Life is coming at you fast and furious! You want to feel strong but you’re just too tired to start anything new. You know you should eat better – but there’s no time to cook. You try to stay hydrated; you didn’t even remember lunch, let alone a water bottle. Your conscience nags you about exercising. Sheesh, getting out of bed is a work-out!
But darling, you can find pleasure in toning your vagus nerve, and the very act of doing so will diminish some of your stress and begin to change you physically. With enough practice, you may find your stamina improves.
The vagus nerve is the master mind of the anti-stress network in the body. It stretches from the brain to the intestines, affecting the heart and lungs, the liver and kidneys, stomach and spleen. When it is toned, people have more balanced blood sugars, are less susceptible to depression, are more able to concentrate and remember, have more fulfilling relationships, and are less likely to be plagued by inflammation in the body.
The more toned your vagus nerve, the more quickly you can recover from a situation that puts you into “fight, flight, or freeze.” Although some of us are born with less tone than others, engaging in just one uncomplicated activity each day can strengthen that tone.
Here are a dozen of my favorites ways to do so:
- Humming or singing
- Deep breathing
- Washing my face in cold water
- Taking Probiotics
- Thinking positive thoughts
- Serving others
- Getting a massage
- Expressing gratitude
Dr. Arielle Schwartz, psychologist, explains that like Goldilocks, “we recognize we are ‘too hot’ when we feel keyed up, anxious, irritable, or panicky. We are too ‘too cold’ when we are shut down, depressed, or feeling hopeless. Sometimes we alternate between the two which is like driving with one foot on the gas and one on the brakes. Practices that regulate the vagus nerve are aimed towards either relaxing or re-energizing ourselves depending upon what is needed to feel ‘just right.’”
No matter how poorly you feel, you are never too out of balance to engage your vagus nerve.