The Eyes Join the Breath as Commanders of the Central Nervous System

Why does it feel so good to look out at a beautiful vista? The science is actually pretty surprising. The latest neurological research is finding that the human eye has a reciprocal effect, like breath, with our central nervous system. 

Think about your breath for a second. Environmental stress will change your breathing unconsciously. As someone who (for whatever reason) has to watch bodycam footage of gun fights in the media, I can tell you that people who are getting shot at are breathing quickly and they are breathing out of their mouths. It’s a natural response to stress. Conversely, a calm central nervous system (CNS) is almost always naturally accompanied by slower breathing and more nasal breathing.

While the environment can dictate our breathing patterns, we also have the ability to control our breathing! This means we have the ability (via breath) to control our state! If you’ve spent any time with our Breath + Exposure program, you already know all this. 

The eyes are also reciprocal contributors to the state of our CNS.  

When you’re under stress, think about what your eyes do naturally. Pupils constrict and you may even experience “tunnel vision” to focus your attention on the threat and to have the greatest means of survival. The wide angle, dilated pupils state that feels so good when you’re looking out at the ocean horizon or at a beautiful nature vista feels relaxing because it is! 

Like your breath, however, we have some control over our state via our eyes. When you consider how much of your life is spent looking closely at small, narrow focused items like a screen or a task at your desk when compared to expansive views of vistas with natural light you can start to see how we might be living in a chronic stress state. 

Now you can tap into the restorative, parasympathetic state not just with intentional breathing patterns, but also with what you look at!

4/2/24 WOD

DEUCE Athletics GPP

Complete 4 rounds of the following:
10 Floor Press
15 Tate Presses
12 Evil Wheels

Complete the following for time:
Block Run
80 KB swings (71/53)
6th St Hill Run
40 DB Devils Press (40/20)
Corner Run



Complete 3 attempts at the following complex for load:
3 Push Press
5 Push Jerk

Complete 3 rounds for quality of:
200′ KB Waiter Carry
8 Strict Hanging Leg Raises

Then, complete 3 rounds for reps:
In :90..
250m Row
Max Slam Balls
-Rest 4:30-