Dr. Bates, the natural vision improvement pioneer of the early 20th century, used to get this question a lot from his patients. He would reply that you have as much time to practice seeing with good relaxed healthy vision habits as you do with straining tense habits. Or he’d say you should be practicing correct vision habits all day long! This can sound daunting unless you understand what he meant.
Don’t worry — you don’t have to quit your job and ignore your family to improve your vision. You can fit a lot of vision practice in with your normal life, doing some Long Swings while you’re waiting for the coffee to brew, or some palming to give yourself a short break from looking at the computer. When you go for your daily walk, you can practice central fixation by noticing that you see the flower petal or leaf on a tree you look at directly more clearly than the petal or leaf right next to it. You can still see the adjacent one, though it’s more blurry than the one in the center of your vision.
OK, let’s say you’re really motivated to improve, and you want to up your game. The best time for dedicated vision practice is when you’ll actually do it! This is different for everyone. Maybe after the children get off to school you have a little time to yourself, and can fit in a half-hour of eye chart play. For someone else, after dinner or on the lunch break is a freer time, when a walk outdoors would be fun and renewing, looking in the distance, then up close, then in the distance again.
Finally, much of vision practice is about gently and easily examining details, near and far, left and right, overhead and below your feet. You can do this anywhere, at your desk (and you’re so lucky if you have a window to look out of occasionally too!), while driving or walking or sitting on the floor playing with a child. Just look around, wherever you are, noticing what you notice and how you feel about that. Are you resisting the view, or welcoming it? This is vision practice, and there’s no time like right now for it.
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