Be honest: Do you log more hours with your computer or your BFF? Especially if you need to be in an office all day, your screen time is probably outpacing your bonding time—by a lot. And while that kind of dedication to work will get you noticed career-wise, it does come with some consequences.
A tech-heavy life can affect your mental health and your quality of sleep, not to mention straining your eyes and face—something the American Optometric Association calls "computer vision syndrome". That's caused in part by the fact that, when you're looking at your computer, you blink 66 percent less. Even puffiness and dark under-eye circles can come from overdoing it in the digital world (which of course leads to more money spent on...concealers).
In addition to giving you a serious case of dry eyes, computer vision syndrome also affects blood flow to the area, says Julie Clark, holistic health practitioner and founder of Canada-based skin-care brand Province Apothecary. "So many veins, arteries, and capillaries feed the eye, so that's a major reason why you get puffiness and dark circles," she says.
"So many veins, arteries, and capillaries feed the eye, so that's a major reason why you get puffiness and dark circles."
And if you're squinting at your screen while sifting through Google results, or giving a close look at an email before you send it to your boss, it's not just your eyes that are getting worn out. "When you're under stress or pressure, you're probably clenching your jaw, frowning, or making lots of unconscious facial expressions," adds Clark. "Over time, this leads to lines forming on the face." Gulp.
But, no—you're not doomed to be helpless in the face of too much screen exposure. A simple acupressure move can help relieve the tightness that comes with an endless to-do list.
"[Pressing down on] a magic point behind the eyebrow will relieve a lot of tension around the eye area—it's called the supraorbital foramen, and it's the bony, elongated stretch between your eye socket and forehead right underneath the big part of your brows," says Clark, who trained with a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor to learn about acupressure. "This spot's important because it's where your nerves and arteries transmit visual information from the retina to the brain."
According to TCM, when there's too much tension at that point, the energy flow becomes blocked—which can make you less sharp. This simple move will help you get things moving in 30 seconds (or less). Think of it as the low-tech antidote to digital overdose—or layers of concealer.
Here's how to brighten your dark under-eye circles and undo the stress that comes from staring at a computer screen all day, according to Clark.
1. Use your thumbs or index fingers and press on your brow bones, above each eye, in the spots shown above.
2. Take deep breaths and relax—you should use a lot of pressure, which can be uncomfortable in that spot. Continue for 30 seconds.
Repeat throughout the day as needed!
Your computer isn't the only cause of your dark circles (sorry)—here are some other culprits. For more stress-relieving magic, these stealth acupressure moves help ease headaches, PMS, and depression.
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