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8 Tricks To Distract Yourself From Frustrating Illnesses And Pains

8 Tricks To Distract Yourself From Frustrating Illnesses And Pains

There’s nothing worse than being in constant pain or feeling incredibly nauseous. It can be difficult to think about anything besides the discomfort in those situations. Luckily, there are 8 quick and simple tricks you can use to distract yourself from all of your illness and pain!

1. Scratch Your Ear To Cure A Scratchy Throat!

I didn’t believe it either ‒ until I tried it and it worked. As it turns out, Scott Schaffer, M.D., the president of an ear, nose, and throat specialty center, gave this expert advice to Men’s Health. His exact words were, “When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm. This spasm relieves the tickle.” Fascinating!

2. Relieve Your Migraine with Ancient Techniques

If you’re anything like my sister, you are plagued by constant headaches that never seem to go away. You might even take a lot of advil or other pain relief medicine ‒ which isn’t very good for your body, and you build up a tolerance pretty quickly. Instead, try the ancient technique of using pressure points to relieve your headache.

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According to LiveStrong, you can simply use your thumb and index finger to press against the webbing between your thumb and index finger on your other hand to relieve the pain. Press and hold for two minutes on each hand while gently moving your fingers in a circular motion.

Confused? Watch this video:

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3. Blow On Your Thumb To Calm Your Nerves

Does it sound ridiculous? Yes. Does it work? You betcha.

If you’ve ever had butterflies in your stomach before a big meeting, a date with a cute girl/guy, or just doing something new, you can use this method! Blowing on your thumb works because it regulates your breathing (thus calming your nerves), and also helps control your vagus nerve, which helps to slow your heart rate.

4. Use Alternating Pressure To Drain A Stuffy Nose

All stuffed up and can’t breathe out your nose? Try this technique.

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Alternate pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth and pressing your index fingers against the inside of each of your eyebrows at the same time. Go back and forth between these two pressure points for about 20 seconds, and you should be able to take a nice deep breath! This works by moving the vomer bone back and forth, which breaks up your phlegm.

5. Ice Your Hand to Stop Toothaches

Suffering from horrendous tooth pain? Reach for an ice cube!

Take the ice and rub it on the back of your hand. Rub it back and forth on the webbing between your thumb and index finger. The nerves there are linked to the nerves in your face and both of which are linked to your brain. By icing your hand, you’ll block the pain signals in your teeth! Weird, huh?

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6. Splash Your Face with Cold Water To Relieve Stress

You’ve probably already heard of this hack, but do you know why it works?

Apparently, by holding your breath and feeling the sting of ice cold water on your face, your brain is tricked into what is called the “mammalian diving reflex”. This reflex forces your body to use oxygen more efficiently, which in turn forces you to calm down. WebMD has a lot of studies on the history of the human brain and water ‒ it has a lot of calming effects.

7. Cough To Stop Pain From Needles

Are you afraid of getting a shot at the doctor or giving blood because of the impending needle in your skin?

Next time you’re about to get a needle in you, try letting out a small cough just before the nurse is injecting you. A cough will distract your brain from the pricking feeling and it’ll be done before you even realize anything happened! Just be sure to let the nurse in on your brain so she doesn’t jump and miss your vein!

8. Next Time You Get a Burn, Skip The Water or Ice

By running a burn under cold water or putting ice on it, your skin changes temperatures too rapidly, which can cause blistering and more unnecessary pain. Next time, just hold your fingers or hand over the burn to bring it back to body temperature more slowly, stopping the skin from getting as damaged.

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Bill Widmer

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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