Try these 5 eye exercises to relieve tension

YYou probably haven’t thought about throwing in a set of eyeball exercises at the end of your leg day. But, as silly as it may sound, working out your eyes comes with many benefits.

“Just as we talk about focusing on posture or strengthening your legs, our facial muscles—our tongue, our eyes—are just as important as any other part of your body, and they’re often overlooked,” says Ann Collins Dutch. Collins Dutch, DPT, of Physical Therapy for Women in Delaware.

People who sit at their computers for long periods of time can experience headaches, neck discomfort, eye strain, jaw clenching and tension in the eyebrows, Dr. Dutch said. Fortunately, devoting just a minute or two to some eyeball exercises—or “eye yoga,” as Dr. Duch fondly calls them—can help us notice where we’re holding tension and release it.

Although they may feel a bit silly at first, Dr. Dutch’s patients often tell him that they feel immediate relief for general aches and pains after completing a recommended routine of eye exercises to relieve tension, whether it’s a little less clenched or unstrained in their jaw. from their brows

Eyeball exercises can be a unique way to calm your nervous system, Dr. Dutch added. Our eyes are often one of the first parts of our body to respond to emotions. Our eyes dilate when we are nervous or scared. So the eyes can be a powerful way to calm our nervous system when we feel anxious or overwhelmed.

Dr. Dutch recommends completing a round of the following exercises two to three times a day. And if you’re really serious about it, you can videotape yourself completing the routine with what he calls “sticky spots,” or moments where your eyes struggle to maintain smooth movement. This could be an indicator that you are holding tension somewhere.

Try these 5 eye exercises to relieve tension

1. Head nods

  1. Hold your index finger straight out in front of you, slightly closer than arm’s length.
  2. Slowly raise and lower your chin three times while keeping your gaze on your index finger.

2. Shake the head

  1. Hold your index finger straight out in front of you, slightly closer than arm’s length.
  2. Slowly turn your head from left to right three times while keeping your gaze on your index finger.

3. Diagonal

  1. Hold your index finger straight out in front of you, slightly closer than arm’s length.
  2. Starting from the center, slowly move your head in a diagonal line from top right to bottom left.
  3. Complete this three times, then switch diagonals.

4. Fingers and fros

  1. Hold your index finger straight out in front of you, slightly closer than arm’s length.
  2. Slowly move your index finger closer to your face and then away, keeping your gaze fixed on the finger.
  3. Complete this three times.

5. Side to Side

  1. Hold both index fingers out in front of you, slightly more than arm’s length apart, with your thumbs touching each other.
  2. Keeping your head still, slowly shift your gaze from your right index finger to your left.
  3. Complete this three times.

See Dr. Ann Collins Dutch Here’s a demonstration of the movement:

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