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THE VAGUS NERVE

The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the human body and has countless branches that wind their way from the brainstem all the way down to the lowest part of the intestines, touching most major organs along the way. The Vagus Nerve Carrys Serotonin Along the Gut-Brain Axis.

Cold exposure:

When your body has to adjust to cold temperatures your parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system is activated, which is mediated by the vagus nerve.  Activities such as taking a cold shower, a winter plunge in the sea, or putting your face in ice cold water, all activate this process.

Singing:

Singing, humming or chanting activates stimulates vagus nerve by activating the muscles in the throat and neck and lungs.

Deep diaphragm breathing:

Muscles controlling this movement are the diaphragm and intercostal muscles between the ribs. When a person is under stress, their breathing pattern changes to short shallow breaths, using their shoulders to move air in and out of the lungs instead of the diaphragm. This breathing pattern not only disrupts the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, it can also prolong feelings of anxiety making stress worse. Deep breathing calms the nervous system. By practicing long deep breathing you activate the parasympathetic nervous system, activating the vagus nerve, telling your brain its time to rest and digest.

LONGER EXHALATIONS:

โ€œIf you want to maintain GRACE under pressure, make deep breathing movements โ€” with a big inhale and a long, slow exhaleโ€.

Every time you exhale, your vagus nerve squirts some acetylcholine (also known as “vagusstoff” or “vagus substance”) onto your heart. Vagusstoff acts as a tranquilizer-like substance. Visualize squirting some vagusstoff into your nervous system by taking a deep breathโ€”with a big inhale and a long, slow exhale.

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PRACTICING MINDFULNESS

2 comments

  1. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that make the most important changes. Thanks for sharing!

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