If you stick around the internets long enough, you’ll read it all. Someone has a solution for everything. Most of the advice is garbage, part of the downside of easy information. Sorting through those ideas is a matter of trial and memory. I forget to use most tricks.
Rather than mow you over with a million solutions, none of which I’ve tried, this brief list is the creme of the crop. These are tricks I can attest for; I’ve done them. They work.
In fact, I do them all the time because they solve real challenges that come up often. Master these five body hacks, and you will sing songs of joy from the mountain top.
Can’t hear in the club
It happens in crowded places, not only clubs. The noise of the crown or the music is too intense. You couldn’t shout over it if you tried.
You could try texting, but if the crowd is big enough, the cell towers will struggle to send your message.
There’s a simple solution. Press your thumb on the tragus of the receiver, that triangular piece of flesh blocking the ear canal. That will close out the ambient noise.
Now the message sender can speak at a normal level near the receiver’s ear and the receiver will hear. It will sound like the voice is underwater, but you’ll hear it.
Bug bites keeping you up
If you live somewhere that has mosquitos, you know that bites can keep you from precious sleep. Scratching those itchy bites only makes them worse.
If mosquitos weren’t enough, we have biting fleas, sand flies (no-see-ums), and ants to contend with too. The solution is the same. Put away that stinky vinegar. That will just make you stink.
Instead, get out your hair dryer. Plug it in (hello?) then aim it at the affected area. Don’t actually burn your flesh. Be ready to adjust the length, but keep it as hot as you can take it. Keep in on there as long as you can.
This works because the brain can only receive one signal, pain or itching. The itching may return, but it should be subtle enough to ignore if you don’t scratch.
You may need a couple of treatments, but it’s worth it to sleep.
Chatter keeping you up
The great thing about a busy day is your body is so tired, you can fall asleep sitting up. Sometimes, though, the brain has other plans.
For some of us, the brain likes to calculate long after the body is through. You can close the blackout curtains, turn on the white noise, even blast the AC. Nothing is making that mind chatter shut up.
Sit up and turn on a light. Grab a pen and paper, then start writing. Write down every thought and feeling until you’ve clearly identified each one.
Moving your abstract thoughts from your head into concrete words may allow your brain to let go of sorting those thoughts. Translation? G’night.
Ice cream is good. Slushy drinks are good. Funny how they make all the yummy stuff either too damn hot or damn cold.
With the cold stuff, if you jam it down your threat too fast, you’ll get what folks call freeze-brain or a brain freeze. Most folks shake their hands and complain, but they’re stuck waiting for the freezing sensation to pass.
Not you. You read this blog. You know that by pressing your tongue into the roof of your mouth, the sensation will immediately decrease. It may take a second to become tolerable, but you’ll feel it reversing, even if your tongue is cold.
The theory goes that your hasty behavior with cold treats cools your skull at the base of your brain, creating a stinging sensation. You tongue retains body heat even if it’s cool to the touch. By pressing it up, you’ll counteract the brain freeze.
They can hit at any time, the yawns. The thing about yawns is, they don’t care. You could be interviewing for the perfect job. They’ll sneak out against your wishes every time.
The trick is to touch the tip of your tongue at the first sign on a yawn.
The theory goes that you disrupt the stimulation of the yawn when you do this, something like how a cold shower turns off feelings of arousal. Those, unfortunately, you’ll be hard-pressed to solve during a job interview.
If you can master these five hacks, the world is your oyster. Others will always hand you advice, but you do what works. You’re smart like that.