Relaxing your Eyes

December 1st, 2012

It’s getting cold out there. As the season progresses, have you been noticing postural changes in your body? Are you still holding your head high with relaxed shoulders? Are you able to fully breathe in the crisp air? Is your stride as long as it normally is on a warm summer’s day? There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. What is important is that you begin to become aware of how you are adapting to the shift in temperature.

Many folks in this region approach the winter season with dread because of how it adversely affects them. Some people struggle to cope with long stretches of dreary days and they visually starve for lush greenery and strong sunlight. Some associate winter with loneliness and difficult holiday experiences. And then there are those who wrangle with the cold — bracing their bodies against it the minute they think of stepping outdoors.

Are you one of the countless many who finds winter to be a difficult season to endure? What if one small change — besides wearing warmer clothing and that expensive vacation to a tropical locale — could chip off some edge of the icy cold? Are you ready for it? It is really simple.

Relax your eyes.

Yes. By relaxing your eyes, you are able to soften your strong focal vision and peripherally take in more of the world around you. People with vision issues and those who need their eyes to do close work in front of a computer or use personal handheld devices are often utilizing more muscles to see than is really necessary. When the eyes focus sharply on objects in close proximity to the body, the facial web enveloping and connecting the whole body can contract all the way down into the arches of the feet, especially when standing. When seated, the neck and shoulders are often pulled forward of their natural gravity center. Overly sharp focal vision in daily living also affects how the nervous system processes and reacts to external stressors. Cumulatively, seeing your world with an eagle’s piercing eyes can be a recipe for chronic pain on multiple levels.

Relaxing the eyes directly may prove difficult for you … so change your focus. Instead, look at an object while allowing the sensation of the clothing on your back to come into your awareness. This action draws you inward and allows you to receive your visual world instead of reaching out past your internal center of gravity to meet it. Now practice feeling the sensation of visually receiving your world on a grander scale. How does it change your body? Do you feel more centered and upright?

Consciously retraining the way you visually perceive your world has its challenges, but also several advantages. You may find that you are less “on guard,” less bracing and more likely to find a greater perspective in how you literally see your world and how you emotionally perceive your world. You may also find that softened vision allows for others to approach you in a different way because on the subconscious level you are “letting them in.” Be prepared to confront your vulnerability, but also be ready for surprises. When you open your eyes to see in all the ways that they were meant to see, you open your Self to the potential and new possibilities all around you. This may be your best winter yet!

Victoria Huss

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