The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in our bodies, connecting our brain to our digestion and vice versa. It manages signaling for bodily functions, so we don’t have to think about them! It handles digesting food, breathing, heart rate, and more.
Here’s the key, the vagus nerve does all of this as part of (75%) our parasympathetic nervous system. That is our “anti-stress” system.
The opposite of the parasympathetic response is the sympathetic response, which is what we think of as the fight or flight system.
When we are stressed, or exposed to stress, the sympathetic system engages to help us respond. And at the same time, it turns off (or decreases) certain functions that are not so necessary while we are responding to stress.
The issue occurs when we are under constant stress. The way I think about it is…the vagus nerve gets stuck in a stress response mode. This can look and feel like:
- Digestive issues like heartburn, nausea, bloating, and pain
- Shortness of breath, dizziness, and feeling faint
- Racing heart and palpitations
- Anxiety and overwhelm
So how do we help our vagus nerve to recover from stress? I think of it as “taming” the vagus nerve.
There are many ways, which I discuss in this episode AND in my new book, Master Your Stress Reset Your Health.
One of my favorites is to take a deep breath. When you take a breath, you are signaling to your vagus nerve to turn on the parasympathetic nervous system and turn off stress.
And the amazing thing is that we can choose to take a deep breath and give this signal to our bodies at any moment, even when stressed.
Please listen in, let me know what made you say “oh wow!” and subscribe if you haven’t already!
And order the new book!! So I can help you recover from and become resilient to stress. Imagine that!
Here’s the link: https://DoctorDoni.com/msrh
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More Resources from Dr. Doni:
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