"Forget your failures, remember your successes." -William Bates
I think it would be a great idea if people here would drop in on this thread and just list random tid bits, helpful things that they've done, or just little practices that have helped them, that they know work for them, at least sometimes. If we do this, we can add up all the good experiences people have and incorporate them into a better understanding of what good vision habits really means. I think it's really important to not forget about the little improvements. It could be that working with these little improvements is actually a faster way to improve vision than trying to search for a magic pill cure that gets super fast improvements. I think, through this whole process one is going to be present and consciously involved most steps of the way. Because, these unconscious bad habits have to be consciously changed often for a long time until they go away. I really don't think changing these habits is an on or off switch. I think it's a gradual thing that takes a presence of mind each time one is able to notice a certain bad habit, fixing it, whatever that may entail, and repeating this as often as the bad habit comes up and you are aware that it did come up.
So, I was just thinking it would be a good idea for everyone to just jot down little descriptions of small positive things that helped them, This could sort of be a blog for everyone, but focused on practical experiences or things that you did which seemed to help, even if they helped only a little bit, or only helped for those few seconds that you were doing it. I think if we get enough of these little tidbits added up, we can get a good idea of what some good habits to practice might be.
Ok, so I'll start:
-While shopping at walmart, I started holding items further away from me and reading the ingredients list on the item. It's nice fine print, and I give myself a couple seconds to let my eyes focus on the letters. I think this one is about being patient and having your attention move around on the letters till things focus somewhat. It's not perfect, but it's an improvement.
-I find it beneficial to look into the distance while letting sunlight into my eyes. Maybe trying to see the distinction between far away tree tops and the sky. This becomes trickier at night, but to see the distinction, I think my eyes have to keep shifting and comparing what I see in each glance to see if I can tell whether it is sky or a tree limb by seeing a difference in color.
-While texting or using my phone, I hold it out just to where I have to be patient with my gaze and attend to smaller things to see what I'm looking at. I can't read anything if i try to look at it all at once, but if i narrow where i look down to really small things, then I can make out what's there.
-Palming while standing up, if you don't mind your arms getting a little tired, helps keep me extra alert. Sometimes when I try to palm while sitting down I become lackadaisical and sluggish in my mind. This helps prevent that. Also, I've heard a couple times that one of the most detrimental to their health activities the average American does is sitting too much throughout the day.
a good idea, especially if on a bad day, to come here and look at other peoples success and tips is always good,
a few tid bits that have helped me are:
- constantly reminding myself, I am not searching for something to DO to make my vision better but finding more effective ways to LET go of muscular tension,
- keeping it fresh, using a variety of methods during the day to improve vision, not becoming board of doing the same thing.
- try to remove negative thoughts or at least try not to dwell on them, and think more positive and happy ones.
- try to do things that are fun and enjoyable, or have something to always look forward to.
- always thinking better of your vision, and on a bad day just take the eye chart down for a day and not obsess over it.
- approach eyesight improvement and flashes as a small thing and not a big deal as this will prolong the flash.
- try to fix the parts of the day where you tense up the most, for me it was talking, eating and listening.
- studying people with and without glasses until noticing effort and strain in people is as clear as night and day.
- simply trying to relax always fails as this is effort upon effort, so instead find or use ways that lead to relaxation, like being happy or using the imagination etc...
- saying to myself 'seeing is easier than I think' 'seeing is that easy I am finding it hard'
- I also found it extremely helpful to have a notepad handy and jot down anything that I felt was helpful or helped a lot with a certain eye exercise.
For me it is most helpful to remember moments of extremely clear vision - evoke the sharp image I've seen and the thought that I had at that very moment: "I really can't even imagine better vision than this" together with the feeling of total relaxation.
When I remember this, it is easier to feel the actual strain in my eyes and to find out, what is going wrong that moment.
Sometime I imagine an extremely small and very black dot in one corner of the detail which I want to see more clearly or I imagine a very small fly moving to different parts of the object.
There is also a positive effect when I try to have positive feelings for my eyes instead of 'blaming' them for the 'bad job' they do sometimes.
-Finally realizing that you don't have to blink real hard if your trying to "clear" things up or clear the liquid on the eye. Binks can be soft, instead of forceful.
-Not a habit per se but......I pasted some articles into MS Word and changed them to 3 point font and printed them out. Reading this in dim light seems to help. You can really notice that a smaller area of attention is necessary to even read it.
-While reading fine print, I think it can help to imagine each letter at a time of each word. It's a practice in imagining what the letter is, because you know what the word is and thus, you know what the letter is, even if you can't quite make it out. It slows reading down, but I don't really read the text when I'm doing this specific activity.
-I think blinking lightly is the way to go. And also comfortable breathing. Comfortable breathing seems to be a really complex but simple thing at the same time. Not breathing too hard, too soft, too big on the inhale or exhale. I think it should be comfortable to each different situation you are in. So when it is comfortable it is not necessarily the same in every situation.
-There doesn't have to be any anxiety and tension when shifting the eyes. Don't force your eyes to move, but don't force them to stay still.
-Palm while dancing, or moving your body slightly, maybe swaying. Palming standing up, while massaging your bare feet on a carpet or something nice.
-Massaging your hands together and feeling what feels comfortable. Massaging your arms, rubbing your forearms. Washing your hands in nice hot water and sensing how that relaxation permeates through the body.
-The 'nervous knee' shake while sitting down or in class helps distract you from tension in the eyes and comforts the body, it seems. Finding a rhythm to it, a pulse, that feels nice.
-Palming whenever you feel tension building up and it's convenient. I'm finding that even palming for a few seconds is enough to relax you at least somewhat more than a few seconds ago.
-I don't think it's good to try and 'test' your vision much, by staring at something to see if it's clearer or not. Just keep moving as you feel.
-Bate's thumb movement technique. Rubbing the thumb and index finger together to sense the stimulus of touch, which grounds you and moves you away from what you are doing with your eyes.
I would like to see other's people's "techniques" as well, if they don't mind sharing. Everyone finds their own eccentric ways of doing things which I believe need to be expressed to help people on their own road. There's always something to be learned from seeing how another has had success. We must be innovators, then share this knowledge, so that everyone can grow better towards.....something better, whatever that is.
-Look at a photo from a distance that you can't tell what it is. You can't make out what is in the picture. This gets your eyes and mind in that searching, visualizing, imagining mode. If you can't figure out what the image is after some seconds or a minute, get a little bit closer, but not much. Now try and make out what the image is. This time you can see a little bit more, so you can start guessing what the picture might be. And I think that guessing is like your mind visualizing possibilities. It's along the same lines as when Bate's had patients "guess" the letter on the eye chart if they couldn't see it. If they guessed right, he noticed an improvement in vision.
-Looking into the distance. Looking at far away moving objects in the distance. I think that movement creates a good, ever changing stimulus that keeps your visual system active.
-Watching TV and movies. I especially enjoyed going to a movie theater without my glasses.
An update on things that have been helping lately:
-Fine print. I have the seven truths of normal sight printed and laminated in 1.5, 2, and 3 point font on a 2" X 3" card. Looking at it from different distances helps me see minor changes in vision and what causes these fluctuations. If your vision improved just a millimeter a day, you'd have good vision in no time. I also have one of these these cards posted to my eye chart at eye level while standing. I find I can get the most benefit if I stand while experimenting.
-Sitting up straighter while watching TV, driving, looking at the chart, or with computer use. It heightens my awareness of tension, allows my chest to open up to breath better, and aids in digestion.
-Sipping water throughout the day. It helps clear out food if you've stuffed yourself, cools you down, and just makes you feel better in general.
-Long swing. I recently realized how much the long swing relaxes you. I think it has to do with seeing things move at different speeds relative to other things (things closer to you move faster than things further away), thus giving a more 3D look to the world. While moving the body, I palm and imagine the swing under my closed eyes. This seems to help me relax as well
-Palming. Don't put any pressure on your face, and definitely not the eyes. Right when I wake up and while still laying in bed, I palm for a few minutes. It helps me relax my eyes and mind if I didn't have a restful sleep. Frequent, short palming sessions throughout the day also help to reset the mind.
-Keeping the concept that blur shouldn't matter in mind and not letting a blurry scene make me tense my eyes. When looking at the distance, the memory of the feeling of seeing fine print clearly, is helpful.
I'm wondering if you guys could elaborate on exercises with fine print. I am myopic (-1.5 diopters each eye) after having SMILE Relex procedure (similar to Lasik but a newer procedure). My doctor recommend additional surgery but I absolutely do not want that.
By exercising with fine print, do you mean to just read the words in smaller font, both on paper and on computer screen? And does the lighting matter?
I still think this is a good idea, but it might need a better avenue, like posts on the facebook group or something.
-When at the computer, remind yourself that "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast." Realize that your panicking ever so slightly and take a step back, literally, relax, calm down, breath, blink and wait a couple seconds. If things aren't clearer after giving it a good chance, then you can lean in little or make the text larger.
-Along the same lines, look at photos at a blurry distance. Notice how you glance around the image trying to delineate what the image is. Notice that sometimes after giving it a few seconds you realize what it is and you get a sensation of "Aha1" If you gave it a good chance and you still don't see it, move a little closer, not too close, and they go for it again.
I'm thinking these two methods are similar to the idea of print pushing, which has received some backlash on this forum, but I'm not sure why exactly. I think maybe because it promotes the misleading view that near point is inherently bad for the eyes, This also makes me curious as to why there are some that have greatly improved their vision, Meir Schneider, for example, who tend to sum it up this way and say that too much time spent at the near is bad for you. It may be a more fertile ground for vision problems to develop, but it ultimately comes down to how the individual responds to the situation.