Using Eye Compress Time to Practice Mindfulness
Every day I use an eye compress. I heat it up in the microwave for about 20-25 seconds and leave it on my eyes for 10 minutes. I use a Bruder eye compress that was recommended to me by my optometrist.
The heat helps open the meibomian glands in the eyelids. This can help increase oil flow into the eyes and slow down tear evaporation, among other things.1
How an eye compress has helped me
Using it every day has helped with the overall dryness in my eyes. If I ever forget to use it, I've noticed I experience more eye pain and light sensitivity. So to make the most out of my eye compress, I try to use it consistently.
When I am having a flare-up of dryness, usually accompanying a flare-up of my autoimmune diseases, I use the eye compress twice a day instead of just once. This helps with the increased dryness caused by the flare-up.
We live in an age where people are constantly on the go and doing things. So it feels weird to sit down and do nothing for 10 minutes. I didn't mean to start practicing mindfulness while using my eye compress. It just kind of happened.
As I used it more frequently, I realized I spent those 10 minutes thinking. With my eyes closed and concentrating on the warmth of the compress, I would think about whatever popped into my head. I wouldn't dwell on it for too long, as I wanted to focus on the eye compress and make sure I heard the timer on my phone go off. Because of this, I'd acknowledge a feeling, accept it, and then think about the next thought. This not only gave me some peace of mind but also made my body less tense.
Eventually, I noticed this pattern and how I felt calmer afterwards, so I started doing it deliberately. Sometimes I'll listen to some music while I've got my eye compress on. Other times I'll sit in silence and let my mind wander.
Connecting with my emotions
A daily mindfulness practice that nourishes my mind, body, and specifically my eyes has become my favorite part of my routine. Whenever I'm stressed about school or life in general, I know that I'll get a chance to peacefully mull it over when I use my eye compress.
Having my eyes covered for 10 minutes forced me to find some peace and quiet in my daily routine. I find myself thinking about things that happened long ago. Or feeling anxious about things that are to come. Sometimes I realize that I'm still upset about things I thought I was over. Or that I'm worried about things I didn't know I was worried about.
Using my eye compress has not only benefitted my eyes but has also been good for me mentally. It has helped me connect with myself, through my emotions and thoughts.
If you use an eye compress, what do you do while using it?
Which barrier below prevents you from receiving better chronic dry eye treatment? (Select all that apply)