Relieve tension and anxious feelings by tapping into the strength of your own body.
The overreactivity of our brains is typically at blame when we’re feeling worried or nervous. Our brains are hardwired to keep alert for threats when they are detected. But staying in this “fight or flight” state, which may be triggered by anything from a hungry tiger prowling toward you to an unclear email from your boss, can lead to persistent tension and anxiety.
While it might be challenging to break free of this condition, the vagus nerve provides a powerful tool that can help. This cranial nerve is the longest in the human body and connects the brain to a wide variety of other organs (the Latin word for vagus, which perfectly represents the nerve’s function, is vagus, which means “wanderer”).
While the vagus nerve is responsible for a number of functions, our focus is on its ability to enhance vagal tone and so induce a state of relaxation in the body.
Vagal nerve stimulation raises vagal tone, which in turn reduces heart rate, breathing rate, and nervous system activity since the vagus nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous system. In 2010, scientists at the Cleveland Clinic discovered that “having a high vagal tone was associated with both happy feelings and excellent health.”
When it comes to dealing with stress and anxiety, breathing exercises are frequently suggested; here’s another excellent reason to give them a try. When we take slow, deep breaths from the belly, we activate the vagus nerve. We can stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system by exhaling for slightly longer than we inhale (our relaxation response).
To go even deeper, try some meditation. It has been hypothesized that practicing loving-kindness meditation can activate the vagus nerve, resulting in a calming and re-centering effect.
How to stimulate the vagus nerve naturally? The vagus nerve is supposed to be stimulated by massaging the feet, however massage of any region of the body is wonderful for rest and relaxation. See how you respond to a self-massage, a massage from a trusted friend, or a reflexology treatment.
The area behind your ears, along with the neck and shoulders, may be gently massaged to stimulate the vagus nerve.
Because the vagus nerve is located in the upper part of our necks, we may stimulate it by using our voice chords. When we sing, we release endorphins, which boost our mood and sense of well-being.
Are you sure you’re not a singer? It may help to hum or gargle water instead. It’s a natural vagus nerve stimulation.
While going outside into the cold may not sound like a great way to unwind, research suggests that it really does just that by reducing inflammation throughout the body. Put your face in cold water or, if you’re feeling very bold, take a shower in the freezing cold. It’s possible that you’d benefit from beginning with shorter exposure times and gradually increasing them.
Exercising not only activates the vagus nerve, but also the chemicals that make us feel happy. The key is to choose a form of physical activity that you like so that it is enjoyable and not a hassle. Try out a variety of physical activities until you find one that you enjoy. It can be even simply moving about the house to your favorite tracks. This is actually how you can do vagus nerve stimulation at home.
How often do you get “brain tingles” in response to particular sounds? This is known as autonomous sensory meridian response, and it has the potential to provide a pleasant state of relaxation and tranquility.
Sounds like yelling, breaking glass, and other loud noises trigger our primal impulses for survival. Maybe ASMR helps in the opposite way, by easing tension in the brain.
To experience ASMR for yourself, look up videos on YouTube and play them at a low volume. You don’t want that, do you? If you’re feeling anxious, try playing some soothing music.
Isolation might make us feel more stressed out since we have no one to talk to about our problems. A wonderful method to get perspective and relax the nervous system is to connect with people and experience a sense of belonging. Get in touch with a pal, organize a family get-together, or reach out to coworkers to reawaken your need for human interaction. It must be an enjoyable way to stimulate the vagus nerve.
Laughter has been shown to reduce blood pressure, boost serotonin levels, and overall well-being via activating the vagus nerve. Laughing with loved ones may do wonders for your health. Ыo don’t be afraid to let your funny side out and enjoy the little pleasures in life.
The vagus nerve stimulation benefits
The vagus nerve plays a key role in maintaining both your emotional and physical well-being. Helpful effects of vagus nerve stimulation include:
The vagus nerve is crucial to many bodily functions. Maintaining a healthy vagus nerve can improve your ability to deal with a wide range of psychological and physiological distresses.