Between work, soccer practice, dinner dates, and PTA meetings, life can be stressful. Our mind’s natural reaction to stress is to push it way, way down. Out of sight out of mind, right?
This is just the way our brain helps us cope with stress. It protects us from thinking about it so that we can finish the task at hand. However, just because we aren’t thinking about our stress doesn’t mean it’s gone.
The stress just transforms into something else. It turns into physical ailments. It morphs into headaches, migraines, back pain, shoulder pain, colds and much more.
Your eyes, however, might get the worst of it. Stress can severely impact your vision. It causes your eyes to be fatigued and strained. But luckily there’s an easy fix to this – natural, at home eye compresses.
What Is an Eye Compress and What Does It Do?
An eye compress is typically made up of a damp cloth and used to treat various eye symptoms. For example, it can be used to alleviate the symptoms experienced when someone has pink eye. This eye compress will relieve any itching or burning.
A compress can also relieve the eye of any pain. The compress will help the eye to decompress. Eye pain is often due to eye strain.
Both hot and cold compresses can be used. Typically, a hot compress will be used for more relaxation related reasons. A cold compress will be used to subdue any itching or swelling around the eye.
A strained eye is the number one symptom of a body under stress. Even if you think you have your workload under control, your eyes will never lie to you. Your mind will tell you all the lies in the world to make you comfortable. The eyes, on the other hand, will not.
When the eyes are strained they may feel sore. Things like blinking and rapidly moving your eyes will be painful. Your eyes will move slower and it will affect your reaction time.
Eye strain can also cause blurred vision. This can severely affect work productivity and your everyday life. It can even add to your stress by making you frustrated and angry.
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Natural Eye Compresses
Sometimes a cold or hot compress isn’t quite enough. It might be that the stress is really getting to your eyes and you feel you need something with a little more oomph.
That’s when you need a compress with a little added something. What you need is a Himalayan salt water soak and/or a Triphala churna eyewash.
These two soaks may not be compresses since there isn’t actually compressing going on. However, they will definitely give you the relaxation you need and deserve.
The soaks are made with healing material to not only help your eyes relax, but to also transfer nutrients to the skin around the eyes. This will help to remove redness, swelling, dark circles and much more. They will also help to cleanse the eyes and protect them from infection bacteria.
Here’s how you can make these soaks at home:
Himalayan Salt Water Soak
The Himalayan salt water soak is very easy to make. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Half a cup of water. The water can be cold or warm depending on what you need it for.
- One fourth of a teaspoon of Himalayan salt. This pink, natural salt can be found in any health food store and certain grocery stores.
- A small glass container.
Once you’ve collected all that you need, dissolve the salt in the water. As the salt is dissolving, remove any makeup or cream you may have applied around the eyes. You don’t want any of that to accidentally get into your eyes. That’s a recipe for disaster and perhaps even infection.
Once your eyes are clean, place the glass container with the water inside over one eye with your head tilted forward. Then tilt your head back and let the water bath over your eye. For best results, you’ll want to open your eye and roll it around so that the water can really get in.
This will take some getting used to. Water in the eye is a very strange feeling and it isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t feeling so bold on your first attempt, just leave your eye closed and let it bath the skin around.
Then you repeat the whole process over on the other eye. You can do this once a day, or whenever you’re feeling stressed and need a break.
Triphala Churna Eyewash
A Triphala churna eyewash has long been used in traditional medicine in India and various other parts of Asia. This powdered medicinal herb is packed with anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties as well as antioxidants.
This soak requires a little more planning and can’t be thrown together at a moment’s notice. For best results, you’ll want to soak your Triphala churna in water overnight. In the morning, strain the liquid and dispose of the Triphala churna.
You’ll be left with some powerful water. Again, grab a glass container and add the Triphala churna water to it (about half a cup). Then hold it over your eye and open your eye. Repeat it on the other eye.
You may need to plan your Triphala churna eyewashes, but you can always make the water in bulk and save it in the fridge. This concoction will last for about a week. After that, we recommend making a new batch.
Bonus Compress: The Cucumber
The humble cucumber is not just a delightful snack. It can also be used as a cold compress. Placing two slices over your eyes will get the blood flowing around the eyes. This will prevent wrinkles and dark circles. You’ll also be very relaxed!
The next time you’re having a bad day at work, or the kids just won’t leave you alone, or maybe you just need some “me” time, try using a natural eye compress to relax. You’ll be relaxing, but you’ll also be keeping your eyes healthy.