Stress or to learn more about how
partnering with me to help you achieve your weight-loss and wellness goals would look,
Committed to supporting you to Get Well, Stay Well, Live Well and Flourish,
Dr. Sonja Gwosdezki
Wellbeing Empowerment and Stress Relief Expert
Sustainable Weight-loss Coach