Why your eyes need to relax
Let’s try something.
Take a moment. When you think of your body’s muscles, what comes to mind?
What did you picture? For most of you, you probably quickly thought of your arms, or legs.
Maybe your shoulders or back.
For some, you may have thought about the most important muscle of them all, your heart.
But I can bet you probably didn’t think of an important set of muscles you depend on every day. Your eyes.
We rarely think of them this way, but your eyes are made up of muscles. And just like the other muscles in your body, keeping them healthy means putting them to work, and giving them a chance to recover and rest.
The best way to rest your eyes – especially in these days where we’re spending so much time working them in front of computers or phones – is by shutting out the light. When you do this, your optic nerve stops being stimulated and has a chance to catch its breath, in a sense.
Eye strain doesn’t just impact how your eyes feel. By relaxing your eyes and the surrounding muscles, it can help bring a sense of relaxation to your entire body.
If you find yourself tired, or straining, or tension is building in your eyes, sinuses or temples, here are a few quick things you can do, to rest and recuperate:
The first is called “palming.” Rub your hands together, to work up a little friction and warm them up. Then, form cups with your hands and place them over your closed eyes. Be sure to breathe in and out deeply, to further relax. A few minutes a day of doing this consistently can do wonders for stress and eye strain.
You can also massage the area around your eyes. Be sure your hands are freshly washed, and gently massage the muscles above your eyebrows, under your eyes, your temples, and even (if you’re not too squeamish) your eyelids.
Massage like this stimulates circulation and relaxes both your eyes and the surrounding facial muscles. And it simply feels good to take a break for some “self-care” like this.
Both light and darkness can help your eyes relax. When you lie down with your eyes covered by a cloth or mask, you teach your brain to reduce eye strain. And by standing in front of a sunny window, closing your eyes, and allowing the light to warm your eyelids, you release dopamine – which feels good and helps protect your eyes as well.
A warm compress is another way to relax eyes that feel taxed. Just make sure it’s not too hot, so you’re relaxing – not recoiling.
One of our latest innovations takes many of these eye relaxation principles – massage, darkness, and heat – and puts them all together in an easy-to-use and blissfully relaxing package. You can learn more about that right here.
The connection between how your eyes feel and how you feel overall is very direct. By taking the time to relax and care for these precious muscles, you’re well on your way to more relaxing days, and better sleep at night, too.