This post is part of a series of articles intended to help you understand the relationship between your thoughts and your intraocular pressure. When I speak about the relationship between stress and eye pressure, many of us have a hard time making the connection -- because stress is a constant in most of our lives. This exercise will help make the connection between IOP and stress clearer.
First, sit quietly and reflect on the statements below. These are called "Universal Beliefs." (The list is taken from The Work of Byron Katie.) Which of these beliefs do you have?
- I have to work hard.
- My body should be healthy.
- I am a failure.
- I need more money.
- Life is not fair.
- I have to do it right.
- I did it wrong.
- There is something wrong with me.
- Other people can hurt me.
- People are judging me.
- I am not fulfilling my purpose.
- I need to understand.
- I need to know what to do.
- I don't know what to do.
- I know what is best for others.
- I know what they are thinking.
- They should agree with me.
- People should be grateful.
- I know more than you do.
- Something terrible is going to happen.
- S/he rejected me.
- S/he doesn't trust me.
- There should not be war in this world.
- I am not lovable.
- The world is not a safe place.
- People should keep their promises.
- My boss should appreciate me.
- I don't belong.
- People should not be angry.
- I can make a mistake.
- People should not lie.
- People should respect me.
- Life should be fair.
- I need to make a decision.
- I can disappoint people.
- I am worthless.
- I need a partner to be happy.
- It is my fault.
- I missed my chance.
- I need to be careful in life.
- People should listen to me.
- Children should love their parents.
- I can't do anything right.
These are called universal beliefs because most of us have several of them. The list above is not complete, but it is enough to give you the idea. Which of these beliefs do you have? Do you have similar beliefs that are not on this list, but which cause you to feel stress (or subtle discomfort) when you think about them?
Step one is to become aware of your beliefs and step two is to observe how these beliefs relate to your intraocular pressure. If you are a typical primary open angle glaucoma patient, there is a direct link. You will need a tonometer (and a careful, scientific approach) to see the connection, but it is there and it is very, very powerful.
If you don't have a tonometer, it is no problem. Just proceed to directly go to work on your beliefs. (A good place to start, besides reading FitEyes.com, is to read this book: Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell.)
This exercise is about examining your beliefs. Become familiar with them and be able to notice when they are operating in you. Understand the power your beliefs have over you. Become aware of how they control your life. Notice that you may not even have chosen your beliefs -- often they were programmed into you. That programming process is explained in The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book by Don Miguel Ruiz (Hardcover - Jan 15, 2001). That's another book I highly recommend.
If you begin examining your unexamined beliefs, you will be moving in the direction of gaining better control over your own intraocular pressure.