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Yawn seven times. Yes, seven. That is the perfect number. God created the earth in seven days. What magic can you create by yawning seven times?

Yawning has a powerful impact. If you see someone yawn, or if you think about one, you yawn. Why? Because your body knows it is good! A yawn stretches the jaws wide, increasing blood flow to the neck, face and head. The deep breath pumps the blood, spinal fluid moves, oxygen levels increase, body temperature and metabolism adjust. Yawn again. You have just accomplished something incredible! You are not bored or tired, you are lifehacking! Pay attention when you watch the Olympics. Many athletes yawn just before a race or performance. Apolo Ohno, eight-time Olympic medallist, is well-known for a great big yawn prior to competition. Experts say it increases your attention and focus and calms your nerves at the same time.

Benefits of yawning

Scientists have only recently begun a serious study of yawning. Neuroscience (the study of the nervous system) has shown at least twelve benefits to yawning. When we are stressed, our body temperature rises and can be lowered by a cooling intake of breath. Yawning reduces tension and stress levels (parachutists will often yawn just before jumping). Yawning with others can create empathy (pack animals do this). It helps remove toxins from the brain and alerts you of a change in action (fish yawn before switching directions). Neurochemicals are released that increase memory recall and retention (are you yawning before a test or presentation?). Yawns help regulate the “clocks” in our brain, a well-regulated clock will let you know when to sleep and when you should be awake. Yawning increases dopamine, the neurotransmitter that activates the pleasure center of your brain and increases oxytocin (often called the “love hormone”) assisting you in creating positive bonds with others.

Applying the yawn lifehack 

There are many ways to apply this easy lifehack. Yawn while driving in heavy traffic to decrease stress while increasing alertness and response time. Yawn to give yourself a mood lift or prepare yourself for a performance or presentation. If you are having a hard time pressing through your workout, yawn for a boost of energy! Yawns can heighten feelings of pleasure as you cuddle or magnify awareness of emotions and increase introspection. If you have been yawning (as you most likely have) while reading this article, you will be getting ideas of your own because your brain has now been stimulated!