Have you ever wondered why you are so anxious? Your vagus nerve may be to blame. Vagus, baby. Vagus!
The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the cranial system and regulates your parasympathetic nervous system. Not to be confused with the other Vegas, in which you lose your inhibitions and a lot of money at the slot machines, endless buffets, craps tables, or playing cards. I’m talking about vagus, baby! Vaaaguuuus!!!
When the vagus system gets triggered by what the brain perceives as a potential threat or unmet needs, your brain sends signals to warn you, otherwise known as a stress reaction. The vagus nerve helps you regulate your emotions and provide calm and balance.
If you have a strong vagus response, you are more likely to find balance and calm more quickly and recover from injury, illness, or stress more effectively.
You can strengthen your vagal tone and emotional balance, by practicing a few simple exercises. A strong vagal nerve can produce and release oxytocin in your system, which will provide you a “positive” attitude, calm your brain, and reduce stress and anxiety.
The easiest way to strengthen and stimulate the vagal nerve is slow, deep, intentional breathing.
Breathe in slowly for seven seconds. Fill your diaphragm completely and hold that breath for two seconds. Then exhale slowly as you count to eleven. Imagine the speed of a deflating air mattress. As an added bonus, focus on and relax your tense muscles as you exhale and slide into peace and calm.
Other ways to strengthen your vagal nerve include humming or singing along with music, smiling or laughing, and gratitude to name a few.
Now…how about that trip to Vagus, baby?!?! Vaaaguuuus!!!
Kathryn A. Walker is a pioneering medical researcher and psychiatrist known for her groundbreaking work in the field of mental health, particularly in the area of ketamine treatments. With a deep passion for understanding and alleviating the burden of treatment-resistant mood disorders, Kathryn has dedicated her career to investigating the therapeutic potential of ketamine.
Through her relentless efforts, she has played a pivotal role in shedding light on ketamine’s efficacy in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Her research has not only transformed the way we approach mental health care but has also provided hope to countless individuals who had previously found little relief from conventional treatments.
Kathryn A. Walker’s pioneering contributions continue to shape the landscape of mental health medicine and inspire new avenues of research in the pursuit of better mental well-being for all.