Give your face a gentle massage. Focus especially on the muscles around your forehead and eyes. Do you find tension there?
Sometimes when we are frazzled, it is because we have exhausted ourselves by focusing tightly on things in our lives.
For a moment, look very closely at this email. Keep your eyes and brain directed intently at what you are reading. Focus on the period at the end of this sentence.
Let your focus relax.
Did you find yourself pinching muscles in your face or straining at all?
That narrow focus can be useful. When you are crossing a busy street with a handful of kids, you need to focus very narrowly on where they are so they cross safely.
However, focusing that intently for long periods of time is exhausting.
Now, keep reading this email, but become aware of the room around you. Let your awareness expand to include where you are standing or sitting and the walls or scenery around you. Use your peripheral vision to see widely. For a moment, let your awareness drift from the email and widen to take in all of your surroundings softly and gently.
In order to use your peripheral vision, you need to relax the muscles in your face, especially around our eyes. Releasing the tension in your eyes often triggers release in other parts of your body and in your mind.
If you notice that you are using your heavy focus, you can choose to expand your awareness and take in more of your surroundings.
You can reinforce the idea of relaxing with a fun gesture. Take a hand and pretend that you are grabbing your intense focuser on your forehead, imagine pulling the focus away from your head, and throwing it into the air around you. If you are willing to look a little silly, say “wheeeeee!” as you throw your focus away.
As silly as it may sound, and as foolish as it may feel to do, a silly, metaphorical gesture can speak powerfully to our bodies and minds and give us permission to relax.