Countdown: Top 8 Brain Exercises – #5

In this 8-part article series, we are counting down the Top 8 Brain Exercises that you can easily engage in for boosting your brain health and overall well-being.


The information shared in this series is inspired from the book How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist by Andrew Newberg M.D. & Mark Robert Waldman.

We’re halfway there! This one may surprise you.

Are you ready?

Here we go…….

Top Brain Exercise #5: Yawn

Believe it or not, the positive effects of yawning is one of the best kept secrets in neuroscience!

Yawning activates parts of the brain directly involved with generating feelings of social awareness and feelings of empathy. One of these areas of the brain is called the precuneus.

Researchers at the Institute of Neurology in London, England have shown the precuneus to play a central role in consciousness, self-reflection and memory retrieval.

This area is hardest hit by age-related diseases and attention defect issues and is stimulated by yogic breathing which explains why some forms of meditation result in enhanced sense of self-awareness.

It is possible then, that deliberate yawning may actually strengthen the precuneus and help with the age-related and attention disorders listed above.


Yawn. Even if you don’t feel like it. If you fake it, you will benefit from it. Just breathe in deeply, open your mouth and let out a yawn-like sigh. You can even stretch while you do it. Yawn 7-10 times in a row and you will enjoy the following benefits:


Neuroscientific co-authors Newberg and Waldman offer us this list of 12 essential reasons to yawn. Here they are:

1- Stimulates alertness and concentration
2- Optimizes brain activity and metabolism
3- Improves cognitive function
4- Increases memory recall
5- Enhances consciousness and introspection
6- Lowers stress
7- Relaxes every part of your body
8- Improves voluntary muscle control
9- Enhances athletic skills
10- Fine-tunes your sense of time
11- Increases empathy and social awareness
12- Enhances pleasure and sensuality.

Now Yawn! Yawn yawn yawn yawn yawn yawn yawn…..yawn.

Stay tuned... as the next article in this countdown series, reveals Top Brain Exercise #4 !



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