If you approach the issue with precision, the article about things you cannot live without would have come out the size of a football field. However, we decided to limit ourselves to only five of the most vital things and describe what life would be without air, water, food, sleep, and friends.

Maybe you are lucky, and you will never experience it yourself. But, perhaps, everything will be the other way around. This is where our article will come in handy.

1. Air

If it disappears

The air can disappear from your life entirely only with the assistance of people with a noose. But if you are a law-abiding person, death from suffocation (asphyxia) is unlikely to threaten you. And yet, for the sake of caution, let's see what will happen if you are blocked the access to air.

In the first minute, the oxygen concentration in the blood will fall. The brain will notice this, but will not show it just yet. In the second or third minute without air, you will have shortness of breath. First, you will try to breathe oxygen. Then, in contrast, you will instinctively try to exhale the excess of harmful carbon dioxide. The limbs will twitch restlessly.

In the fourth minute, breathing will stop briefly. It is the cells of the respiratory center in the cerebral cortex that have surrendered.

Five minutes in, the body will try to inhale again – the so-called terminal breathing will occur. The lungs will contract on their own, without brain signals. After another couple of minutes, a man with wings and a harp will ask you if you have sinned a lot in your life.

Become more resilient and adaptable

If we were you, we would, of course, have long ago married the dishonored sister of a potential murderer. But if you are going to heroically fight for your life, better try to adjust your body to occasional shortages of air. Train at home.

To do this, catch a "long" breath, when the exhalation is twice the inhalation (at first, you can breathe while looking at the stopwatch). Breathe with your chest. As you exhale, relax the body as much as possible. When "long" breathing becomes normal for you, you can go longer without air in extreme situations.

2. Water

If it disappears

The body needs water not only in order to gurgle funnily in the stomach during sex and thereby amuse your partner. First and foremost, the skin and kidneys need it. The skin evaporates excess salt with water, and the kidneys dissolve toxins in it. If these two processes are suspended, nothing good will come of it.

During the third hour of unbearable thirst, your mouth will get dry. You will become grumpy as if you had a hangover. This is due to toxins that have already begun to poison the brain. You will get anxious even though you might think there is no reason to be nervous at all. There is beauty all around: sand, wind, sun. What else do you need, right?

Become more resilient and adaptable

You don't have to go for a walk in the desert to compete with nature and prove to yourself that you are bigger than such things as thirst. You can get dehydrated in everyday life as well: during a sex marathon, a hangover, a sleepless night at work, or playing sports in the heat, etc.

In order not to collapse in such a situation, start preparing for dehydration in advance. Drink small amounts of water regularly. Drink between 3.5 to 5 liters of water a day, even if you don't feel thirsty at all. And don't be fooled by the fact that you already want to go to the toilet. The water in the bladder is already excluded from the body's water exchange, so it will not save you from thirst.

And yes, you can die of dehydration and still desperately want to pee until the last moment.

3. Food

If it disappears

In the distant past, there were times when pestilence and vitamin deficiency mowed down our fellows. And yet, for every 1,000 deaths that happen every day, there are roughly 40 deaths caused by hunger. Not the most pleasant death.

Within three days from the moment you stop eating, the hunger grows. Your thoughts get confused. The body holds on because it uses up the reserves of carbohydrates dissolved in the blood.

At the second stage, which can last from a week to five weeks (it all depends on your build), the body begins to digest its own muscles and fats. The energy received from "eating" oneself is barely enough to heat the body. Oddly enough, the feeling of hunger disappears, along with the rest of the feelings. Your breath smells like acetone, and the limbs swell – the end products of lipid and protein catabolism kick in. The "hunger diarrhea" is possible, with the help of which the body will try to get rid of about three kilograms of toxins. It is heartbreaking to watch.

Few survive until the third stage, which lasts another week or two. In the last days of their lives, these rare "lucky" ones look surprisingly smooth and thick due to the swelling of tissues. They breathe deeply and evenly and lie still. Their gaze is directed into the distance and is spiritualized (first of all, during hunger, the muscles responsible for focusing the eye are digested). The body ceases to resist infection and can break down under the blows of a common cold.

Become more resilient and adaptable

Get in the habit of drinking more, preferably warm water. It lingers in the stomach longer than cold water, creating a feeling of being full. In addition, it will be easier for you to remove toxins from the body if it comes to digesting yourself.

If you are used to eating at about the same time every day, stop doing it a month before the forced hunger strike. When the brain gets used to the fact that three hours, as well as twenty hours, can pass between two meals, it will not react to the absence of lunch so violently. Try to eat a variety of foods. The more digestive enzymes accumulate in your body, sharpened for different types of food, the easier it will be for you to endure lack of food.

4. Sleep

If it disappears

An average person, if he wants to continue to remain so, can stay awake for only three days. During this time, your body will experience a rapid decline in the serotonin and dopamine hormones. You will become irritable and angry.

Without getting proper rest, your muscles will start to work very poorly. The first to suffer are the weakest and smallest ones – the mimic and the extraocular muscles. Therefore, you may have nervous tics and double vision.

On the third day, if you're lucky, you can see a couple of beautiful hallucinations, sometimes even with a picture-in-picture feature: the shadows of a dream are superimposed on the real image. But the most interesting thing comes later.

On the fourth to fifth day, the body stops producing immunoglobulin, which is necessary to fight infections. Body temperature can drop to 35.5°C. After this, fainting and nervous disorders will begin, and things can even come to a coma.

On the tenth day, as a rule, a painful death occurs. However, there are "lucky" ones (it happens very rarely, there were only three such cases in the entire history of medicine), who at this stage, are overtaken by the so-called "dolphin brain syndrome," when the hemispheres begin to alternately go to sleep. A person thinks that he is awake, although, in reality, half of his brain is sleeping.

Become more resilient and adaptable

To combat sleepiness, we advise you to take a hot shower, drink taurine-containing drinks, sniff fresh orange, and platonically scrutinize porn sites. If you do not want to completely give up sleep, but only to shorten the time allotted for it, everything is much easier here.

Break your sleep into three parts: that is, sleep for 2-3 hours at night, and two more times for 40-60 minutes during the day. Yes, and no physical activity, because sleep is needed primarily by your body, not your brain. If you do intellectual work, you can go without sleep more easily.

5. Society

If it disappears

In general, the decisive factor in the test of loneliness is not so much the absence of people per se as the lack of new impressions and information (the so-called sensory deprivation). Without new impressions and experience, the brain is tempted to escape into the past and stop responding to reality adequately. This comes after the first year of isolation.

Psychologists say that the decisive blow to your nervous system is delivered by the unfulfilled need for self-copying. When we live in society, we try to leave as many traces as possible about ourselves in the brains of other people, to impose our ideas on them. This is one of the links in human evolution: in addition to direct reproduction and spreading the genetic code across the planet, there is also an indirect one. It is without this self-copying that you will have the most challenging part.

In the third or fourth year of isolation, you will develop a fictional world in which you will have interlocutors and enemies. And one day, you will cease to understand where you live, replacing the real world with its problem of survival with an imaginary world. You will quietly lie down at the edge of the sea, listen to the voices in your head, and smile.

Become more resilient and adaptable

If you have a long vacation in the winter house, during which you are afraid to go crazy with boredom and loneliness, try to "fill up" your brain in advance. Give it an information overload. Cram indigestible books into yourself (like Sartre's Being and Nothingness) while listening to Bach and trying to glance at the running line with stock quotes with one eye.

It doesn't matter if you don't understand or remember anything. It is essential to make the brain work in such a way that it begs for mercy. If you start such an information storm a month before your vacation, a lonely life will seem like heaven. And although you will surely be tormented by severe dizziness, it will not come to hallucinations and conversations with yourself.