Have you heard of the vagus nerve? If not, I’d like to introduce you.
Vagus means ‘wanderer’ and from the images above, you can see why. The vagus nerve is the longest in your body. It plays a role in nearly every physiological action in your body (impacting mood, immune response, digestion, and heart rate, amongst others).
It’s the most important nerve when it comes to your rest and relaxation response, the parasympathetic nervous response (your body’s OFF switch). The vagus nerve connects the brain and your internal organs - it’s a direct information highway between your mind and body (80% of the messages flow from your body, feedback back to your brain).
You want the vagus nerve to be stimulated - a stimulated nerve means reduced cortisol and inflammation and a greater resilience to stress.
You can hack your nervous system via the vague nerve! The easiest way to stimulate it is through breathing. It only takes 5-10 deep breaths. So when you feel a stress coming on, drop all and take 5. Add a drop of essential oil to your cupped hands and breathe that in to amplify the relaxation response.
Choose an oil like lavender, serenity, balance, clary sage, frankincense.
Hands up who else forgets to take big deep breaths?!