If you're reading this I'm pretty sure you're interested in taking care of yourself (whether you think you could do better or not). I am too. Specifically, I'm into practices and modalities of healing that are self-led and don't involve drugs (not that there isn't a time & place for help from others + medicine).
While I do work in the mental health field and teach yoga, I am not immune to feeling stressed, drained and over it, too. Many of the ways that I try to stay healthy, content and hopeful revolve around personal rituals like bathing, moving my body, meditating, watercoloring, listening to music and seeing my friends.
You may discount those kinds of care if you judge that you have "more serious problems," but regardless of what is going on these practices will help you be less prone to sickness (of your mind, body and soul) and will have an impact on your greater ability to be well at a medical level.
If you have ever felt on edge, tense or controlled by your thoughts, feelings, body or nervous system then remember-- Our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) responds to our interventions. It is a fact that has been proven time and time again in the research.
The PNS is the de-stress relaxation system that kicks in to regulate our sympathetic nervous system (SNS). I tell the difference by noting that para sounds similar to repair, so the parasympathetic NS helps us repair equipment that is on the fritz.
Now, there is also a lot to be said about our vagus nerve. Have you heard of it? I first did from Elena Brower and then Deepak Chopra. Just look it up. The vagus nerve is our 10th cranial nerve (CN X) and the longest one we have.
This nerve literally operates our mind-body connection. Stemming from our brains all the way down our throats, hearts, stomachs and vital organs-- it sends signals of parasympathetic regulation all throughout our system. It impacts processes like keeping our heart rate consistent, regulating our blood pressure and digesting our food, which can only happen well when we are relaxed. So, being such a powerful nerve or set of nerves, the following evidence-based practices that lead to vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) are essential and, in my opinion, fun & enjoyable too!
How to Stimulate your Vagus Nerve:
Singing or Chanting (Try OMmm, So Hummm or your favorite mantra, melody or song. It makes sense why singing in the car makes you feel good, right?)
Yoga & Meditation (Come take class with me at Love Hive Yoga!)
Slow, deep breathing practices (Pranayama; Try inhaling for 3, exhaling for 5.)
Social interactions where you exchange love & connection (The reason we are opening HomeWellness. Check out our upcoming events!)
Laughter (You gotta make friends that make you laugh or find a great movie.)
Massage (Mmm, you could book one or get a foam roller!)
Dipping your face or submerging in cold water (Brr, only for me if it's part of a sauna + steam room experience-- check out the Everett house, yum.)
I hope you'll try them, make them your own and keep coming back!
Comment below to let me know how it goes.