5 Tips to Keeping Calm
The month of November can bring all kinds of emotions into play; shorter days, colder weather, it's not yet winter but definitely not summer and the Christmas season is not too far off...all reasons that we may experience more friction and less flow in our lives. I've recently learned about a beautiful system of support inside the body that can be easily drawn upon during heightened times of stress.
All hail the vagus nerve! The vagus nerve is the bodies master reset button...the CEO of calm. It arises in the brain runs through the chest and then branches in multiple directions to organs and muscles, hitting all the major chakra centres. It monitors the organs and if all is well sends a message to the brain to rest easy and be content. Sooooo if we stimulate the vagus nerve the mind is sent a calm signal and the whole body begins to relax.
Here are 5 ways to stimulate:
1. Close the eyes and expand your peripheral vision. When we expand through our peripheral vision we are sending a message to be open and expansive rather than narrowing the vision and prepping for fight or flight.
2. Slightly drop the chin down. Also know as Jalandhara lock. When the chin moves down the back of the neck opens. This brings circulation to the frontal lobes and moves the breath into the torso.
3. Humming. When the lips are closed and the vocals hum it reverberates internally throughout the body. The body has many systems that create a vibration. When we hum it equalizes the internal systems and entrains the vibrations. Simply put, less cacophony and more resonance.
4.Cold water facial immersion. Not the most favoured technique however if done post exercise it can be a simple and efficient means of immediately accelerating post-exercise parasympathetic reactivation via the vagus nerve, stimulating the reduction of heart rate, motility of the intestines, and turns on the immune system.
5. Dropping the head of the femur bone into the hip socket. Notice how you stand. If your hips are punched forward it sends a signal of fight or flight to brain (it's the same forward running stride position). Instead think of softening the knees slightly to cradle the femurs back into their sockets. Then align the tailbone down and pubic bone up. Maintain that and straighten the knees back up. The movements are subtle not big. Notice your emotional state.