Deep breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, the longest cranial nerve in the body. The vagus nerve, the parasympathetic stimulator for the body, extends from the brain then branches out to influence It is known as the “rest and digest” stimulator, helping to bring equilibrium to the body
The only way you can stimulate the vagus nerve is through deep breathing. Any deep breathing can be done anytime, anywhere. “Conscious breathing can change your physiological state” according to Dr. Nancy Bell, UCLA Director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center.
Try the acronym STOP.
STOPP remove yourself from the anxiety producing event. Mentally visualize deep breathing will nourish you.
TAKEdeep breaths, INHALE DEEPLY to the count of six (6). Pause for the count of six (6) and EXHALE to the count of six (6).
OBSERVE how you feel after 6 SLOW breaths. Invite calm. You will notice when you have stimulated the vagus nerve.
PROCEED until you can feel your body relax. The impact of the increased oxygen usually can be felt after 3-5 minutes. Or about 20-24 reps!
Any deep breathing can be done anytime, anywhere.
What do you have to lose except the jittery, anxious feelings. Try it and keep it up until you find yourself doing it throughout your day.
BREATHE AND REPEAT!