Since the start of COVID-19 more and more people have been using video conferencing for business meetings as well as social interactions. Whether it’s Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or WhatsApp many people have noticed feeling tired after a video call. Researchers at Stanford University have studied this issue and confirm that virtual meetings can indeed cause fatigue. Fortunately, there are different ways to overcome Zoom fatigue.
In a recent peer reviewed article, the reasons for Zoom fatigue have been identified, along with suggestions to minimize video conferencing fatigue. They discovered four ways in which communication online tires people. As more and more of us communicate online, it is helpful to understand what we can do differently to minimize the impact of online meetings.
The folks at Stanford identified, what they call, up close eye contact, as one of the reasons for zoom fatigue. On most video conferencing platforms, the speaker’s face seems very close to us as well as enlarged. For some reason this can trigger social anxiety. We’re not accustomed to having someone we’re talking to, being so close. It almost seems like they’re staring at us up close and personal. Normally when someone is that close, and we have direct eye contact with them, it triggers an alert response. Put simply, this alert response is similar to what we experience during conflict, which triggers stress.
One key element that is missing from video chat is nonverbal communication. These are the nonverbal cues that we automatically pick up on and respond to. While these are easy to identify when having an in-person conversation, they’re far more difficult to pick up on when talking online. This essentially makes us work harder while communicating on a video call.
During a normal conversation we naturally tend to move. Some people like to walk when they talk but most have smaller movements including hand gestures. On a video conference call most of us try to remain still so that we are centered and facing the moderator and the other participants.
All the video conferencing platforms display a live image of the attendees and the moderator. Seeing an image of yourself can be uncomfortable and cause you to be self-conscious. At the very least, seeing yourself during a call can be distracting. All of these triggers can be stressful.
What to do
Experts suggest minimizing the Zoom window and exiting full screen mode. They also suggest taking more breaks, enabling the “hide self” option, intermittently turning off the video, and in some cases switching the call to audio only. While these recommendations will certainly help, they will not completely eliminate the fatigue.
Hypnosis to Overcome Zoom Fatigue
Scientific studies show that hypnosis can be highly effective in treating, stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Hypnosis is a focused and highly relaxed state that allows for access to the unconscious mind. A skilled hypnosis practitioner can guide you into this attentive, yet relaxed state. Hypnotic suggestions, which can be thought of as directions given to the unconscious for relaxation and stress relief help clients to feel rested and reenergized. This in turn helps patients stay focused and energetic. If video calls are leaving you feeling tired and fatigued, then hypnotherapy to overcome Zoom fatigue may be your best option.