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vagus nerve stimulation for better mental health

   Stimulating the vagus nerve has played a major role in management of mental health.

vagus nerve

What is the vagus nerve?

To begin with, Vagus nerve is the largest nerve in our body. It connects our brain to many important organs throughout the body including the gut, intestine, stomach, heart and lungs.

Moreover, It is the main part of our parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system and is responsible for the breathing, digestion, heart rate, respiratory rate, coughing, sneezing and swallowing.

Furthermore, All of which can have a huge impact on our mental health. We need to pay attention to the “tone” of Vagus nerve. Vagal tone is an internal biological process that represents the activity of the vagus nerve.

Besides, Increasing vagal tone, activates the parasympathetic nervous system. Having higher vagal tone, it means our body can relax faster.

In addition, In 2010 researchers discovered, high vagal tone, positive emotions, physical and mental health are interlinked. In other words, we can describe the more you increase your vagal tone, the more your physical and mental health will improve.

The vagal response reduces stress. It reduces our heart rate and blood pressure. It changes the function of the brain and stimulates digestion, all these happens in relaxing mode.

Besides, An interesting study shows that vagal tone is passed on from mother to child. Mothers who are depressed, anxious and angry during their pregnancy, have lower vagal activity and once they give birth to their child, the newborn also has low vagal activity and low dopamine and serotonin levels.

Quick, simple and effective 17 ways to stimulate vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system; –

(1) Cold exposure; – Acute cold exposure activates this nerve and activate cholinergic neurons through vagus nerve pathways.

(2) Deep and slow breathing; – Deep breathing helps to reduce anxiety and increase the parasympathetic nervous system by activating the vagus nerve.

(3) Spending time in nature.

(4) Cultivating mindfulness, meditation and pranayama; – Studies show that meditation increases vagal tone, positive emotions and promotes good feelings towards yourself. It reduces sympathetic nervous system “fight and flight” activity.

(5) Sitting in silence.

(6) Listening to favorite music.

(7) Pursuing a hobby

(8) Following your passion

(9) Decluttering your space

(10) Hugging and kissing

(11) Visualization and imagery

(12) Singing and chanting; – This nerve connects our vocal cords and muscles at the back of the throat. These activities can activate these muscles and stimulate the vagus nerve.

(13) Probiotics; – Research has shown that good gut bacteria improve brain function by affecting the vagus nerve. Similarly, In one study, animals were given probiotics and researchers found positive changes to the GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid, which is responsible for calming effect) receptors in the brain, a reduction in stress hormone and less depression and anxiety like behaviors.

(14) Omega 3 fatty acids; – Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats that our body cannot produce itself and they are very essential and necessary for the brain, nervous system, to help people overcome addiction, to repair leaky brain and even reverse cognitive decline.

(15) Exercise; – Exercise increases brain’s growth hormones, supports brain’s mitochondria, helps to reverse cognitive decline and stimulate the vagus nerve. Similarly, Yoga and weight lifting are the best forms of exercise which of both you can choose according to your choice so that you will stick with it consistently.

(16) Foot massage; – Research shows that foot massage increases vagal modulation and decreases sympathetic nervous system “fight and flight” response.

(17) Socializing and laughing; – Researchers have discovered that positive social connections improve vagal tone and increase positive emotions. as well as Laughter improves mood and vagus nerve stimulation.

In conclusion, vagus nerve stimulation is very crucial for mental health and as well as overall health.

Dr.Hetal Patel


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