Want to know why most people are reading at a much slower pace than they should be? They get tunnel vision! When reading, our eyes get a workout, moving fast and taking in all the information at the same time. As our eyes move faster, they become stressed and the muscles fight against each other, leading to eyestrain, fatigue, and even headaches in some cases.
At this fatigued stage, your vision becomes more ‘tunneled’ and as a result it takes more time to cover the same amount of text. You are seeing less after all, and your eyes are moving even slower. You may have heard that you can tell if a person is lying by looking at their eyes. This is due to the fact that our eyes respond to stress automatically – even the stress of reading and studying – and our pupils narrow. Normally, there’s not much we can do about it, but I do have a solution for you.
There are several exercises that stretch your eyes so they aren’t fighting the natural reading motion. These exercises help you achieve what I call “fluid motion” and your eyes stop fighting the reading process so you actually enjoy it and are freed up to read faster. The following is a simple exercise to get you started.
Look at a point on the wall or an object in front of you. It doesn’t matter what point or object you choose, just pick anything and don’t move your eyes from it.
Place your hands in front of you at arms length to the right and left of the point you are focusing on. Don’t look directly at your hands but see them in your peripheral vision.
While keeping your eyes locked on the point or object in front of you, slowly spread your arms until you can barely see your hands at the edge of your peripheral vision, then slowly move them back.
Repeat step 3 several times.
This exercise won’t change the physical limits of your peripheral vision, but your mind should begin to open up from focusing on tunnel vision. Try this before you read next time. Many say it makes reading more comfortable and easy. You can learn more about this exercise in the Instant Speed Reading module of my Lifelong Learning and Study Skills Workshop.
You deserve a better read!
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