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8 Bodily Functions We All Experience and Why

Edited By: Krista Mc'Farlene
 The human body is a complex machine that always knows how to function at any given moment. Among all of its functions, there are a number over which we have no conscious control. Let's take a look at what these bodily functions are:
 
 
1. Shivering
bodily functions

Shivering can occur not only because you feel cold. Shivering may also occur because you are scared, stressed or sick. There is no way to control this bodily function as it is an unconditional bodily reflex. When a person is cold, muscle contractions emit heat in order to keep the body warm. 

Fact: The temperature of the skin can increase by 2-3 degrees as a result of such muscle contractions. 

2. Redness of skin

The involuntary redness of the skin usually occurs when a person is feeling ashamed, embarrassed, angry or if they have a physiological problem. This happens because the blood flows to the capillaries that are close to the surface of the skin. 

Fact: This bodily function is mostly social - people blush only when other people are around. 

3. Stomach rumbling
bodily functions

More often than not, rumbling occurs because a person is hungry. In other cases, the sound is caused by a disruption of the function of the digestive system. It doesn't matter if there is food in the stomach as the muscles will contract anyway. And if there is no food in the stomach, its gases, air and hydrochloric acid will form a reaction creating different noises. 

Fact: The rumbles are not as loud when there is food in the stomach. 

4. Sneezing

Sneezing occurs in order to remove the dust and slime from your airways. It is an unconditioned reflex, though most people can suppress a sneeze by gritting their teeth, keeping their eyes wide for 10 to 20 seconds or by rubbing their nose. 

Fact: The speed of the air you express when sneezing is about 50 to 120 meters per second. 

5. Yawning
bodily functions

This unconditioned reflex is a mystery that scientists have been trying to solve for a long time. Yawning occurs when we feel tired, sleepy or bored. There are several reasons why we yawn; some theories say that it is because we do not have enough oxygen, while others say it's our body's way of getting the nervous system working (like when we feel bored or tired). Another cause for yawning? We may also be feeling hot.

Fact: According to the Guinness World Records, the longest yawn ever recorded was by a 15 year-old-girl who yawned for 5 whole weeks. 

6. Coughing

This unconditional reflex occurs to clear the airways of foreign bodies. It's almost impossible to suppress a cough because our body is trying to get rid of smoke, dust and dangerous bacteria. One way to make coughing less intense? Using medication. 

Fact: A random cough on a daily basis is normal. Almost every person coughs 5 to 6 times a day. 

 
7. Goosebumps
bodily functions

Goosebumps appear on our skin when the muscles of our hair follicles contract. When you feel cold, scared or impressed the hair follicles raise causing the hairs to stand up. This rudimentary reflex is beyond our control. Another function is that it scares enemies away, though because we have such little hair it is unlikely that anyone would be scared away. 

Fact: Piloerection, the scientific name for this phenomena happens to 50% of people when they listen to their favorite music. 

8. Sweating

This important bodily function occurs when the body is hot. The body exudes water that vaporizes from the surface of the skin, decreasing the body's temperature. Sweating occurs when we exercise, when we feel stressed, or because of different illnesses. Sweat is comprised of 99% water and 1% salts, acids and organic compounds.

Fact: It's impossible to turn off sweating, however, it can be reduced. To do this you need to cut down on caffeine, hot spicy foods, alcohol, wear high-quality clothes and use excellent cosmetics. 

Bonus: Pain caused by emotions

Besides having functions we can't control, our bodies also have their own ways of telling us that we are doing something wrong. Yes, pain can actually be caused by emotions. Below are some of the most common:

1. Headaches: If you suffer from headaches every day it may be an indication that you need to slow down and relax a little. You may need to organize your life better so you are less stressed out. 

2. Pain in the shoulders: Shoulder pain is often caused by stress too.

3. Backaches: This pain is caused by negative thoughts. To help relieve the pain, find someone you can speak to about the things that worry you.

4. Knee pain: This is often associated with being unable to accept other people's opinions. Try to be more open-minded.

5. Hip pain: If you're scared of making a big decision, this type of pain may arise.
 

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