There’s a whole world of wellness that we’re only beginning to understand. From the intricacies of how our bodies work to what foods help us perform our best or even how our mindsets can affect our physical lives. 

Here are 10 surprising facts about wellness.

1. You can boost your mental health with exercise

If you’re feeling down in the dumps, it might be a good idea to grab your sports gear and head out the door for a nice, unwinding fitness session. Exercise is scientifically proven to not only improve your mood but also reduce your stress levels and help you sleep better. And there’s so much out there to explore! From yoga to jogging, bouldering, all kinds of team sports, and even new fitness trends like Octomoves.

2. Your brain is mostly made of water

That little pink spongy thing that governs all your thoughts is actually mostly made of water. 75 to 80% to be more precise. That’s another vital reason why hydration is so important. So get that water inside of you and make sure to have a reusable bottle around when you travel.

3. Getting too little sleep can hurt your brain

Late nights often mean rough mornings. We’ve all been there. Sleep is how your brain and body regenerate and recover from the events in your busy life. Lack of sleep can even lead to a loss of gray matter in your brain and leave you feeling less functional, more sick, and obviously more tired *yawns*. 7 to 9 hours of sleep is the sweet spot for adults.

4. You spend an average of 9 years on your phone

The average adult spends more than 3 hours a day on their phone. All totted up this means that you spend an average of 9 years on your phone! Madness. While scrolling our various feeds and staying in touch with our loved ones can be fun and soothing, if you feel that you spend too much time on your phone you can try installing timers on apps or even book a chat with a digital wellbeing coach.

5. You’re better off losing weight a bit more slowly

When it comes to losing weight, it’s a slow and steady wins the race case. You’ll start breaking down your own muscle tissue if you lose weight too fast. Plus crash diets tend to be unsustainable in the long run and might lead you to putting all those pounds back on due to the dreaded yo-yo effect.

6. Women have a better sense of smell than men

The sense of smell is actually more developed in women than it is in men. This means that women usually have a higher sensitivity to smell, can identify more smells, and also process smells differently in their brains.

7. Boost your mental health through food

Eating right is one of the other keys to boosting your mental health. Some foods such as fatty fish, nuts, berries, and leafy greens are scientifically proven to improve mental well-being. Taking care of how you eat could mean giving holistic nutrition a try or even taking a cooking class to expand your repertoire. After all, you are what you eat.

8. If you’re an optimist, you might live longer

Research has shown that how you think about life can have just as much an impact on your quality of life as how you eat or how you sleep. This means it might be worth exploring how to reframe your thought patterns. Journaling is a great way to get started.

9. Laughing is great for your health

Laughter is the best medicine, right? Not only is laughter good for your mental health, but it’s also great for your physical health. When you laugh, your brain releases endorphins which make you feel happy and more at ease. Your whole body relaxes, your blood flow increases, and laughing 10-15 minutes a day can even burn some calories!

10. You share more than 60% of your DNA with bananas

While it’s quite obvious that we are closely related to some species of apes, it might be less obvious that we share quite a bit of our genetic makeup with bananas. While it might be less in the looks department, we share many of the genes that are responsible for cellular function such as replicating DNA or controlling our cell cycle. So are we effectively regenerating ourselves when we eat a banana? The science is still out on that one.