Relieve cramps and tension. Stretch and Yawn for your general well being
Yawning and stretching is proven to be of a great benefit for our health. I will give you an example with a child of 5-6 you are trying to talk to and explain something important, when you notice that he is yawning all the time. How many times you have got flustered, thinking ‘”well, he doesn’t want to hear any ‘lecture’ , how do I make him listen?!” In reality your child is trying hard, but is finding difficulty to concentrate, especially if the subject is boring for him. By stretching, moving, touching left, right and back, and yawning, his stress level is maintained low. Kids do that without thinking in a very innocent and natural way.
Why do we feel better when we stretch and yawn?
Yawning and stretching cause the release of dopamine, (i)the substance that keeps work-related motivation high.
Many experiments have been made with mindful stretching and yawning in adults resulting in greater emotional control and better personal satisfaction. (ii) It increases the body awareness and when done mindfully and slowly the feeling of well being has been felt widely.[iii] The research also demonstrates that subtle associated sensations have been felt with muscle tension diminishing rapidly. Mark Robert Waldman, a neurosciene coach, often advises his students and the employees of the big companies he trains to experiment.
[iv] Here’s a simple experiment you could try:
Start by doing a usual twisting and turning your body the way you usually always do. Inhale and exhale slowly while remaining still and noticing how you feel. We do the stretching and yawning usually without any thought at all, so we go back to normal activity in few seconds. If you mindfully spend longer time on stretching and yawning, let’s say 20 seconds on the left side, followed by 20 seconds twisted on the right side, you will notice how you are in a better control emotionally and your co-ordination would improve as well.
If you repeat the stretching and yawning in 10-15 minutes you will notice far less pain and cramps, greater ease of movement, a fact that has been demonstrated in many slow-movement studies. It is the awareness of your body, brought about by very slow movement, that is the key element for relieving pain and increasing your sense of well being. Other studies have shown that slow-movement exercises like yoga, Feldenkrais, and Tai Chi will reduce anxiety and depression and improve your overall mood.
Coming out soon, not to miss!
Mark Robert Waldman‘s new book “NeuroWisdom: the New Brain Science of Money, Happiness, and Success”, is to be released by Diversion Books on Jan 31st. He is promising extensive descriptions of many of his NeuroTips and brain-enhancing strategies fully documented with the latest neuroscientific and neuroeconomic research.
“Even magical thinking, if balanced with reason, compassion, and science, can be good for the creative brain!” Quote: Mark Robert Waldman
[i] Yawning: from birth to senescence. Walusinski O. Psychol Neuropsychiatr Vieil. 2006 Mar;4(1):39-46.
[ii] Estradiol, dopamine and motivation. Yoest KE, Cummings JA, Becker JB. Cent Nerv Syst Agents Med Chem. 2014;14(2):83-9.
[iii] Coherence between emotional experience and physiology: does body awareness training have an impact? Sze JA, Gyurak A, Yuan JW, Levenson RW. Emotion. 2010 Dec;10(6):803-14.
[iv] The effectiveness of the feldenkrais method: a systematic review of the evidence. Hillier S, Worley A. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:752160.
Coherence between emotional experience and physiology: does body awareness training have an impact? Sze JA, Gyurak A, Yuan JW, Levenson RW. Emotion. 2010 Dec;10(6):803-14.