Most of us spent too much time in front of screens, whether by choice or necessity.
If your eyes are starting to feel the strain or if you are getting headaches after spending time looking at a screen, these eye relax and eye rotation exercises can help to reduce eye strain, and the neck and shoulder stretches can help to ease headaches.
Eye relax exercise
To take a break from the screen, first try this eye relax exercise: Rub the palms of your hands together to create some warmth and then close your eyes, bringing your palms to cover the eyes. Take a couple of deep breaths, allowing the warmth to relax the eye muscles and the darkness to give the eyes a break from light and the screen. When you’re ready, slowly blink the eyes open, separating your fingers to allow light in slowly and then bring your hands back down to rest.
You can also listen to and watch this eye relax exercise in this free video.
Eye rotation exercises
Your eyes have muscles attached so they need exercise just like the other muscles in your body. There are six muscles that attach to the eye to move it. These muscles originate in the eye socket and work to move the eye up, down, side to side, and rotate the eye.
Try this eye rotation exercise: Sitting up straight as is comfortable, roll your shoulders up to the ears and then down, trying to keep them down and relaxed. Keeping your head in a comfortable level position, move just your eyes to look up towards the ceiling. Without moving your head, slowly lower your eyes to look down towards the ground. Still without moving your head, lift your gaze to look straight ahead and then move just your eyes to look to the right (as far as is comfortable for you) and then move just your eyes to look to the left (as far as is comfortable for you). Bring your gaze back to look straight ahead and then blink your eyes a few times to relax them.
You can repeat this exercise a few times to exercise your eye muscles and help ease eye strain.
Headaches can also occur due to tension in the neck and shoulders. Try the following neck and shoulder stretches to help ease tension.
Neck: Allow your right ear to tilt to the right side, keeping your right shoulder down and relaxed as much as possible. This stretches the left side of your neck – if it feels quite tight, just move a little to the side and don’t hold for long. Bring your head back to a neutral position. Allow your left ear to tilt to the left side, keeping your left shoulder down and relaxed as much as possible. This stretches the right side of your neck. Repeat a few times on each side to loosen out tightness or tension in your neck.
Shoulders: As you breathe in, roll your shoulders up towards your ears. As you breathe out, roll your shoulders back and down. Repeat 5 times or as many as feels good for you.
- Try to take frequent breaks from looking at the screen and regularly get up from sitting as much as is possible too. Essential oils such as Yogandha Ground can also help with headaches, with the added benefit of taking even just 30 seconds to close your eyes and breathe in the fragrance can help ease headaches and eye strain.
- If you like these yoga exercises, you can go further and practice some free yoga videos or check out details on upcoming classes.
- Another nice way to take a short break during the work day (or any day), is to practice some breathing exercises.
Workplace yoga sessions can be organised for companies of any size to help ease eye strain and headaches, and the focus on breathing exercises helps to calm and focus the mind, while the yoga stretches help to release tension in the back, shoulders and neck, helping people to feel physically and mentally better overall.