The Vagus Nerve
We all know instinctively that a healthy connection between the mind, the body and the soul is imperative to living a high frequency lifestyle. Yet, in our increasingly growing complex societies, many of us are neglecting the role of a healthy body as a vehicle for the soul and the mind to achieve alignment. As a result, we deny or downplay the accumulation of stress in our bodies, which leaves us feeling less than ideal and hinders us from achieving our maximum potential.
Navigating the dynamics of our careers, higher learning, relationships with family and friends, being good parents to our kids and good children to our parents, the list of things in competition for our time and attention goes on and on and on, often leaving our bodies on edge, and stressed out more than we know or care to admit.
When I went to my doctor a few years ago, voicing my concerns of irregular menstruation, poor digestion, and fatigue, I was asked, "are you experiencing more stress than usual.?" I searched my recent memory trying to find the red flag that would point to this unknown stress and drew a blank. What I came to realize months later, was that my body had become so accustomed to chronic stress that I couldn't correlate it with my health issues. There must be some hereditary link, some vitamin deficiency to point to. After multiple blood tests, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid dysfunction and diabetes were ruled out, I started to learn about the vagus nerve through my psychology studies. This bundle of magic nerves, stemming from the cranium to the gut, transmits information from the brain to the tissues and organs through electrical impulse stimulation.When vagal tone is low, disruptions cause of many imbalances within our bodies, such as anxiety, low dopamine and serotonin production, digestion, insomnia, irregular menses and many other irregularities.
The Vagus Nerve regulates the parasympathetic nervous system which controls activities performed by the body while its at rest. So things like proper digestion, metabolism, heart rate, salivation, sexual arousal and urination, swallowing, neck muscles responsible for speech.
Increasing Vagal Tone
Practicing yoga helps the body to move with intention and mindfulness, naturally bringing our awareness to our breath sends oxygen flowing to all muscles and vital organs. Practicing for even 15 minutes a day can improve mood, vitality and sleep patterns.
Cold showers and exposure to cold temperature periodically, can help to relax and over active nervous system. Try finishing your shower with 30 seconds of cold water and work your way up. Wash your face with cold water. Take a walk down the street with less clothing than your accustomed to while taking deep breaths. If you're feeling brave you can even try a cold bath.
Deep Slow Breathing
Your breath, what Hinduism refers to as prana, is what allows life to flow with ease and is essential for relaxing the parasympathetic nervous system. Try taking 6 slow breaths over the course of 1 minute, breathing deep into your diaphragm, exhaling slowly.
Singing, Humming, Chant
Not only does singing, humming and chanting help improve mood, all the muscles used to sing, hum and chant are connected to the vagus nerve.
Sending You Love and Life,