The Almighty Vagus Nerve, Concluded

The question becomes: how can you strengthen your vagal tone? The most prominent way is to work on deep, diaphragmatic breathing, as breath is one of the vagus nerve’s key regulators. The more slowly and deeply you can breathe, the more you can summon this rest-and-digest mode and relax. In fact, making noises such as humming, chanting, or praying also invokes the same effect, as the vagus nerve is connected to the voice box and larynx. You can also practice splashing yourself (start with the face) with cold water, as it briefly evokes your fight-or-flight response, but then allows you to practice summoning your rest-and- digest response. The vagus nerve makes it clear that you have the ability to control your physical response, thus giving your brain the chance to think at peak performance. The vagus nerve is also the embodiment of the inseparable nature of the brain and the body. As the vagus nerve shows us, to boost your brain, you must focus on everything that supports and surrounds it.

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