Are you stressed? You’re not alone. About 77% of people in the U.S. report that they are stressed out and regularly experience physical symptoms from it. Thirty-three percent say they live with extreme stress. And with an ever-busier life, those numbers aren’t likely to go down without some personal changes.
With concerns over the future of our nation, the economy, personal finances, work, relationships, media overload, sleep deprivation and poor nutrition, stress is everywhere.
Maybe you’re used to the feeling and have come to accept it as normal. But stress doesn’t have to be a part of life. In fact, it’s not meant to be. Stress is the starting point of many diseases and reduced lifespans, making it clear that it’s not the way the body is supposed to work.
What stress and anxiety do to your eyes
When stress and anxiety take hold, your body goes on high alert. The fight and flight response triggers a series of symptoms due to tension, increased stress hormones and physiological responses to perceived dangers.
When it comes to your vision, the muscle-tightening effect of the tension you feel affects your eyes too. As the muscles tighten up, your eyes become sore or begin to twitch. The extra hormones also stimulate your nervous and sensory system, which includes your eyes. This can result in blurry vision, watery eyes, dry eyes, tunnel vision, greater sensitivity to light or eye floaters. While these symptoms aren’t always a sign of stress, they are a clear sign that something is wrong. But if your doctor isn’t finding a cause, it very well may be stress-related.
What stress does to your body and life
Stress and worry trigger hormones that elevate your risk for a number of diseases, including cancer. When your body is on high alert and your heart rate is raging, it can lead to headaches and heart attacks. And while stress doesn’t affect everyone in the exact same way, it is a major cause of depression and suicide as well as failing marriages. When everything in life just seems wrong, it could simply be your body’s response to stress.
Ready to take control of your life and vision? Here are 5 simple (and fun) ways to cut the stress.
Simple ways to cut stress from your life
Laugh out loud
Laughter really is the best medicine, and studies show that an upbeat outlook and the ability to laugh at yourself can improve your life. Laughter reduces stress hormones and increases your immunity and ability to fight off disease. Findings from a Norwegian study suggested that people who laugh more lived longer than those who didn’t. The logic is clear. Stress decreases length and quality of life. Laughter improves it all. So have a hearty laugh!
Listen to some music
Music speaks to the deepest parts of us, inspiring us, distracting us and calming down unruly emotions. So blare your tunes (and feel free to dance, away!).
Exercise releases doses of endorphins, those feel-good hormones that make you feel on top of the world. And that feeling translates to feelings of empowerment and new perspectives—a great way to beat stress.
Just stop worrying
Reframe the way you look at ‘problems.’ If you can change something, it’s not a problem. It’s a challenge. So push yourself to make the changes you need to see in your life. If you can’t change it—well, worrying won’t do any good anyhow and just make your life worse. Relinquish worry.
Get out and garden
There’s nothing like shoving your hands into some dirt to decompress and reconnect you to yourself and the world around you. The sunlight has a unique way of lifting moods and putting life and worries back into perspective. Just make sure to protect your eyes with sunglasses, and your skin with some sun protective clothing or sunscreen.
At IQ Laser Vision, our team is focused on helping you feel your best and achieve your best vision—in the most stress-free way possible. Get in touch with us today for a free vision consultation to see how we can take your vision to the next level.