I Have To Improve My Vision Now!

I’ve written before on how pushing myself, while a long-time habit, ultimately doesn’t get me where I want to be, especially in the area of improving my vision. It also doesn’t help me be happy. It makes me feel tense and pressured, even though I am the one doing the pushing!

As much as I’ve read about clear healthy vision being a relaxed state, not a tense striving one, and as much as I’ve experienced the difference in how it feels for myself, I can still default to the habit of pushing myself if I’m not really paying attention. “I have to do palming more regularly!” my self-talk tells me, or “It’s been days since you did any dedicated Long Swing practice, Nancy!” (with a strong tone of blame).

This does not motivate me — it makes me want to rebel. Even though what I’m being urged to do is for my own good, the bossy manner of the message means I’m not even listening to the content. How do I motivate myself to do other things which are good for me, like exercise? That has never been a problem, even if I’m feeling sluggish or lazy when I start.

One factor is looking at the words I use. When I talk about exercise, I’ll say “I want to do a leg workout” or “I’d like to go for a walk”. Not “I have to…” as if it’s a major chore, or drudgery. Hmm…. Maybe I could even say to myself, honestly, “I get to take a palming break now!”, like it’s a treat, which it definitely is.

The other factor I notice here is time pressure. When I rush a weight workout, not taking the time to properly warm up, or hurrying through the post-workout stretching, it’s not as satisfying, and sometimes I even injure myself. This was not the goal of the workout! This is like doing a session of palming while mentally watching the clock, wondering “Am I finished yet?”. This attitude of urgency is contrary to the fundamental goal of relaxation, and might even give you a headache, or eye strain! You have plenty of time to improve your vision, all the time in the world.

So watch how you talk to your eyes and visual system. I recommend being gently encouraging, with large doses of praise and gratitude. Remember the saying about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar — a  sweet attitude gets you farther than a sour one. And appreciation usually brings you more to appreciate.

Look at all you can see, don’t over-focus on what’s not perfectly clear yet. I challenge you to look at one thing in your surroundings right now, whether it be a pencil on your desk or the text on your computer screen or a tree out the window. Really notice the details, and how well your vision is working. The more you look, in an easy relaxed way, the more you will see.


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Nancy
I wore strong glasses, then contact lenses, for most of my life, starting at age 5. While making many mistakes, eventually l learned how to improve the way I use my eyes and to see in a more relaxed, healthy manner. It is my pleasure to coach others to do the same. Visit me at http://NancyLNeff.com.
Nancy

Author: Nancy

I wore strong glasses, then contact lenses, for most of my life, starting at age 5. While making many mistakes, eventually l learned how to improve the way I use my eyes and to see in a more relaxed, healthy manner. It is my pleasure to coach others to do the same. Visit me at http://NancyLNeff.com.

28 thoughts on “I Have To Improve My Vision Now!”

    1. Thanks, Kate. Glad it was helpful. Vision improvement can be enjoyable, even fun! It doesn’t have to be hard work.

  1. I read your blog posts regularly and find them quite pertinent.
    Does it mean then that the first step is to learn how to relax our mind and (hence) our eyes?

  2. A very helpful reminder of how important MINDSET is in everything we do. I tend to procrastinate, even with regard to enjoyable, creative work. I seem to suffer from a longstanding “fear of failure” which turns everything–including my vision improvement–into a chore, and sometimes a dreaded chore. Thanks for this nudge toward objectivity and GRATITUDE for all the good in these OPPORTUNITIES for expression and improvement.

  3. Tom, yes! More and more, I am learning to approach everything, even if it seems like a problem at first, with an attitude of “What is this trying to teach me?”, or “How can I have fun with this?”.

  4. As someone that has double vision in both eyes I want to improve as fast ad I can to get better. It’s been rather frustrating to not be able to enjoy my hobbies like reading and drawing. I wonder if it’s possible to get better though.

    1. Catherine, it is definitely possible. One of my early teachers told me double vision is better than no vision! It feels to me like you’re trying too hard, which is what this culture teaches as the way to accomplish anything. Your visual system is constantly adjusting itself, trying to make the view clearer for you, and the less we get in the way of that the better it works. Vision is more in the brain than in the eyes. Play with letting yourself see instead of trying to see.

  5. Re. Catherine’s point:
    I’m struggling with a truly weird issue wherein I see MULTIPLE images, particularly noticeable when looking at a small light such as the pilot light on a television or other electronic device. The same (blasted) anomaly appears in both eyes, and looking through pinhole glasses DOES clear it up. Finances are a problem so I have not been diagnosed, but I’m pretty sure I’m dealing with Polyopia, and perhaps (shudder) Cerebral Polyopia.

    I would like to know if Catherine’s issue has been professionally diagnosed, and if so, the prognosis. Also, if you, Nancy, can shed any light on this (but only ONE light, not the TWENTY+ I typically see, HA!) I’d be truly grateful.

    And FWIW, my own experiences/progress are directly in line with your comments, Nancy. I think much (all?) of this is “between my ears” rather than in my eyes.

    1. Tom, I wouldn’t get too hung up on the polyopia label — it only means you see multiple images. I’m afraid the medical profession sometimes likes to give you a diagnosis label, then prescribe a drug (or glasses) to “treat” you. They could have a different treatment for seeing 15 images than for seeing 20! (That was a joke — I am not a doctor.)

      To me this is just your particular flavor of straining to see. That you don’t see multiple images with pinholes tells me your central fixation could use some improvement. When we’re stressed it can be a survival habit to try to see everything at once. If it were me, I’d play with different distances — can I see single images 2 or 3 feet away, but start seeing multiple images at 10 feet? Does that mean at 10 feet I don’t feel safe? If so, what can I do about that, to calm my nervous system?

      Again, I am not an eye doctor, rather a vision and energy coach. If you’re interested in private sessions with me, let me know. And I like your exploring curious attitude. 🙂

    2. Hey, Tom. I did get a visual field test done and it was normal so my ophthalmologist said it wad most likely due to an astigmatism. I still don’t know if I can trust that diagnosis but I don’t really have the money to see another one right mow.

  6. Thank you Nancy for responding. I actually see multiple images that are positioned differently in each eye. When I wore the pin hole glasses the multiple images were lined up perfectly under the real image. I hope that isn’t a bad sign.

    1. Catherine, again, I’m not an eye doctor, so I’d ask one if you’re really concerned. My guess is all it means is that the 2 eyes are straining in different ways. This is not a problem, just something to notice, and keep paying attention to as it changes. Like Tom, I think the pinholes are helping you with central fixation, which is harder for you to do naturally without them.

      I’ll edit your post slightly to say what I think you intended, so if I get it really wrong let me know. 🙂

    2. Hey Catherine ==

      I didn’t see your reply at first. Thanks for letting me/us know. I’ve been using $5.00 +diopter reading glasses for several years now, but back when I used to wear prescription lenses one vision exam would suggest an astigmatism in my right eye. The next, a few years later, would say “no astigmatism.” After a couple of rounds of conflicting diagnoses I began to wonder. When I lost my prescription glasses (argh) I just decided to chuck the whole mess and try getting along without. So far, so good.

      As for pinhole glasses WORKING for you, I think that’s a GOOD sign – an opinion based only on researching my own Polyopia. I was concerned because I see the SAME multi-image in BOTH eyes, which, according to my sources suggests a CEREBRAL (brain-related) disorder. Uh oh… But on the other hand, the use of PINHOLE GLASSES does NOT improve Polyopia of a cerebral nature. So if pin-hole glasses work for you, the research suggests an OPTICAL disorder. Six of one and half a dozen of the other, so take your pick. But there’s more…

      My most recent research suggests there is NO CONSENSUS among medical professionals as to what causes Polyopia. So I’ve “decided” it’s not physiological, but is actually psychological/emotional/habitual. And if that’s true, it can be overcome.

      Read Nancy’s advice to me earlier in this thread. The eyes are actually PART OF THE BRAIN. And while the brain is not THE MIND, the physical brain influences and is influenced by your MIND (your thinking). Get your thinking straight and your vision will likely follow suit. I’m proceeding based on that idea.

  7. Hi Nancy, thanks so much for your valuable posts. I’m from Shanghai, China. My 9-year-old daughter was disgnosed with myopia last year. The optometrist said that she needed glasses, but she abhored glassses and refused to wear them. It was then that i came across the Bates Method and was relieved to find out that it is possible to recover our eye vision. I started to massage her eyes while she listened to her bedtime stories every day, but recently she was tested the eye vision again at school and found that her eye vision is still deteriorating. She says she can still see the blackboard fine, so i havent got her glasses yet, and ask her to blink and not to strain to see. She didnt like the eye exercises, but now i insist that we should make it a routine to do the exercises every day, like palming, eye yoga etc, for 3 months, and see whether it works. If it doesnt, then im afraid she has to wear glasses, at least in class. Its so devastating to put glasses on her at such an early age. After reading your posts, i suspect whether im too focous on the exercises. I really cant find a balance. And im scared. What if it doesnt work, what if her eyes still deteriorates. What should i do then? Myopia is quite common among kidsin China. I myself also wear glasses, but only when necessary. I really really want to help my kid and other kids to restore their eyesight and their confidence. I know words dont teach. I need to show them by my own example. Now i try to do the exercises every day with her, and try to show her that she should look around and see the details. Please tell me that we will succeed. Encouragement from a pro like you will mean a lot to me. I wish you were in China, so that we could go visit you face to face.

    1. Hi Tracy, and good for you for wanting to help your daughter have as relaxed healthy vision as she can. It does sound like you may be conveying the attitude that vision improvement is hard work and stressful, when she may already be getting that kind of pressure about her schoolwork from teachers. With children especially, the visual system is very adaptable, so the less she wears glasses, and uses her eyes in a relaxed happy way, the better her vision will be. And the more she strains and wears glasses, trying to see instead of allowing the clear images to naturally come to her, the more restricted her vision may become. She’s still young enough that your attitude as her mother will have a big impact, so see if you can focus on the pleasure of seeing, what a joy it is to take in the delights of the world through your eyes. My own mother was full of worry, and pushed me hard to be the best at everything, and I now know with my nervous temperament that just led to my vision getting worse. I’d focus less on the exercises which feel like a “have to”, and more on the optimistic attitude and how much fun it is to see things, which feels like a “want to”. You’re got the right intention, and I can feel your love for your daughter. Good luck. She’s a lucky girl!

    2. Tracy, your daughter is very lucky to have you on her side, guiding her to have a more relaxed approach to seeing well. I see most of my clients over Skype, and many are in other countries than I am. I gave a vision lesson to a young woman in China a few years ago, who also said “everyone here is myopic, and no one believes in natural vision improvement”. So you’re in the front portion of the wave of change. 🙂

      If you’re interested in a free consultation, to see if a formal Skype session or 2 with me could help you or your daughter, or both, you can request that here: http://nancylneff.com/discovery.htm.

      In any case, keep the focus on enjoying seeing, and being relaxed about it. And thank you so much for your positive comments. Take care. Tracy.

  8. Nancy,
    First, thanks for your very helpful comments. I agree with you about doctors (the Medical INDUSTRY) and their tendencies. And thanks for the caution regarding LABELS such as Polyopia. Good advice in ALL cases. I regret that my finances cannot accommodate working with you directly, and I understand that this is your livelihood so I’ll limit my remarks. Nor do I wish to “clutter up” your efforts here, but I REALLY MUST say the following, and I hope you don’t mind. I pass the information Forward in hopes that it will be useful to you and perhaps helpful to other readers:

    WOW! You really gave me a CONCEPT with which to work by mentioning CENTRAL FIXATION. I’ve always had a problem choosing ONE path. I tend to see ALL the options and am blessed/cursed by the ability to accomplish pretty much whatever I set out to do (except for Law School, the ‘Big Failure’ that launched my vision difficulties decades ago) . I’ve been thinking the Polyopia is a manifestation of my unwillingness or inability to stick to ONE goal.

    For the past month I’ve been attempting (and having success at) Open Focus. My understanding of it is this: Actively see the point of interest WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE ENTIRE SCENE. Done properly this results in a SOFT GAZE that is actually more clear than intentional (strained) focus. I practice Open Focus at various points throughout the day, and especially on Vision Walks. After about a month my vision really does seem to be improving!

    Based on your kind introduction of the term CENTRAL FOCUS I’ve begun research to increase my awareness of it. I found something very helpful and would like to quote two brief paragraphs (if you don’t mind) that seem directly related to Open Focus and why it may be helping me:

    “The ability to distinguish the centre of the vision implies the ability to distinguish the non-central vision; and recognise that for every single point that is directly observed there are an infinite number of points that are not being directly observed, right to the far edges of your periphery.”

    “In short, Central Fixation is not solely about the centre of your sight, nor solely about the vision: ‘Central Fixation’ is by definition about the balance of the visual field and the balance of the mind: that which is central to both, being clearly distinct and discernable from that which is not central.”

    Again, WOW! Thank you for this, Nancy, and thanks for recognizing my curiosity and WILLINGNESS to experiment. I think you are a GREAT teacher and guide.

    1. Thanks for responding Tom! Also the pin holes sadly down get rid of the double gision and just reflect the real image but they do line up the multiple images as one images. So do you think that’s still an optical problem?

  9. Tracy, one more thing: remember “test anxiety” can show up in an eye test too. So if she knows her eyes are going to be tested, maybe she can do a bit of palming first to relax, breathe deeply, and tell herself “I can see everything fine!”. I love it that you said she can see the blackboard fine — have her keep reminding herself of that.

    1. Hi Nancy, thanks so much for your tips. Your kind words do ease my worries quite a bit. And it feels so good to have your backup and makes me feel that im not alone after all. No one in my life, esp. my hubby, believes in natural vision improvement. Hubby thinks its ridiculous to even think about it, so im quite frustrated with him oftentimes. I ask him to keep his opionions to himself and let me help our daughter in my way. Thanks again for your kindness. Ill always remember that.

  10. Thanks for the additional link. I’ve read about 2/3 of Dr Bates’ Better Eyesight Without Glasses (must finish it) and while I “get it” I was having trouble understanding the concept of “shifting.” My recent experiments with Open Focus have led to perceived “shifting” of the scene, and your linked article, “How Do I Practice Central Fixation” really clarifies the notion.

    I really like your description of Saccades. I keep that phenomenon in mind when I do Dr Bates’ Long Swing, and it helps. I think the Long Swing and all these methods help to free-up or restore the natural Saccade/MicroSaccade function. We’ll see…

    (hey, that last short sentence operates on several levels!)
    Thanks for your help

    1. Yes, my business card says I can help you with your eyesight, and your insight. 😉 And I think these are very connected!

  11. Catherine ==
    I’m NOT AT ALL QUALIFIED to say what you’re experiencing with regard to pin-hole glasses. My opinion is based only on observations and research pertaining to my own weird situation. I don’t quite understand what you’re seeing. You say the multiple images DO line up as ONE IMAGE. Isn’t that the desired correction of your vision?

    See the .PDF at the following link. I recommend reading the whole document, but see specifically page 2, second column, the paragraph under the heading “What maneuver might be helpful for confirming our suspicion that this patient’s double vision is ocular in nature?”

    Copy this and paste into your browser’s search bar (at top of the user interface): http://assets.cambridge.org/97805217/13269/excerpt/9780521713269_excerpt.pdf

    1. Thank you for the reply and link. It’s very insightful. So basically what happened before all this if I remember correctly is that ai had really bad hyper tension causing optic nerve swelling ( this was caused by a false tumor hyper tension thing) The multiple image , with pin holes, makes the ghost image less morphed and perfectly clear..under the true image so I guess it wouldn’t be double vision then ? I guess I should get in contact with a neuropthamologist ? I do see a pressure on the back of my eyes as well but the doctors don’t see a problem with pressure . I kind of regret not that the spinal tap when all of this was going on at the time. I think I messed up badly causing this to happen. Maybe I could talk to a doctor online but was wondering if the bates method could help with this either way.

  12. Catherine ==
    We need to tread lightly as this is Nancy’s article and discussion, so I’ll be brief. I read more than half of Dr Bates’ bookn (and need to finish it). I stopped because some aspects of his method were a bit confusing to me. In the meantime David Keisling (associated with this website) suggested the book ‘Take Off Your Glasses and See’ by Jacob Liberman.

    That book in combination with Nancy’s very helpful insights is helping me. Liberman writes very clearly and you can pick up a clean USED copy for about $6 delivered from Amazon.com. Look it up on Amazon and see what you think. Maybe if I had read Liberman’s book first I would have had no trouble understanding Bates.

    1. You’re right. I apologizeto everyone for talking up a storm in the comments. I will take a good look at that book! Thanks Tom.

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