The human body is pretty darn amazing. It’s capable of things like running marathons and creating life—those are totally awe-inspiring accomplishments when you stop and think about them.
If you’ve ever gotten the hiccups or a bloody nose, you know that the human body can also respond in some pretty weird ways. However, it turns out that we might have more control over those occurrences than we ever thought.
These 13 hacks for the human body are great tools to have in your back pocket. If you’ve ever suffered from hiccups or heartburn, then you’ll want to pay attention…
1. Ever feel like you’ve got a big sneeze coming on, but you aren’t in a place where you can just let it loose? Simply place one finger on your philtrum (that’s the small indentation right below your nose) and press down gently. You’ll lose the urge to sneeze in no time!
2. Is there any other pain like the agony of an ice cream headache? The next time you get a brain freeze, here’s a “cool” way to stop it in its tracks. Simply press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Brain freeze is caused when the blood vessels there dilate too quickly. Putting your tongue to the roof of your mouth warms it and helps stop the freeze.
3. Want to touch your toes but can’t quite make it? Stop what you’re doing and read a few sentences backwards a couple of times and then try touching your toes again. No one knows why this trick works, but you’ll be impressed enough to share it with your friends!
4. Sinus congestion is a hassle! If you’re in a bind and need to find relief fast, alternate between pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth and then pressing your fingers gently between your eyes. This trick doesn’t work for every person, but those who find relief will swear by it.
5. If you’re in a very loud room and you’re struggling to hear the person next to you, take the tiny flap on your ear opposite the lobe, gently bend it out and then gently press it in. We might not be able to perk up our ears like dogs, but this has a similar effect.
6. If you suffer from heartburn after you eat dinner, here’s a really helpful hack. First, wait three to four hours before you lie down to sleep. When you do feel ready to rest, try lying on your left side. This helps prevent the painful symptoms of heartburn.
7. If you have a nosebleed, do not lean your head back. That just drains the blood into your throat and that’s no good! Instead, pinch your nose just above your nostrils—just like Dr. Howard LeWine of Harvard Medical School—and lean ever so slightly forward. You’ll be good to go in time at all!
8. Sucking your thumb might sound babyish, but there is a perfectly good reason to do it if you’re an adult. If you feel too anxious or you’re on the verge of a panic attack, put your thumb in your mouth and try to blow air out past your thumb. This will slow your heart rate considerably.
9. If that trick for reducing anxiety and stress doesn’t work, there are actually countless GIFs online that can help you calm down by regulating your breathing. Try following the directions on the GIF below and see if this technique works for you!
10. If you burn your mouth while drinking hot coffee or perhaps biting into a delicious slice of pizza fresh from the oven, resist the urge to plop an ice cube on your tongue. Instead, gently swish cool water around your mouth. This removes some of the immediate heat and promotes healing without “shocking” the tissue like ice would.
11. If you have a case of the hiccups that you just can’t banish, try this technique: Hold your breath, swallow twice, and then exhale. Swallowing that air will help you burp, which can get rid of the other bubbles that are causing your hiccups in the first place.
12. If you are often constipated or you just have a hard time doing number two, you might want to think about changing your position. It might sound weird, but try squatting over the toilet or resting your feet on a stool. This is the more natural way for human beings (and, apparently, magical unicorns) to have a bowel movement.
13. If you get a song stuck in your head and you just can’t get rid of it, you might want to try popping a piece of gum in your mouth and not worrying about how long the song stays with you. Sometimes fretting about an ear worm can only make it worse!
These tricks are all so cool! We’ve definitely all been in positions where we were desperate to hold in a sneeze or to clear our sinuses, and now we have hacks to try it ourselves.
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