Where to Turn Your Eyes for Stress Relief

Where to Turn Your Eyes for Stress Relief

Next time you feel like you're about to lose it, switch off your computer monitor and take a look out the window.

New research shows it might be just that simple. Looking at a landscape in the middle of a stressful situation helps calm your heart rate.

A Room with a View
When 90 college students were asked to complete a short series of stressful tasks, their desks faced a blank wall, an open window, or a high-definition plasma screen displaying the same nature scene that was outside the window. The results? Students with window seats were the quickest to recover from the stress; their heart rates dropped back down into the normal range fastest. And the more time they spent taking in the view, the better.

Can't Fool Nature
When it comes to nature, nothing beats the real deal. The simulated window view in the study did nothing to calm participants' hearts. So next time you 

Medically reviewed in August 2019.

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