The findings add to the evidence that visual perception depends not just on relaying information from your eyes to your brain, but also on experience-based assumptions about what you can see. Those expectations can lead people to ignore unusual objects and events.
Discovery News reports:
"... men and women who saw a reversed eye chart -- arranged so that letters became progressively larger further down the chart ... accurately reported more letters... These results reflect people's expectation, based on experience with standard eye charts, that letters are easy to see at the top and become increasingly difficult to distinguish on lower lines ..."
Is it really possible to improve your vision simply by changing your mindset? According to research by Harvard University psychologist Ellen Langer and colleagues, it most certainly is.
When people were primed to believe they had excellent eyesight, their vision improved. Likewise, when participants were told their eyesight would improve with practice, it did. The same occurred when people adopted a “try and you will succeed” mindset -- they tried, and their vision successfully improved.
What you have here is an awesome example of what can occur when you believe it can, and shows once again that the placebo effect is actually very real.
Proof the Placebo Effect Works
If you believe you will benefit from something, you will. And the more you focus your intention on this, the more you’ll find that you can manifest nearly any result you desire.
If you think this sounds simplistic or out there, consider that the placebo effect has been demonstrated in countless studies published in prestigious medical journals, and findings show placebos often work better than expensive and side-effect ridden drugs and surgeries.
One of the most powerful examples of the power of the placebo effect was published in the classic New England Journal of Medicine knee surgery study.
It was published in one of the most well-respected medical journals on the planet and was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial performed at some of the top U.S. hospitals.
What did the results show?
That most knee surgery results in a $3-billion hoax in the United States. It is not actually the surgery itself that is responsible for the improvement, but rather is the placebo effect. More precisely, it's the ability of your brain to produce healing.
How Your Mind Might Impact Your Vision
Your mind has the power to create or cure disease because your thoughts affect the expression of your genes. Epigenetics literally means "above the genes,” and this new field is now beginning to explain scenarios like placebo effect and spontaneous healing, which lacked a scientific basis until now.
Today’s "New Biology" is overlapping with consciousness science and quantum physics, and it’s showing us that we have masterful control over our own lives, including how we feel pain, depression, anxiety and even our ability to overcome diseases like cancer or improve our vision
As Scientific American shared:
“In recent decades reports have confirmed the efficacy of various sham treatments in nearly all areas of medicine. Placebos have helped alleviate pain, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory disorders and even cancer.
Placebo effects can arise not only from a conscious belief in a drug but also from subconscious associations between recovery and the experience of being treated—from the pinch of a shot to a doctor’s white coat. Such subliminal conditioning can control bodily processes of which we are unaware, such as immune responses and the release of hormones.”
Or, in the case of Harvard University psychologist Ellen Langer’s experiment, simply helping a person believe they would see better manifested that intention into reality. Interestingly, the scenario also worked when a typical eye chart was reversed, so instead of starting out large and getting smaller, the smaller letters were on the top.
The researchers wrote:
“Because letters get progressively smaller on successive lines, people expect that they will be able to read the first few lines only. When participants viewed a reversed chart and a shifted chart, they were able to see letters they could not see before. Thus, mind-set manipulation can counteract physiological limits imposed on vision.”
Healthy Eyes Need a Healthy Mind
Even going beyond the placebo effect, your thoughts can influence how well you see because your mind is the source of much of the stress from outside sources brought to bear upon your eyes.
Every thought of effort in your mind, of whatever sort, transmits a motor impulse to your eye, and every such impulse causes a deviation from the normal in the shape of your eyeball and lessens your foveal sensitivity.
If you want to have ideal vision, therefore, you must minimize stress in your mind. Mental strain of any kind always produces conscious or unconscious eyestrain and if the strain takes the form of an effort to see, an error of refraction is always produced.
Mental strain may produce many different kinds of eyestrain, but there is only one solution for all of them, namely, relaxation.
The health of your eye depends upon your blood, too, and circulation is very largely influenced by your thoughts. When your thoughts are not attended by any excitement or strain -- the circulation in your brain is normal, the supply of blood to your optic nerve and your visual centers are normal, and your vision is perfect.
When your thoughts are abnormal, your circulation is disturbed, the supply of blood to your optic nerve and visual centers is altered, and your vision lowered.
You can consciously think thoughts that disturb your circulation and lower your visual power; you can also consciously think thoughts that will restore normal circulation and thereby improve not only all errors of refraction, but also many other abnormal conditions of your eyes.
Relaxing Your Mind and Your Eyes is Important
So while you cannot “make” yourself see, by learning to control your thoughts you can accomplish that end indirectly.
When a disturbing thought is replaced by one that relaxes, your squint disappears, the double vision and the errors of refraction are corrected and this is as true of abnormalities of long standing as of those produced voluntarily.
In a fraction of a second the highest degrees of refractive error may be corrected, a squint may disappear, or the blindness of amblyopia may be relieved.
If the relaxation is only momentary, the correction is momentary. When it becomes permanent, the correction is permanent.
This relaxation cannot, however, be obtained by any sort of effort. It is fundamental that you understand this; for so long as you think, consciously or unconsciously, that relief from strain may be obtained by another strain your improvement will be delayed.
That is why RELAXING your eyes and addressing the stressors that contribute to the stress are the keys to help you recover your vision. You can read more about this system to restore your vision naturally, which I personally used successfully to regain my own vision without the use of glasses or contacts, here.
The bottom line is this: if you have vision problems, your first step to recovery is believing it is possible. The more you set your mind on this fact, and then take steps to enhance your vision naturally, the more likely it is to become a reality.