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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 March 13, 2019

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                1. Work on the small tasks.

                When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                2. Take a break from your work desk.

                Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                3. Upgrade yourself

                Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                4. Talk to a friend.

                Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                7. Read a book (or blog).

                The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                8. Have a quick nap.

                If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                9. Remember why you are doing this.

                Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                10. Find some competition.

                Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                11. Go exercise.

                Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                12. Take a good break.

                Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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