What is Your Body Trying to Tell You? Causes of 5 Common (and Annoying) Daily Ailments

Are you just under-slept, or having an allergic reaction? Having a migraine, or just experiencing some caffeine withdrawal? You won’t know until you pay attention to your body, your symptoms, and your triggers. Here are some ideas as to what might be causing some of the symptoms you might feel on a daily basis, and how to ease them so you can get on with your day in the meantime.

Bloodshot eyes

There are a number of things that can cause reddish or bloodshot eyes, and your lifestyle can be a major indicator. You may be spending too much time in front of a computer (work in an office 9 “ 5?) not getting enough sleep (party-animal or bartender?) or, you might have an allergy (is the redness accompanied by irrigation or a headache?)

If you suspect it’s the first option, take frequent breaks at your computer. Close your eyes for 60 seconds to rewet them and reduce the evaporation of tears. If you’re not getting enough sleep, check your sleep hygiene! Good sleep is imperative for good physical health and looking alive. If you’re experiencing allergy-like symptoms, beware of OD-ing on redness­reducing drops. Try an app like Allergy Journal to identify the root cause of the problem.

Headache-y eyes

That dull, heavy ache along the top of your eyes you likely feel when you move or roll your eyes can really weigh you down. Notice what time you tend to get it. In the morning? (Before coffee, perhaps?)  You may not have gotten enough sleep, or could be experiencing caffeine withdrawal. Or, does it tend to coincide with neck and shoulder tension? If yes, it might be a stress symptom.

Try this simple acupressure hack: There’s a region in the inner, upper corners of your eyes that, when pressure is applied, can release endorphins that produce your body’s natural painkillers. With your fingers, feel for the slight dip in your skull in the inner corner of the eyes and press inward for a few seconds.

Chronic dry lips

If you empathized with Napoleon Dynamite when he called Kipp to come get him from school because his lips hurt real bad, you know how much chronically dry lips suck. You might simply be dehydrated, or, more likely, you’ve inflicted some damage with the remedies you’ve been using. Some treatments can do more harm than good to your lips – ingredients like eucalyptus, menthol, and camphor be drying or irritating.

Look for lip balms that have top quality ingredients (this ain’t an item to skimp on when you’re really in need), and no camphor. Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 is a winner for its high concentrations of lanolin, sweet almond oil and vitamins A and E “ all excellent ingredients for chapped lips. If it’s really bad, (like, you just want to leave school or work, bad), contact a dermatologist.

Hiccups

Hiccups happen when your diaphragm starts contracting involuntarily – they can result from eating too much or drinking too much of a carbonated beverage. (They’re sometimes thought to be a reflex to protect a person from choking.) Do well­worn remedies (holding your breath or chugging a glass of water) help? They can. These two aforementioned breath-based tactics seem to work by disrupting your breathing cycle so that it allows the diaphragm to relax and stop its spasms. Focus on your breath. Don’t get irritated “ which can make hiccups even worse.

Bloating

Bloating can be triggered by a number of factors – eating too much, drinking too much of a carbonated beverage, or having an allergic reaction to a combination of foods or ingredients. The uncomfortable feeling of fullness occurs when gas gets trapped in your stomach and intestines.

A quick 10 or 15 minute walk or doing some stretches can make a big difference. If you don’t exercise when you feel bloated, your intestines may become sluggish, which can lead to cramping or pain. Try an acupressure technique to ease pressure in the stomach “ with your fingers, apply gentle pressure in a circular motion to a spot four finger-widths above your navel, for a few minutes.

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