How often have you tried to stifle or bother about your yawn? It is normally seen to be associated with boredom, lethargy and tiredness. If I were to tell you that it is a fabulous thing for you, it may sound strange. Yawning can elevate your mood, decrease your stress, shoot up your concentration and alertness, relax you instantly, enhance pleasure and sensuality in a jiffy without costing a dime, effortlessly.
The moment I laid my hands on this piece of wisdom, frankly I was quite blown away. Yawning has always had a social stigma attached to it. It is not considered a very desirable or pleasant form of social behaviour, exhibiting lack of interest and fatigue. But scientifically proven facts are now unveiling one of the best kept secrets of neuroscience.
Yawning stimulates the brain in no time like very few other activities. When we open our jaws wide open to yawn, we are opening ourselves to a plethora of health benefits. Its just that most of you would not be even aware of it. Leading Neuroscientist Dr Andrew Newberg, M.D has shed light on this fabulous technique which can pep up your brain in seconds. He along with his co-author urges everyone to deliberately yawn daily and reap its benefits in his book “How God Changes your brain”.
FIRST, LET US FIGURE OUT THE REASONS WHY YAWNING CAN BE SUCH A POWERHOUSE ACTIVITY FOR YOU.
|Releases stress immediately||Stimulates alertness and concentration|
|Increases memory recall||Enhances athletic skills|
|Relaxes every part of the body||Optimizes brain activity and metabolism|
|Increases memory recall||Improves voluntary muscle control|
|Fine tunes your sense of time||Enhances pleasure and sensuality|
All this has been scientifically proven in 34 yawn-related studies according to Dr Newberg. You might be wondering how could an insignificant yawn can usher in so much. Well if you have to take advantage of it, then start by faking yawn 5 to 6 times. We all know how contagious it is! In seconds you would be yawning naturally. Just test on yourself while you are reading this blog.
If you are one of those who revel in late night partying, yawning helps you reset your brain clock. It can ward off the effects of a jet lag too. Not only this it can also help people who encounter discomfort at higher altitudes.
Yawning releases several neuro chemicals that can hike your sense of pleasure. It is attributed to the release of dopamine, which activates oxytocin production. Both are also referred to as the “happy hormones”. Both these chemicals regulate not only pleasure but sensuality and relationship bonding between individuals. Dr Newberg prescribes that couples who want to raise their levels of intimacy should yawn together. Did sound funny to me in first go, but when the leading neuroscientist says “its hard to find another activity that positively influences so many functions of the brain” in his book, it got me really interested to dig out more.
Do You Know Several World Class Athletes Yawn Before Performance?
Eight-time Olympic medalist speedskater Apolo Ohno had been spotted yawning before major competitions. “It is very well documented that humans and animals yawn in anticipation of or leading up to important events. Even world class athletes, before the most monumental race or competition of their life, have been observed yawning,” says Andrew Gallup, Ph.D., an evolutionary psychologist who studies yawning.
Army soldiers yawn more than normal right before they’re going to jump from an airplane for the first time. There is said to be evidence that yawning helps individuals on military assignment, perform their tasks with greater accuracy and ease.
Yawn can also intensify the spiritual experience due to the chemical reaction it produces in the brain.” Several brain-scan studies have shown that yawning evokes a unique neural activity in the areas of the brain that are directly involved in generating social awareness and creating feelings of empathy” says Dr Newberg.
Anytime you feel heat surging up and you losing control, try to yawn few times. The idea behind this is yawning helps act as an air conditioner for your brain. Yawning regulates the temperature and metabolism of the brain. When you take a deep breath while stretching your jaw muscles, you’re pulling in cool air from outside, which hits your blood vessels, cools that blood, and then cools your brain as it travels up your arteries. It probably evolved as a way to cool down the overly active brain of the mammals. Have seen dogs yawn a lot. It is said that dogs would always yawn before attacking while fish yawn before they change activities.
Yawning we all know is highly contagious. So much so that when I first read about faking yawn in this book to unleash its benefits I actually started yawning naturally. So if you are in a fix related to anything, the easiest thing to do is consciously yawn for a six or seven times and in no time a real yawn will start flowing out with ease so as to get a better understanding of the situation.
Conscious yawning will not be a part of our habit unless we undo the stigma attached with yawning socially. I know how judgemental I would get on seeing a close relative yawn habitually in a family gathering. Simply because I had been ignorant of its benefits. It is natural, activated for our benefit but the moment we attach tags to it, trying to judge it from the prism of social acceptance we lose to identify with so many things that nature has gifted us. Its time we shake ourselves up to shed this societal inhibition and tap into the power of this seductive little trick? After all yawning is completely free, effortless and fruitful !
Photo Credits :-
Image 2- Walls Chuck on Pexel
Image 3- Austrian National Library on Unsplash