Did you know that the vagus nerve has a significate impact on the way we feel, think and act?
The Vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve that brings information directly to the brain, linking the brain stem to the heart, lungs, and gut.
When our vagus nerve (AKA the chill out nerve) is blocked we start to feel the effects of unpleasant symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems, a change in the tone of your voice, dry mouth, increased swallowing. All are due to the vagus nerve being connected from the head to the gut and everything in-between.
Thankfully, there are many ways to sooth this nerve when it’s not working properly. Many of these are so simple you don’t even have to get up from where you are now!
Here are some ways to hack your nervous system when you are feeling off.
Sing it out
Because the vagus nerve is connected to areas of the mouth and throat, activities like singing, humming, or chanting all calm the body and mind. You can sing alone, in a group or even along side the radio. All of these trigger the PNS (Parasympathetic nervous system) helping to control relaxation. Gargling warm water also stimulates muscles at the back of the throat.
Learn massage techniques
Massages are commonly known for relaxing the mind and body, but if you want to feel the relaxation a bit deeper. You can learn pressure points, for example, the most common ones used is the skin behind the ears, and the soles of our feet, both are a great place to start.
Go outside, get some exercise
You can do literally anything! Walk the dog, walk yourself, gardening, yoga or meditation, honestly just get some sun. If you don’t feel like moving around lay on a blanket or towel, read a book, do some writing or journaling. Everyone needs a little sunshine in their life.
Laugh out loud
Laughter is always a pick me up in ANY situation. Find something funny to watch, stream, read, or text some friends jokes you found online.
Look after your gut
Your heart and brain is directly linked, so anything that is unhealthy for the gut could cause stress. Things like overeating, too much caffeine, or eating foods that don’t agree with your stomach all can impact your gut and having poor digestion can increase stress levels.
Breathe through it
Taking slow deep breaths can help in many areas of life. Try going in through your nose and out through your mouth, imagine filling your belly and chest with air ( like a balloon), or count as you breath. Or you could try balanced breathing exercises such as, yoga, meditation, or tai chi.
Take a cold shower
Cold immersion therapy can boost the immune system, and stimulate the nervous system as your body adjusts the change in temperature. Ice baths aren’t for everyone, I know it’s hard for me to even stand in a cold shower but the benefits are PHENOMINAL! Try turning your temperature in the shower down for 10 seconds or refresh in the morning by splashing cold water on your face. Don’t like water? Cool, go for a walk early in the morning or on a cool night. You won’t regret it.
I hope you enjoyed this post. My only inspiration for this post is the magazine, BREATHE: MENTAL HEALTH. I absolutely LOVE sharing my favorite pages, they help me a ton!
Anyways, have a great day!
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