Stress can sneak up gradually or hit us all at once. The gradual kind is more insidious although both can be deadly.
Stress is often so innocuous that we are unaware of its influence in our everyday lives.
The Vagus Nerve influences crucial bodily functions; heart rate, digestion, immune response, blood flow and mood. It sends information about the state of the inner organs to the brain. That “gut feeling” is the vagus nerve communicating with the brain.
Do this…. close your eyes, go inside and feel whatever it is that comes into awareness. Take a few moments, be curious and open.
Rate your “state” on a scale of 1-10. How relaxed, confident engaged optimistic do you feel. 1 = awful, tense, lethargic, etc 10 = happy, optimistic, relaxed
Vagus Nerve Reset
Lie down and place your interlocked hands behind your head cupping the base of the skull. If you cannot do this comfortably then place one hand behind your head. Keep you nose oriented toward the ceiling ( the head does not turn, only the eyes move). Relax the neck.
- look to the right, moving only your eyes as far as you comfortably can – find a spot to gaze at
- hold the eyes in that position for 30 – 60 seconds or until the body naturally produces a relaxation response – a deep breath, sigh, swallow or yawn.
- Bring the eyes back to center
- Repeat looking toward the left
As you become more proficient, it will take less time to release the vagus nerve. You may then do it sitting or standing.
This simple exercise balances the nervous system and and gut/brain communication.
Close your eyes once more and feel into the body again . How does your “state” now compare to the earlier state.
I begin and end my day with the Vagus Nerve Reset. Do this any time you are feeling stressed.