Eye relaxation techniques to prevent eye strain

I always loved the expression “eye candy” for the sweetness it evokes of looking at something that makes you feel good. So much better sounding than my dad’s favourite expression, “Keep your eyes peeled.”

We have so many expressions about the eyes because they really are the window to our souls. Our eyes are pretty amazing little parts of our anatomy and deserve a few minutes of pampering every day.

As we spend more time staring at screens and reading pixelated type, our eyes spend less time taking in information from the world around us. For example, when you spend time looking at a tree, your eyes adjust for different shades and colours. They pick up on movements from wind or small animals and may also drift to take in what’s around that tree.

The feeling you get when you spend time looking at nature is often a peaceful and relaxed feeling: true eye candy. Unfortunately, few of us get to spend our days staring at nature, and that lovely feeling of relaxation does not happen when we focus on reading email and texts.

Notice your eyes right now as you read this. The skin around the eyes is probably tensed and your eyeballs are probably staring straight ahead with minimal movement.

Take a moment now and let your eyes close but keep your lips pursed together tightly. Notice how your eyes continue to be hard in their sockets. Now relax the jaw by letting the lips fall apart slightly. Stay here with the eyes closed and jaw relaxing for a few breaths.

The skin around the eyes will begin to soften and the eyeballs will relax more deeply. Here are some other “eye yoga” items to add that will keep those eyes lubed up in their sockets and the eye muscles strong and fit.

Palming

Rub the palms of your hands together vigorously to generate heat for about 30 seconds. Immediately place each palm over an eye and let the fingers of each hand rest on the top of the head.

Take three to five deep breaths here. While you are here, soften the jaw and let the shoulders drop down from the ears.

Eye clock

Imagine you are staring at a really big clock. Look in the middle of the clock, then without turning your head, draw your eyes up to 12. Take a full breath then move your eyes to 1.

Continue moving around the clock until you are back at 12, then repeat, counter-clockwise this time.

Eye writing

Look in front of you at the opposite wall and pretend that you are writing with your eyes, without turning your head.

It may seem difficult at first but, with a bit of practice, this can be fun. Remember, the bigger the letters, the better the stretch.

Neck and eye stretch

This one can be challenging in a fun way. Sit tall and turn your head to the right. Shift your eyes all the way to the right and keep them there as you turn your head all the way to the left. Then shift your eyes all the way to the left and keep them there as you turn your head all the way to the right. Then close your eyes and feel the effects of stretching the eye muscles.

Try a little massage

After you finish the other exercises, close your eyes and gently massage them with circular movements of your fingers for one or two minutes. Then press three fingers of each hand gently on the brow line of each eye. Hold them there for a few seconds, release and continue around the entire eye socket.

Eat happy

Being conscious of what you eat is also a good way to keep your eyes happy.

For eye health, research points to foods high in vitamin C, vitamin E and lutein. To find these nutrients, infuse your diet with colourful foods. Load up on spinach, broccoli, corn, strawberries, tomatoes, nuts and, of course, don’t forget to eat your carrots (the real eye candy!).

Source: Namaste / Postmedia news

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