Did you know that when you yawn, you are exercising your brain? Say what? Yawning does what for my brain? Exercises it? Yep! It is really fascinating, read on and I will explain in more detail. 

The Facts

According to Andrew Newberg in “How God Changes Your Brain” yawning is the fifth best way to exercise your brain, aside from reading, solving puzzles, etc. Andrew feels that yawning is one of the best kept secrets in neuroscience today. In his book, he outlines how yawning evokes a unique neural activity in an area of the brain that is directly involved in generating social awareness and creating feelings of empathy.

The area that he specifically goes over in his book is the precuneus, located within the folds of your parietal lobe in your brain. According to the Institute of Neurology in London, the precuneus is also stimulated by yogic breathing. This is why different forms of meditation contribute to an increased sense of awareness. It really is crazy how it is all connected. The precuneus is also one of the hardest areas hit when it comes to age related diseases. 

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The Benefits

If you’re bored, you can go to Pubmed.gov and check out all the studies on yawning. Who knew it was such an amazing and interesting topic.

  • Yawning also helps you relax.
  • It helps with social awareness,
    • Yawning helps you show more compassion, and assists you to be a better communicator.
  • It can quickly bring you into a heightened state of cognitive awareness.
    • Do you remember when you were in school and you would yawn in class? This is not because the teacher is boring (well maybe it helped). It is more because yawning helps you rid the brain of sleepiness, this helping you stay focused on important concepts and ideas.
  • Yawning helps regulate consciousness and our sense of self.
  • It helps us become more introspective and self aware,
    • According to the book “How God Changes Your Brain” yawning will relax you and bring you into a state of alertness faster than any other meditation technique. In the book, the mechanism for alertness in yawning begins within the first twenty weeks after conception. It helps regulate the circadian rhythms of newborns. 
  • May ward off the effects of jet lag and ease the discomfort caused by high altitudes.

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Okay if I have not lost you by now with all this scientific mumbo-jumbo, here are 12 Essential Reasons to Yawn Each Day:

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Are you yawning yet?

 

 

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