Did you know there are more connections from your brain to your eyes than to any of the other sense organs? We look at thousands of objects a day, but most of us take our eyes for granted. We don’t think about taking care of our eyes the same way we take care of the rest of our body. If our eyes itch, we rub them - or put drops in them. If we get a headache from reading, computer work, or watching too much TV, we might take an aspirin, but then we go right back to what we were doing. How about taking a Visual Relaxation break instead?
One of my favorite eye relaxation exercises is the 20 20 20 exercise. Every 20 minutes, I look out my window approximately 20 feet away, and look at an object for a count of 20. Then I return to whatever I was doing. When I first started doing this exercise, I used an old fashioned timer to remind me to look up and out and then get back to work. Now it comes easily, and my eyes always appreciate the break.
Another Visual Relaxation exercise called “Palming,” is great for when you’re working on projects lasting more than 8 hours. It’s also a good break for your eyes at lunchtime, and then again at the end of the day.
1. If you wear glasses, take them off.
2. Start by rubbing your hands together until they feel warm.
3. Place the lower bones of your palms against the lower part of your eye socket bones.
4. Put your closed fingered hands over your eyes so that your palms are facing your eyes.
5. Keep your eyes open and stare into the dark of your palms to sooth and relax both your eyes and your brain.
6. As you’re resting your eyes, focus on breathing through your nose with your mouth closed. Drop your shoulders. Enjoy the break for as long as you’d like – seconds or minutes – it’s up to you.
7. Remove your hands and blink a few times. Then go back to work.
Both of these exercises will have your eyes feeling great. It doesn’t matter if you wear glasses, have focus challenges, or brain fog, it’s just as important to exercise and relax your eyes as it is to exercise and relax your body.
Make 2015 the year you relax your eyes and improve your focus!