Hi there, a few days ago, I watched a video about relaxing the vagus nerve to manage anxiety. I thought it could also benefit people with ocd, so I tried to find more information about the techniques and how to do that. Here are some of them:
- Deep breathing exercises: Diaphragmatic breathing can activate the relaxation response and stimulate the vagus nerve. Focus on taking slow, deep breaths, inhaling deeply through your nose, and exhaling slowly through your mouth. Aim for a longer exhale than inhale, as this can help activate the relaxation response.
- Meditation and mindfulness: Meditation and mindfulness can help calm the mind and body, activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Find a quiet and comfortable space, and engage in techniques such as focused attention on your breath, body scan meditation, or loving-kindness meditation. These practices can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
- Yoga: Certain yoga poses and sequences, such as gentle stretches, forward folds, and restorative poses, can stimulate the vagus nerve and promote relaxation. Incorporate practices like restorative yoga, yin yoga, or gentle hatha yoga into your routine. Yoga also emphasizes deep breathing, which further supports vagus nerve stimulation.
- Cold exposure: Brief exposure to cold water or cold showers can activate the vagus nerve. You can try splashing cold water on your face or taking cold showers, gradually increasing your tolerance. However, it is essential to listen to your body and not expose yourself to extreme temperatures that could be harmful.
- Singing or chanting: Singing or chanting involves prolonged exhalation and activates the muscles in the back of the throat connected to the vagus nerve. Activities like singing, humming, or chanting mantras can help stimulate the vagus nerve and promote relaxation.
I tried 4 and 5 and feel happier and more energetic without the usual thoughts overload. I hope my findings can be helpful