Published May 27, 2020, 9:45 p.m. by Jagdeep singh
experience a racing heartbeat or tightness in your chest when you encounter a stressful situation, it’s because of your sympathetic nervous
system. When the brain senses a threat, it triggers the fight-or flight response.
the flip side, the parasympathetic nervous system plays a role in
calming your body. For example, escaping from a tiger and
returning to your safe, cozy cave signals to the brain that the threat
is gone, so the stress response ends.
what happens when a stressor doesn’t have a definitive ending like,
say, a domestic or financial situation that might go on for months? You could suffer major health consequence unless you intervene, with the help of your nervous system. One of the problems with chronic stress is that it leads to emotional eating i.e. eating to simply feel better even though you are not hungry.
Research on the Vagus nerve a major nerve in the parasympathetic nervous system which touches almost all major internal organs, sheds light on how people can tune in to their nervous systems and find ways back to a “rest and digest” state amidst the chronic stress.
Here are three simple techniques to use your vagus nerve to overcome the stressful situation and of course when you are calm and relaxed, you can deal with the situation better.
Awareness of the body
If you’re not aware of how your body feels when you’re stressed, it’s hard to know when you need to give your nervous system some rest and relaxation. The first step back to calm is paying attention to your body’s sensations.
Feel your shoulders , neck, jaw, forehead if they appear tight - relax them.
Inhale for a count of 4, hold for 7 and exhale for 8 . Do about 5-7 times every time you feel stressed or anxious. This technique is also know to put you to sleep if you have a racing mind.
Exhaling longer than you inhale puts the ventral vagal network into action and promotes the rest and digest response.