Those new to vision improvement, eager to do everything right, may ask “How often should I blink?”. Well, it depends. If I asked you “How often should I take a breath?”, wouldn’t you want to know if I was resting in a hammock or sprinting? And perhaps you’d also say to yourself I was over-thinking, trying to interfere with a natural process which doesn’t need any help! There’s a bit of this dynamic going on with blinking too.
The healthy eye blinks every few seconds, more if it’s windy out or you’re in front of a fan indoors, or the air is very dry. The dual purpose of blinking is to give the eyes a brief rest from seeing, and to keep them moist. People often ask me about Dry Eye which can sometimes arise after laser surgery, or after too much time staring at the computer. You can read my thoughts on Dry Eye here.
A silly children’s game involves staring at each other intently, with the one who blinks first losing! This is very bad for the eyes. Blinking is a natural function which shouldn’t be restricted. Anxious people can be afraid they’ll miss something if they blink, which makes them more anxious! Let yourself blink easily and gently, as much as your eyes feel the need.
A pleasant vision exercise is to practice blinking as softly as possible — one vision author has likened this to butterfly wings moving. Can you blink so gently you wouldn’t make a breeze in a still room, even if you have thick eyelashes? See if you can blink so that only your eyelids move, not the muscles around your eyes which you’d use to squeeze them shut, and make wrinkles! It feels more peaceful to me to blink mildly and calmly — when I blink fast I can feel my body metabolism speeding up. When I blink softly it feels meditative.
Try treating yourself to a few long slow blinks, leaving your eyes closed for a few seconds each time. Every blink is a little rest for the visual system, which works so hard for you all day long. You never have to refill the vision windshield wiper fluid if you keep yourself hydrated, and you never have to wash your vision windshield — your blinks take care of this for you. What a grand design!