The human body is a strange and complex organism, with hundreds of moving pieces constantly working together to keep you, well, alive. Given that it’s a vessel with so much going on at any given time, it makes sense that there are so-called “body hacks” you can do to make it work even more efficiently.
Now, bear in mind: Generally speaking, we don’t want to take shortcuts when it comes to health and wellness. But these interesting bodily actions can cause an equal reaction, making your life a lot easier. From heartburn remedies to relieving a toothache to holding your breath for a longer period of time under water, there’s a body hack in here for many different afflictions and situations. We had no idea that #12 worked as well as it does, but now that we’re privy to it, we’re going to try it the next time we’re in a loud place.
#1. Sleeping on your left side can relieve the symptoms of heartburn.
Apparently, how you sleep can really affect your heartburn issues, and sleeping on your left can be more comfortable. Sleeping on your back or on your right side can make heartburn worse.
#2. Power posing can boost your confidence.
Standing with your legs apart and your shoulders firm can actually increase your confidence, proof that feeling invincible comes from how you physically present yourself to the world.
#3. Distracting yourself can reduce the pain of a shot.
A study found that children who wore special audiovisual glasses reported less pain and distress during when they got their shots. of course, things like that aren’t always accessible — but the next time you get a shot, try distracting yourself by coughing at the same time the doctor plunges the needle into your arm.
#4. Rubbing ice on the back of your hand can help relieve toothache pain.
ACanadian study reported a 50% decrease in dental pain from most of their subjects when they massaged the space between their thumb and their forefinger. Apparently, that area has a directly nerve-line to the part of the brain that relieves pain.
#5. Stimulating your ear can help your scratchy throat.
According to one New Jersey ear, nose, and throat specialist, working the nerves in your ear causes a small muscle spasm in your throat. That spasm actually helps to relieve that pesky tickle in your throat.
#6. Breathing quickly before going underwater helps you hold your breath longer.
This leaves you with less carbon dioxide when you go under, which makes you feel less inclined to want to take another breath. Think of it like panting a bunch before you go under — just remember, it’s a way to trick your body into thinking you have more oxygen than you do, so only do this if you’re an experienced swimmer.
#7. Drinking water can help you control your stress.
Dehydration increases your levels of a stress hormone known as cortisol. The more dehydrated you are, the more prone to stress you will be. There are plenty of good reason to stay hydrated, but stress control is definitely up there as one of the most important.
#8. Blowing with your thumb in your mouth can reduce your heart rate.
If you totally seal your mouth around your thumb and blow, it can stimulate the vagus nerve, which influences heart rate and blood pressure. Then again, if your heart rate is consistently high, you should probably skip this trick and go see a doctor.
#9. Pressing the bottom of your tongue against the roof of your mouth can relieve brain freeze.
It’s the worst feeling in the world, so it’s about time you had a technique to prevent it. Your tongue is warm, so jamming your tongue against the roof of your mouth introduces enough heat to stop brain freeze before it starts.
#10. Sleeping right after studying can help you remember and retain the information more effectively.
According to some studies, the brain will stay active when you first fall asleep and subconsciously reexamine the information that you just learned. Just try not to fall asleep WHILE you’re studying.
#11. Wearing socks can help you sleep better.
Warming your extremities widens your blood vessels, which in turn encourages your body’s sleep hormones to kick in. If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, try adding a pair of cozy socks to the mix.
#12. People are more likely to listen to you if you talk into their right ear.
And not just because they hear better on that side. Apparently, the right ear has a more direct line to the left half of the brain. That part of the brain is better at processing requests. Think of that next time you want someone to buy you a drink at a crowded bar.
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