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20 Body Hacks That Will Make Your Life Better

20 Body Hacks That Will Make Your Life Better

1. Condition Yourself to Fall Asleep Quickly

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    Stop hanging out and watching TV in your bed! When you wake up in the morning, get out of bed immediately and don’t go back to bed until you are ready to go to sleep. This will help you to subconsciously associate your bed with sleeping and, over time, it will help you to fall asleep more quickly when you hit the pillow.

    2. Prevent or Force a Sneeze

    To prevent sneezing at an inopportune time, with your mouth closed, try pressing your tongue firmly against the back of your teeth to help prevent your sneeze. While preventing a sneeze is great, there is nothing more annoying than a sneeze that you can feel as a tickle in the back of your throat but never actually initiates. To force a sneeze, try staring up into a bright light.

    3. Stop “Brain Freeze” Fast

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      Brain freeze, the intense pain that we experience after eating very cold foods, is a nerve response to cold food touching the soft palette toward the back of the mouth, especially when that cold food is eaten rapidly. To stop the sensation of brain freeze, try warming up that soft palette with your tongue by pushing it up, flat against the roof of your mouth.

      4. Prevent Acid Reflux

      While there are a number of potential reasons for acid reflux, one very preventable cause is sleeping on your right side. When you lay on your right side, your stomach is higher than your esophagus, which allows gravity to cause acid reflux. Try sleeping on your left side to reduce night time discomfort.

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      5. Hold Your Breath Longer

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        You can hold your breath a bit longer if you hyperventilate first. By taking several short breaths in quick succession, you trick your body into thinking it has a larger oxygen supply giving you more time before your brain starts freaking out.

        6. Remember Data and Solve Problems in Your Sleep

        Research shows that most memory consolidation happens when your mind is in a resting state and as such, reviewing raw material or the details of a complicated problem before going to bed can help you to better remember the data or even devise a solution to the problem.

        7. Improve Your Hearing

        Having trouble hearing a conversation in a crowded place? Lean in with your right ear, it is better at picking up the rhythms of speech. Can’t tell what song is playing softly in the supermarket? Let your left ear do the work, it is better at picking up musical tones.

        8. Reduce Toothache Pain

        Holding an ice cube firmly on the v-shaped area between your thumb and index finger on the back of your hand can reduce toothache pain by around 50% according to one Canadian study.

        9. Reduce Side Pain when Running

        Most people, when running, tend to exhale when their right foot strikes the ground, which actually puts pressure on the liver and causes the dreaded “side stitch” in many runners. Try simply training yourself to exhale when your left foot strikes the ground and take the pressure off your poor liver… which probably takes enough abuse as it is.

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        10. Improve Your Long Distance Vision

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          One potential cause for nearsightedness is what optometrists call near point stress that occurs from staring for hours on end at an up close item like your computer’s monitor. One way to combat this and improve your long distance vision after sitting at your desk all day is to periodically close your eyes, take a deep breath and flex your major muscle groups. Doing this will help the involuntary muscles in your eyes to relax.

          11. Wake a Sleeping Limb

          To revive an arm that has fallen asleep, try rocking your head from side to side, which will reduce tension in your neck and help to ease the pins and needles sensation in your arm. For a leg that has fallen asleep, walking around a bit is still your best option.

          12. Scratch The Itch in Your Throat

          Few things are more frustrating than an itch that lies right outside your grasp and cannot be scratched. Instead of reaching your hand down your throat, try scratching your ear. When the nerves of the ear are stimulated, muscles in the throat spasm, which often relieves the itch in your throat.

          13. Hold Back Tears

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            To avoid publicly weeping, hold your eyes open without blinking and you can usually hold back the tears. If you have already starting to cry, try looking upward without tilting your head to stop up the waterworks.

            14. Clear Your Sinuses

            Alternate thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth and pressing firmly with your finger on the space between your eyebrows (note, if you don’t have a gap between your eyebrows, rethink your grooming routine) which moves the vomer bone back and forth, aiding the sinus passages to clear.

            15. Avoid Blisters When You Burn Your Fingers

            Typically, if you touch something hot, the initial reaction is to reach for some ice, and while that may ease your pain quickly, that’s not necessarily what’s best for your skin as you are going from one temperature extreme to another. Try cleaning the affected area and applying pressure against the palm of your uninjured hand to prevent the burn from turning into a blister.

            16. Prevent a Yawn

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              If you are about to yawn, try touching the tip of your tongue just as your mouth opens to stop this embarrassing display dead in its tracks.

              17. Get Rid of the Hiccups

              There are a million and one home remedies for the hiccups and we all have our personal method of choice, but if you ever find that your go-to technique just isn’t cutting it, give this a shot: hold a breath as long as possible and when you just can’t hold it any longer, exhale as slowly as you can.

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              18. Suppress your Gag Reflex

              The next time you feel the urge to gag, try gripping your thumb firmly within your closed fist to help suppress your gag reflex.

              19. Increase your Memory with Cinnamon

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                Cinnamon is taken by many as a supplement to aid in weight loss, but did you know that just smelling cinnamon can improve both your memory and cognition. Try keeping a few cinnamon sticks in a cotton sachet by your desk and take a deep whiff whenever you need a quick mental pick-me-up.

                20. Keep yourself Awake (without caffeine)

                Before you guzzle that Red Bull or force down another cup of coffee, consider a natural way to keep yourself awake, blue light. Scientists have found that blue light keeps people awake more so than any other color.

                Featured photo credit: Model Man at Central Market, Austin via flic.kr

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                Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                • (1) Research
                • (2) Deciding the topic
                • (3) Creating the outline
                • (4) Drafting the content
                • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                • (6) Revision
                • (7) etc.

                Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                2. Change Your Environment

                Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                6. Get a Buddy

                Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                Reality check:

                I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                More About Procrastination

                Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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