Yawn On! Self-induced yawning is one of the best practices we can do to stimulate our brain releasing a cocktail of neuro-chemicals including dopamine, which activates oxytocin production in your hypothalamus and hippocampus (areas essential for memory recall, voluntary control, and temperature regulation), acetylcholine, GABA, serotonin and sexual hormones. In fact, it’s hard to find another activity that positively influences so many functions of the brain.
According to researchers at the Institute of Neurology in London, the precuneus, a tiny structure hidden within the folds of the parietal lobe, plays a central role in our ability to experience sefl-reflection, empathy, social awareness, and consciousness. Functional MRI studies have even shown that yawning evokes unique neural activity in this area of our brain, evoking the feeling of connection not only within ourselves but also with others. This is why yawning is contagious. We naturally want to entrain with those around us, so yawn on!
Not only does self-induced yawning help to stimulate your brain, but it also supports balancing your autonomic nervous system by regulating your vagal tone which entrains your innate Body Current® wisdom with the current of the present moment.
Body Current® Practice: Try self-induced yawning today. It only takes 10-20 seconds to stimulate this amazing practice for your brain. Simply begin by opening your mouth wide to simulate a natural yawn. After a few times, your natural yawn will come through lighting up your precuneus and releasing a wealth of healthy neuro-chemicals and hormones into your body. So when you are feeling disconnected and forgetful or if you are preparing for a presentation or high-level meeting, yawn on to bring your game on!