Sneezing is normal and we need it to heal our bodies. Interestingly, some cultures find sneezing in public as embarrassing as Western cultures find pumping, particularly if the sneeze doesn’t have a tissue. Regardless of your views on the social acceptability of sneezing, most of us face situation where we do anything to stop a sneeze. Take, for instance, the world record holder for sneezing, Donna Griffiths, who could not stop sneezing for 977 days, having over a million sneezes!
Why Do We Sneeze?
Sneezing isn’t something inconvenient and useless. It is the way your body is able to rid itself of irritating factors in your nose. Sneezing causes can also be a cold, with each sneeze getting rid of some 40,000 infectious microbes with each sneeze. Sometimes, people sneeze because of an emotional response. Health wise, the only thing that is bad about sneezing is that you can spread diseases. So, try to carry a tissue or sneeze on the inside of your elbow if you don’t have any tissues.
Here are some interesting sneezing facts to think about before you start doing all you can to stop yourself from sneezing:
1. Sneezing starts in your nerves
2. Sneezing keeps you safe
3. Plucking your eyebrows can cause a sneeze attack
4. Sunshine can make you sneeze
5. It is impossible to sneeze while sleeping
When Should You not Stop Sneezing?
Sneezes, or sternutations, are very important. You will expel air at over 100 miles per hour. Hence, if a sneeze is already in progress, you shouldn’t stop it from happening. Don’t hold your nose as this can cause significant injury, including bursting your eardrums. As annoying as sneezes may be, they are not sufficiently irritating to cause irreparable damage to the rest of your body.
Tips to Stop Sneezing
There are thousands of ways to stop sneezing. Some of these are grandmother’s recipes, but these often still have a grain of truth in them. What is important, however, is that you use these techniques only when you feel a sneeze coming and not when it is already in progress.
• Squeeze your nose just above the tip and stretch it
• Blow your nose
• Pinch your upper lip while pushing it upwards
• Press your tongue hard behind your top two front teeth
• Hover your face one inch away from the top of a table and stick your tongue out (yes, this really works)
• Pinch the tip of your nose and hold your breath
• Tickle the roof of your mouth until the sneeze goes away
• Press on your top lip
• Pinch the bit of skin between your index finger and your thumb
• Look at something as black as possible, imagining yourself moving into that black space. Looking at bright spaces will make you sneeze, which can be useful if you feel like your sneeze is stuck
• Think about the spot between your eyebrows
• Suck the tip of your finger
• Wriggle your ear lobe
• Force your eyes open
• Help others by saying “pineapple” just as they are about to sneeze. Because this is absurd and perfectly timed, they will forget about their sneeze for a while
• Push your tongue against your clenched teeth
• Meditate on a grapefruit (again, yes, this really works because it distracts your brain)
• Push your fingernail against the gum of your bottom teeth
• Tap your forehead
• Hold your breath
• Think about sneezing
• Eat an ice cube
• Draw a horse
• Say “cabbage” over and over again
As you can see, some of these methods to stop a sneeze attack seem ridiculous. However, they are tried and tested methods of how to stop sneezing, including constant sneezing, so don’t dismiss them until you have tried them.