Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Relaxation Exercises for the Eyes

The more we use computers and electronic devices for communication, the more strain we put on our eyes.  Many headaches and facial-muscle tension can be attributed to the strain involved in focusing on changing text and font sizes, as can setting our eyes on moving objects on our computer screens.  That’s why it’s important to learn a few exercises for relaxing the eyes throughout the day.

Two of the quickest ways to relax the eyes are:  Closing the eyes, and Distance Focusing.  Closing the eyes means just that.  Sitting back from your computer for just a moment and closing the eyes to relax all the muscles being used to focus on objects on your screen.  Many people avoid this exercise because they fear that if they close their eyes, they will fall asleep.  This is an understandable fear as statistics show that most people do not get enough sleep and are therefore tired prior to beginning their work day.  However, if you are disciplined or can set a brief and gentle timer, this method may work for you.

Distance Focusing is a way to get out from behind the computer (and the close proximity to the screen), and allow the eyes to focus on things much farther away.  If you can, go to a window and focus on distant objects or the horizon.  Mountains and even clouds are good targets to allow the eyes to shift from being focused just feet or inches away, to much farther distances.  Even just looking across a large room is a nice shift from the close-proximity-focusing of your computer screen or electronic device.

In addition, gently massaging the eyes over the top of the eyelids is another way to help the eyes take a break and relax from straining.  This can be done with the tips of the fingers, or the open palm of the hands.  Running your hands under warm or cool water first (depending on comfort level) can be helpful in introducing a calming sensation to the eyes.  If you wear contact lenses, you may want to massage the area near and around the eyes instead.

The human eyes are under much more strain than ever before in history, so it's very important that you take good care of them and know your limitations.  Looking at computer screens for prolonged periods of time can cause your eyes to dry out.  So it's crucial that you make a conscious effort to blink more frequently when you are doing work on your computer.  Don't push your eyes to extremes that are unnatural for them.  

Remember, the human body is not a machine.  It's a living organism and it needs rest.  The eyes were not meant to be used non-stop day and night and are certainly not meant to be exposed to light and stimulation without chances for rejuvenation.  The eyes need periodic times of rest and relaxation--just like the rest of the body does-- in order to recharge and function properly for us throughout our lives.

Thanks to banoootah_qtr for the great photo - just close your eyes...and dream

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Relaxing with Color

The colors you choose to surround yourself with--matter, especially when it comes to stress management and relaxation.

It is generally believed that the color Blue has a healing and tranquil nature to it, and that the color Green brings to mind the elements of nature, such as relaxing forests and gardens.   Some believe that olive green is the universal color of Peace.

Humans have associated good and bad things with particular colors.  Therefore, we relax when around colors that are associated with calm places and things (like the sky or ocean), and we may feel tense when around colors that are associated with discomfort (like heat, pain, or sadness).

Psychologically, we've managed to assign various moods and feelings to colors, but your personal experiences will define for you what colors feel calming and relaxing, and what colors are a turn-off.  In other words, not only does color have an effect on mood and feelings, but history and life events affect our perception of color.

In the practice of Feng Shui, colors may also be related to elements, such as Earth, Air, Fire, Water, etc.  When decorating a room for relaxation, it may be helpful to reference some of the material from this area of study in order to include colors that bring a well-balanced natural energy to a room.

Lucky for us, there has been a lot of information generated about color, color perception, and the effects of color on mood, so we are probably safe in believing some of these very interesting findings and areas of study.

When you are ready to set up your relaxing space or meditation area, consider including an investigation into your personal color preferences.  Be sure that the special places you select or create feel right to you and have the relaxing look and mood you want.

Thanks to Felix M for the great photo - Playing GOD