We might think that we’re experts at knowing our own bodies, but you’ll probably need to rethink your expertise after checking out these “ordinary” measures that your body takes to keep you safe.
We do the things listed below every day and, while they might seem like routine parts of life (and sometimes annoying ones), the reasons behind them is actually fascinating.
Take a look and wonder how hiccups, stretching, and prune hands are all survival tactics that your body employs!
Yawning cools down your brain.
People in warm climates are more likely to yawn, leading many to believe that it’s an evolutionary tactic to lower the brain’s temperature to keep you from overheating.
And you just thought it was a rude way of letting people know that you’re tired.
Sneezing clears our noses of bacteria and illnesses.
A messy and impolite sneeze may be inconvenient, but they serve a much higher purpose than just forcing you to make a funny sound.
They clean out nasal passages from irritants and viruses, keeping us healthy in the process.
So don’t be so annoyed at sneezes, ok?
The urge to stretch warms us and ups our energy levels.
When we feel the irresistible urge to stretch when we wake up, that’s our body convincing us to get blood moving so that we can be more productive early on.
Because, back in the day, if you weren’t energized, you could get eaten by a lion.
Hiccups are annoying reminders that keep us from choking.
Lots of people disagree on the purpose of hiccups, but the consensus these days is that they serve to hinder our body from eating so quickly, lest we choke.
But, more importantly, eating slowly aids digestion and can even promote weight loss.
Those twitches when you’re falling asleep? They save us from bad dreams.
Ok, so maybe this one isn’t a lifesaver, but you should still be grateful for it. Those spasms when you’re just about to drift off are called hypnic jerks, and they kick in when breathing and heart rates are down, suggesting we’re in danger.
Sometimes our dreams are so real that our body responds to what happens in them, and in those instances, the hypnic jerks keep us from “dying.” It might not be real, but they’re trying to save your life.
If you want to avoid them, try cutting back on coffee, smoking, and food right before bedtime.
Prune hands happen to give us a grip.
It’s still totally weird that we get wrinkly when our hands and feet are submerged in water, but at least now we know why!
Scientists believe that the wrinkles happen to allow us to grip things even if our hands are wet.
So while they might not be comfortable or pretty, it’s our body’s way of trying to help.
Tears exist to protect our eyes.
When we turn on the waterworks, it’s our body’s defense mechanism in action. Tears flush out our eyes, preventing them from succumbing to infection or bacteria.
Similarly, they reduce stress hormones which allow us to proceed with a clear head in life-and-death situations.
Goosebumps heighten our senses!
When goosebumps pop up, they increase the surface area of our skin, meaning that we are more sensitive to touch and other stimulation than we would otherwise be. That’s why we get goosebumps when we’re scared or creeped out.
Also (and this doesn’t really help much), goosebumps make us appear (slightly) bigger to threats.
It might not make a big difference, but every little bit helps.
Your brain shuts down when it hears bad news, trying to help your feelings.
This isn’t always a benefit, but sometimes, when you’re being criticized, your brain will look at things as “black and white” and not see the nuance of the situation. That’s why so many people tune out feedback.
So while it might help you in the near term, try to overcome this one and really listen and break down what people are saying to you, especially if it’s something that you can learn from and adopt.