I’m Yawning! Am I bored?

by Taru Fisher on December 6, 2015

Yawning. Is it useful or just a function of our bodies?

According to Andrew Newberg, MD, a leading Neuroscientist and co-author with Mark Robert Waldman of ”How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings From a Leading Neuroscientist”, the fifth best way to exercise your brain is by yawning. Yes, they said “yawning” and go on to say it is one of the best kept secrets in neuroscience.

So, just what does yawning do for you? For many years performers have used yawning as a way to relax the throat and relieve tension before a performance. Oh, you say, but I’m not a performer, so what will it do for me besides make people annoyed?

Well, it seems yawning “evokes a unique neural activity” in areas of our brain that are “directly involved in generating social awareness and creating feelings of empathy”.
So what, you say. Let’s pretend you’re driving down the freeway and the other drivers (not you, of course) are driving badly, and you begin to feel a certain amount of anger. Yawn six or seven times to get the yawn going, and then continue on to ten or twelve yawns. You will feel the stress and tension leave your body. It works! James and I use this technique and it never fails to work.

I also use it when I awaken in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep. Be sure you yawn ten to twelve times. At first it may seem difficult or even silly, but once you get six or seven yawns out, it becomes almost irresistible. Really great yawns can even get your eyes watering.

Dr. Waldman gives these 12 essential reasons to yawn:
1. Stimulates alertness and concentration
2. Optimizes brain activity and metabolism
3. Improves cognitive function
4. Increases memory recall
5. Enhances consciousness and introspection
6. Lowers stress
7. Relaxes every part of your body
8. Improves voluntary muscle control
9. Enhances athletic skills
10. Fine-tunes your sense of time
11. Increases empathy and social awareness
12. Enhances pleasure and sensuality

So, if you want to feel “utterly present, incredibly relaxed, and highly alert” start yawning like there’s no tomorrow!

What are some situations where you could use yawning?

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