There are bugs crawling all over (and inside) you
Your body is a hotbed of activity for all sorts of microscopic creatures. But never fear: Some of these “bugs” are actually good guys. “There are more than one trillion bacteria in the skin, originating from roughly one thousand different species,” Dr Bowe says. “Through their sheer strength in numbers, these friendly microbes can stop the advance of bad bugs, preventing an invasion and staving off skin infections.” When in balance, our skin’s “microbiome” is actually the key to a healthy complexion – and these good bugs work inside the body, too. “We want to try to get more probiotics into our diets, to help nourish the good bugs in our guts,” Dr Bowe says.
You have really weird thoughts
Have you ever imagined shouting out in church, swerving your car, or pushing someone in front of a train? You’re not alone. “Intrusive thoughts are unwanted thoughts or images that seem to pop into our minds against our wishes, and often focus on the thing that would be most inappropriate in a setting or the thing that we most fear,” says Hannah Reese, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology. “For this reason, they are usually upsetting or distressing to the person having the thought.” The problem is not actually having the thought, but that as soon as we try not to think about it, our mind starts monitoring whether or not we are thinking about it, which actually makes the thoughts happen more frequently, she says. “So, when we experience an intrusive thought, it is best to recognise it for what it is, not take it seriously, and let it fade away on its own,” Dr Reese says. If you find yourself unable to do this, you could consider seeing a psychologist.
Your dreams push boundaries
Speaking of weird images, no doubt you’ve experienced a bizarre dream or two. Scientists still haven’t been able to explain the purpose of these strange reveries, but there are many theories. Here’s one theory that sleep expert Richard Shane, PhD, subscribes to: “Dreams are an expanded state of consciousness, beyond the limits of our usual linear thinking, so they can help loosen the constriction and excess control in thoughts, emotions and body that builds up during the day,” he says. “That is a source of rejuvenation and the restful quality we get from sleep.”