Did you know you have a powerful “vagabond” nerve in your body? It’s called the vagus nerve and it stretches from your brain to your belly. Getting in touch with your vagus nerve — for just three three minutes a day — is one of the biggest favors you can do for yourself. You can exercise this nerve just as you exercise your muscles when taking a walk; it’s as easy as drawing a breath. The health benefits are enormous!
The vagus nerve synchronizes critical body functions including heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, digestion and even speaking. Stimulating your vagus nerve every day helps your body better regulate your immune system, emotions, thoughts and behavioral reactions.
Are you ready to take three minutes and stimulate your vagus nerve? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Try this: Sit up straight, pull your shoulders back, and set the timer on your phone for three minutes. Inhale and exhale deeply and slowly through your nose, without straining. Draw your breath into your belly like a baby. As you slowly inhale, feel your ribs and belly expand in all directions. Count to four … and then slowly exhale.
Start your timer, relax your jaw, close your eyes, and begin your belly breathing. If your mind wanders, and it will, bring it back to the breath. Be gentle with yourself, and if for any reason you feel dizzy, disoriented or weird, stop. When you finish three minutes of deep belly breathing, ask yourself, “How do I feel?” You should feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and calmer.
Keeping our bodies and emotions in balance during difficult times can be a challenge. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the ramifications of COVID, a politically divided country, and concerns over the economy, jobs and the future.
By stimulating your vagus nerve for just three minutes a day, you are bringing more oxygen into your body. You can add “belly breathing” as a tool to maintain your health in this changing world. Try it every day for a week and let me know how you feel