RELAX - THE EYES HAVE IT!
(more tips to manage stress)
“Look into my eyes’, is a cliché most associated with a flamboyant hypnotist, but for centuries poets have waxed lyrical about eyes. The eyes have always been thought to have magical powers, to be windows to the soul.
Your eyes are central, not only to the way you see the world, but how you feel. You can tell a persons emotional state by looking into their eyes. Grief, anger, love, fear and in fact the vast array of human emotions and feelings can be reflected in the eyes. However the eyes can also be used to control your emotions and moods. By becoming aware of the way your eyes work you can change your state, and become relaxed quickly and privately in any situation.
CLOSING YOUR EYES
You may have noticed the natural relaxation response that happens when you close your eyes. It is as if, by shutting down one of your major senses - your sight - you seem to have a little more “head space” or “processing power”. By not having to process any visual information it becomes easier to redirect your focus to other things. This may be just what you need. Just closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing, making sure that you are breathing slowly and steadily, and not holding your breath.
But sometimes this is not enough, as closing the eyes may invite a flood of thoughts to be attended to, which in turn can create tension and anxiety.
USING PERIPHERAL VISION TO CALM YOUR MIND
When we are stressed we often focus in on our problems much like one would focus a telescope. We become obsessed with the object of our stress or concern to the exclusion of all else. This is inclined to magnify the issue, sometimes out of all proportion and hence increase our stress levels. Next time you experience this situation, fix your gaze on a point in your field of view (anything, e.g. a door knob, a light switch etc.) and without moving your eyes or your head, become aware of the what is in your peripheral vision, at the very edges of your field of vision. At the same time relax your jaw muscles and breathe easily. You may like to bring your hands up to your shoulders to check how far back you can see, (still without moving your head or eyes). Interestingly this has a calming effect on the mind and body, almost like unfocusing and becoming aware or the context of the concern. Placing things in another perspective and seeing a bigger picture.
USING EYE MOVEMENTS TO RELIEVE STRESS
The following routine is a quick way to de-stress by stimulating certain centres in the brain.
• Think of what is stressing you, your worry or your concern.
• Take a deep breath and let it out quickly with a sigh.
• Without moving your head, look up as high as you can and breathe deeply in and out.
• Without moving your head look left as far as you can and breathe deeply in and out.
• Without moving your head look right as far as you can and breathe deeply in and out.
• Without moving your head look down as far as you can and breathe deeply in and out.
• Blink hard three times.
• Breathe deeply in and out.
Repeat the process if necessary to de-stress even more.
REMEMBER TO SMILE AND LAUGH WITH YOUR EYES!