9 Body Reactions That We Can Actually Control (Spoiler: Women Are Really Lucky)

It’s naive to think that we have total control over our bodies. More often, we’re controlled by our body’s responses and can’t control most of the physical processes. It might make you feel uncomfortable: you need to pee when there’s no toilet around, you’re feeling sleepy when it’s time to prepare for an exam, or you can’t clear your throat during an important presentation. These situations are not fatal but they’re very unpleasant. Luckily, a lot can be changed if you find the right approach to your own body.

1. Blow on your finger to slow down your heart rate.

An increased heart rate is often the result of stress. Probably, you’re worried before an important presentation or a date, receiving exam results, or making a mistake at work.

Luckily, there’s a quite simple way to calm yourself down: you just need to blow on your thumb. This part of your body has its own pulse. If you cool it down, the pulse will slow down and you’ll calm down.

Another proven and tested method is to put your thumb in your mouth and blow. This way you’ll stimulate the vagus nerve, slow down the heart rate, and feel much calmer and relieved.


2. Shift your body weight to the side to relieve pain on one side.

Many people are familiar with sudden unexpected pain on one side that often appears during jogging. You may have to slow down or even stop the running.

The most common reason for this is an insufficient warm-up. The blood flow significantly increases when you run but the blood doesn’t have enough time to redistribute properly and accumulates in the liver and spleen. These organs have a thin cover and push on it when there is too much blood in them. This is how the pain occurs.

Athletes know a proven method to deal with this problem: you need to slow down your running speed and shift the body weight to the side opposite to the one the pain is coming from. You need to do this while breathing out. After several repetitions, the pain will go away.


3. A quick warm-up of the neck will relieve numbness in the hands.

Almost everyone experiences an unpleasant numbness and tingling in their fingers sometimes. These feelings might be caused by an uncomfortable position while sleeping, working, or during moments of excessive workload.

When you feel something like this, you usually warm up your hand by twisting it or moving your fingers or wrists. These exercises are quite effective but it turns out there’s a better and more effective way to get rid of annoying numbness — just turn your head.

Our limbs get numb due to the squeezing of nerves that run through the neck. If you turn your head, you’ll warm up the muscles and relieve the pressure. It would save you from unpleasant sensations in your hands. This method is often more convenient in many situations, especially if you’re driving.


4. An ear massage will reduce discomfort in your throat.

Throat tingling and discomfort can sometimes come out of nowhere and it’s hard to ease it right away. A glass of water and coughing doesn’t always help.

To relieve such throat discomfort, carefully massage your ear (preferably on the inside). Unpleasant tingling often appears due to muscle spasms. When you massage your ear muscles, you stimulate the nerves and help throat muscles relax and remove the spasm.

You may have previously noticed that there’s a connection between these organs: any ear manipulations affect the throat and some people even cough when they clean their ears. This results from a special sensitivity of the vagus nerve connected to the auricular branch of the nerves.