Stress In Your Daily Life Affects How You See This Wild Optical Illusion

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

There aren’t many people out there who are lucky enough to have a stress-free life.

After all, everyone has to deal with complicated questions around work and family, rent or mortgage payments; some level of stress is pretty much inevitable.

Even kiddos with relatively responsibility-free lives have their own worries, like this funny kid who convinced the Boss to excuse him from class.

But we all know at least one person who has the same problems as anyone else, but seems to manage it all without breaking a sweat.

It’s not that they have fewer challenges, or that they can just wave their magic wand and make everything fall into place; it’s just that, somehow, they don’t worry about stuff as much as everyone else.

Some people just have a talent for managing the chaos of everyday life without anxiety, and there’s an easy way to find out if you’re one of them.

Simply take a minute to peer at the intricate blue and yellow optical illusion below. What you see when you look at it could reveal exactly how your brain processes stress.

Stare carefully at this image for at least 20 seconds.

Now take a pause and look at something blank and still, like a sheet of plain paper.

What did you see when you looked at the illustration? Did the illustration seem like it was moving to you at all?

Note your answer, then move on to this next image.

It’s almost identical to the first, but a slightly different color scheme.

Is this image the same as the first? If both moved, which one was faster?

All four of the images in this gallery are examples of a phenomenon called “peripheral drift,” where certain combinations of color and white space trick your eyes into thinking that they’re looking at a moving image, even though it’s actually completely stationary.

If the images don’t look like they’re moving immediately, try staring off to the side and blinking rapidly. You should see them move then.

What does this have to do with stress levels?

Well, a Japanese psychiatrist named Akiyoshi Kitaoka designed the first two tests in the series, and determined that this particular test is a great barometer for measuring stress levels.

Try looking straight at one of the illusions again.

If it seems totally stationary, then your stress levels are low, or you are very good at managing stress.

If it’s moving slowly, you need a break, but you’re dealing with your stress pretty well.

If things appear to be spinning out of control, time to book a vacation, ASAP. You are definitely feeling the stress!

If this test was the easiest way ever for you to see just how stressed you really are, make sure to SHARE with friends and family!