8 Things Your Body Does As A Defense Mechanism

Sometimes our bodies react in ways we don’t quite understand. Everyday things like yawning, shivering and getting goosebumps, and our reaction to high-pitched noises, are things we don’t really think about in our day to day, but in reality, their functions are more complex than we previously thought!

Yawning

According to a 2014 study, yawning is used to cool down our brains and help us think a little clearer! It’s not tiredness or boredom that causes us to yawn, but our brains need lower its body temperature. People associate the act with lack of sleep and tiredness, but exhaustion and sleep deprivation are known to actually increase the temperature of the brain, so it makes sense to yawn more when we’re tired!

People also previously thought that yawning was a respiratory function to help bring extra oxygen during moments of “sluggishness,” but this has been dispelled. Either way, keep yawning to keep your brain temperature low! (Independent)

Sneezing

Sneezing is considered a reflex- when germs, dust, pollen, among many other things, enter our body via the nose, the brain uses sneezing as a way to get these irritants out.

Other research has provided evidence that sneezing can also be done to reset our nasal cavity! (Everyday Health)

Goosebumps

You have definitely noticed those little bumps that appear on your skin when you’re out in the cold. But have you ever really stopped to think why that happens to you? Goosebumps are your body’s way of reducing heat loss through the pores of the skin. This process makes it easier for the body to stay warm. Goosebumps also cause the hair on our bodies to stand up, which would make us look bigger and more intimidating to predators before we evolved to become hairless.

Crying

While crying is often linked to emotions, it actually has a beneficial purpose other than releasing some steam. For starters, tears serve as a mucous membrane for the eyes. When something comes into contact with your eyeball, tears help protect your eyes from harm. Some research shows that tears have other uses such as distracting the person crying from the pain they may be feeling.

Pain

The pain you feel when you get hurt such as after touching a hot pan is the body’s way of sending a signal to the brain that the action you’re performing is harmful, thus resulting in the instinctive reaction to pull the hand away from what’s causing damage to the body. If humans couldn’t feel pain, the body would have no way of knowing it’s being harmed.

Stretching

This is one of those things we, as well as our pets, do without thinking twice about! We instinctively stretch at various moments during the day. When we wake up, when we’ve been sitting at the computer a little too long, when we feel a little fatigued throughout the day. This is actually a natural instinct to help prepare your joints for everything that lies ahead. It can also restore blood flow, and improve our mood! (Sharing the Health)

Skin-Pruning

We’ve all sat in water long enough that our fingers began to prune up! Recently, laboratory tests confirmed that wrinkly fingers can help improve our grips on wet or submerged objects, and also helps us to to channel the waters. Think treads on a car tire, it’s the same type of thinking! (Scientific American)

Hiccups

These annoying little muscle spasms occur when we eat or drink too quickly, swallow large sizes of food, and even when we overeat. This can cause irritation to the pneumogastric nerve, resulting in hiccups.

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