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YAWN! It is good for you!

Monday 29 August, 2016.

Don’t suppress your YAWN! Yawning may be a deep emotional discharge and stress reliever. Why do I say this?…

Looking at these pictures makes me YAWN!

How about you?…

I kind of like the feeling though…

Why do we yawn? Can it be used as a stress relief tool?

The usual explanation for yawning is that we do it because we are fatigued, bored or drowsy. But scientists are discovering that there is more to yawning than we thought!

Research has been done on the subject and there are several theories that try to explain a YAWN. I will share them with you… and then offer you my opinion and advice on the importance of a yawn as a relaxation and stress relief technique

  • Physiological Theory – this theory suggests that our bodies induce yawning in order to breath in more oxygen or get rid of a build-up of carbon dioxide. This apparently explains why we yawn in groups… Large groups would produce more carbon dioxide and so our bodies yawn to draw in more oxygen and get rid of excess carbon dioxide. But, if this is the case, surely we would yawn more during strenuous exercise to draw in extra oxygen?This theory has been tested… Giving people more oxygen does not decrease yawning and decreasing the carbon dioxide in a subject’s environment also did not prevent yawning… So that disproves that theory about yawning!
  • Evolution Theory – this theory suggests that we inherited yawning from our ancestors who yawned to bare their teeth to scare of unwanted visitors. Developing from this theory, is the idea that early people yawned as a signal to change activity.
  • Boredom Theory – the dictionary says yawning is caused by boredom or fatigue or tiredness. We do tend to yawn when bored or tired, but Olympic athletes tend to yawn right before their event… I doubt that they are bored!

It’s now believed that maybe yawning acts like a radiator for mammals and birds… A yawn cools the brain!!…

If the air around us is cooler than the temperature of our body and brain, then yawning takes air in quickly which cools facial blood. This then cools the brain and may even alter our blood flow.

Earlier studies suggest that yawning leads to a heightened feeling of arousal… so a morning yawn may function somewhat like a cup of coffee and provide us with a jolt of energy.

This theory ties in with new findings that try to explain why we yawn when we are tired… Both exhaustion and sleep deprivation show an increase in deep brain temperatures – prompting us to yawn to cool down our brain. Yawning also seems to facilitate changes in brain states, such as going from waking to sleeping periods.

The simple truth is, that even though we have been yawning for possibly as long as we have existed, we are not sure why we do it… But it MUST serve some healthful purpose….

It does cause us to draw in more air and our hearts to race faster than normal, but so does exercise. Maybe yawning is triggered by some area of the brain we have yet to discover.

We do know that not only people yawn… Dogs, cats and even fish yawn!

Now let me give you my views…

What we do know is that in most cultures yawning is discouraged or even suppressed. Most of us believe yawning to be a sign of boredom or inattention…

Yawning is, in fact, the first sign of a deep level emotional discharge, and benefits the yawner greatly.

Take notice the next time that you yawn…

Do you have a tendency to cover the yawn with your hand or stifle it by holding it in?

What could be happening when you do this?

Could you not also be suppressing or stifling your emotions?

Suppressing emotions is a common reaction to experiences we do not have the time or the skills to deal with… and this is a huge cause of STRESS. Suppressed feelings and pent up emotions are expressed by our bodies as symptoms of stress that are all too familiar to us.

Maybe one of the reasons why so many people are emotionally sick and stressed today is because they cover up or stifle their emotional discharge pathways and expressions…all in the name of being polite!!


When yawning… allow the yawn to be as BIG as it can be!

Really open your mouth fully!

Breathe deeply with the flow of the yawn and, if possible, add a bit of tone to the exhalation.

A Good Yawn is a Great Stress Buster!


 is another great technique… In the sigh, one breathes in deeply and exhales all at once, usually in a noisy manner – “a sigh of relief” – as we say!

Sighing is rarely stifled and is a more obvious form of stress release.

Most people will sigh when confronted with a stressful situation – and will feel the better for doing so.

Stretching is also good for releasing trapped, stress energy.

Next time you feel the need to stretch, really exaggerate it! Reach out, ssstttrrreeetttccchhh, crunch and turn…and let go…Feels great, hey?

Facts about Yawning

* A yawn lasts about six seconds.

* Olympic athletes often yawn before a competition.

* Your heart rate can rise 30 percent during a yawn.

* Blind people yawn more after hearing a tape of people yawning.

* 55 percent of people will yawn within five minutes of seeing someone else yawn.

* Reading about yawning will make you yawn.

You must admit that the pictures on this page make you want to join in and yaawwwwnnnn!!

(I could not stop yawning whilst building this page – so relaxing!)

So, whatever the scientists say, a GOOD, DEEP YAWN is a great stress reliever. Next time you feel the stress building – take a DEEP BREATH and carry on into a stress-busting yawn and get rid of those flight/fight emotions!…Beats shouting at the dog!

Try Breath Control Exercises for your first line of defence against the effects of stress. I start my day with breathing exercises and it makes such a difference!

A very simple way to relieve stress is to just SMILE! Really! Try it!


Go from Yawn! to Relaxation Techniques

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