Today’s topic: STRESS And One Way To Deal With It.
This post will show you how you can stimulate your vagus nerve using nothing but your own voice.
You likely know that meditation is a good remedy for stress, and there have been countless studies on the effectiveness of meditation and mindfulness. But today, I want to show you a way you can get more instant benefits from meditation in no longer than 4 minutes.
Allow me to start with a story.
One day I was meditating, and feeling frustrated that I just couldn’t get into the zone. My mind was racing and I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had to do for the day and I had this feeling that I was wasting time by just sitting there. I felt ‘rushed’ to get into the zone and get my ‘inner calm’ on for the day. Talk about cognitive dissonance! Suddenly I felt compelled to let a sound come from my mouth-just a hum- a long hum. Instantly I felt vibrations running through my body with my eyes closed, and something switched over in my mind. I felt more focused-alive even.
The buzzing sensations from the sound left a residual ring around my body and I felt more present. So I did it again, this time with more intention, and that feeling grew once more.I continued doing this for another few minutes, each time the vibrations growing in intensity. When I got up from this meditation, I felt the most calm and clear I had felt in a long time, and I had done it in a shorter amount of time compared to my usual 15-20 minute meditations.
This sent me on a quest for research around sound and chanting, and I realised that this practice has been around for thousands of years! I learned that making sounds like this is otherwise known as ’toning’. Not only that, I discovered that toning has been shown to:
* Lower inflammation in your body
* Improve brain function
* Release pain relieving endorphins and increase your happiness
* Improve your breathing due to more conscious focus on the breath leading to a deeper oxygenation in the body
* Activate the parasympathetic nervous system-one of three divisions of the autonomic nervous system, which lowers your heart rate and increases intestinal and glandular activity
* Stimulate your vagus nerve. You don’t have to be a singer or know anything about music. If you can sound one ‘note’ from your voice, you can do this.
So, I invite you to try the toning exercise below. Just follow along and repeat the humming sequence.