Wednesday, January 20, 2010

20. Look Out

The Idea: With more of us spending more and more time in front of screens, the tendency towards myopia is on the rise. Doing paperwork and computing is often associated with stress: when the eyes are continuously focusing on near, detailed things, the eyes and the mind tend not to be relaxed. Meanwhile, being outside and enjoying the beauty of nature is generally thought of as relaxing. When we see beautiful things, especially at a distance, the eyes and the mind have an easier time relaxing. This exercise brings consciousness to that tendency.

How To:
Step 1: Stand somewhere outside. Relax the faces, neck and shoulders. Breathe deeply.
Step 2: Pick 6 points to look at: 3 on the horizon—one to the left, one in the middle, and one to the right—and 3 more points to the right, middle and left, still off in the distance, but a bit closer than the first 3 points.
Step 3: Let the eyes rest on one of the points. Take a deep breath, inhaling and exhaling, and then move the eyes to another one of your points. Keep doing this, establishing a pattern of moving the eyes from one point to another.
Step 4: Repeat the pattern a few times, continuing to breathe and relax.

Testimonial: I was once with some friends at a house on a lake in Vermont. While everyone else sat on the dock, enjoying the view of the lake, the trees, the sunset and the clouds over the mountains, I was unable to relax. I wanted to be inside reading, playing boardgames, or doing puzzles. My mind could not relax and it demanded myopic stimulation. This habit of not relaxing was fed by the intense myopia from which I suffer, and my myopia gets perpetuated by this same habit in a vicious cycle.  I find that when I spend some time consciously looking off into the distance, I break this cycle. My eyes and my mind relax and my vision improves.

More Info:
• Meir Schneider recommends these practices in his audiobook, Meir Schneider’s Miracle Eyesight Method (published by Sounds True, 1996). Schneider talks about this in a video posted at the bottom of my blog entry about Reading. That post also has more info about developing better habits to counteract myopia.

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