I have just been reading an interesting book called ‘Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement’ by Katy Bowman, which talks about the physical loads we place on our bodies and different parts of our bodies, thus affecting the expression of our genes. Another reminder that WE can influence our genetic expression.
In the book there were some great reminders and insights into maintaining our vision and hearing, which I needed to share. Especially after being in Singapore, where so many people walk around the streets and metro stations with their faces in their smart phones, and headphones pumping artificial sound into their ears.
Our hearing and vision is SO important for our lives, that we need to make sure we don’t take them for granted. Imagine if you lost even 50% of your vision or hearing. How would that impact everything in your life?
Important things (like your hearing and vision) need important and focused attention; so here are my Tips for maintaining and improving them.
Don’t lose your SIGHT (of what’s important)
Our entire body is packed with big and small muscles. And just as the big muscles need to be worked in the right way, so too do our small muscles. Also our bodies are great at ‘adapting’ in order to save energy. So if our body thinks we only need to see 30cm (1 foot) in front of us, after days, weeks and months of this, it will start adjusting to that scenario. It will then struggle to switch back from that adjustment, back to seeing further distances.
So what to do?
Let’s get practical. Too many of us spend too much time looking at things very close to us (generally with small characters that may cause us further eye strain). I am definitely guilt of this.
We need to take regular breaks where we look out into the distance. Way out into the distance. Then mid-range. Then keeping your head still looking to the right and left to greater distances. When you live in a city you also tend to only look mid-distances in front. Take the time to look out to the horizon, or up to the sky. Work those eye-balls of yours!
This is called exercising your eyes and is likely to lead to fewer issues with your eyes in the future (of course this needs to be supported with good nutrition, physical activity and plenty of quality sleep ;-)).
You also need to HEAR this
One of the modern day challenges (given most people live in an urban domain) is the noise volume we are exposed to, is excessively high.
Whether it is cars, motorbikes, planes, power tools, music, stereo sound at the cinema, and a bazillion other things. Plus the majority of noise we hear is ‘man-made’. So our reactive brains, are triggered more easily, and our nervous system becomes over active. The other thing is having artificial sounds that come in via headphones, with no depth or filtering. In essence, our ears and hearing system are being assaulted by our modern lives.
To give your hearing a rest, as well as a workout, I suggest doing some of the following on a regular basis:
– take a drive or ride or walk and have no sound playing on the car stereo or listening device. Silence used to be golden. 😉
– walk in nature where the sounds are more soothing and natural for our hearing
– use ear plugs to reduce excessive noise (I think I need to start taking some of those foam ear plugs to the cinema these days as the stereo sound is out of control)
– find somewhere where you can sit and listen to the natural sounds of birds, insects, frogs, and other wildlife
A final word
Don’t take your hearing and vision for granted. Know that our modern lives and lifestyles, put strains on them both, which our physical systems have not fully adapted to – nor do we want them to fully adapt to.
So pay attention to them and work them out in a meaningful way. Give your eyes a break from the screen, and look into the distance. Let your hearing have a rest as you tap into the natural sounds in nature. You will find it will not only improve these, but will relax you a lot more too.
Live your live consciously and you will live longer, more vibrantly, and with greater levels of success in all parts of your life.
Take regular breaks from looking short distances. Look to the horizon. Exercise your vision (short, medium, long). The world will not end if you don’t read your tablet / smart phone on the way to work. 😉
Give your hearing a break. Walk in nature with no artificial sounds. It will just feel right.