3 Ways to Hack Your Nervous System and Feel Better Fast
Stressed out, chattering mind, worried, feeling out of sorts? Who isn’t these days?
Time to love on your Vagus Nerve.
The Vagus Nerve is the most important nerve in the body that connects your brain stem to your heart, lungs and gut. It branches out to virtually every organ in the body and controls everything from heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, blood glucose, digestion, immunity, appetite, fertility, kidney function, mood, emotional processing and so much more.
A strong vagus nerve is the key to physical, mental and emotional health because when we activate it, we switch off the stress “fight or flight” response in our body and switch on the “rest and relax” response, which is the optimal setting for the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
Vagus nerve dysfunction can result in weight gain, obesity, chronic inflammation, heart disease, migraines, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, IBS, and cancer.
The good news is that we can activate the vagus nerve through a number of relaxation techniques.
Here are 3 Simple Things You Can Do Now To Feel Better Fast:
1) The Whistling Breath – All conscious breathing exercises stimulate the vagus nerve but this one is particular is quite effective for feeling calm, focused and relaxed. Sit comfortably with a straight spine. Pucker your lips as if sipping through a straw, close your eyes and inhale deeply through the mouth, to a count of 5, naturally making a high-pitched whistle and then slowly exhale completely through puckered lips making a high-pitched whistling sound. Focus your ears on the whistle as you breathe. Feel your belly expand out on the inhale and contract in, squeezing out all air on the exhale. Begin a practice for 3 minutes.
2) Humming – The vagus nerve passes through by the vocal cords and the inner ear and the vibrations of humming is a powerful way to shift your nervous system. Simply pick your favorite tune and you’re ready to go. Or if yoga is your thing, even better you can “OM” your way to a strong vagus nerve. Notice and enjoy all the sensations in your chest, throat, and head.
3) Cold Water – Chill out naturally by dipping your face into cold water immersing your forehead, eyes and at least 2/3 of your cheeks. Studies show that when your body adjusts to cold your sympathetic (fight or flight) system declines and your parasympathetic (rest and relax) system increases.