It's a new month and therefore a new focus and a new theme for us to centre our attention on. Febreathary began in 2021 as a way of sharing various breath work techniques to manage life's daily stresses, and here we are again another year later and I'm going to be sharing more breathing techniques with you over the next four weeks.
First though, some interesting little facts about the lungs, respiratory system and breathing....
We can go 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water and 3 minutes without Oxygen.
25% of the Oxygen we breathe is used by the brain, 12% by the kidneys & only 7% by the heart.
We breathe 12 - 20 x per minute on average. That's roughly 20, 000 cycles per 24 hours.
Neuroscientific research shows that nerve cells in the brain stem connect breathing to different states of mind
Extending our exhale by just 1 - 2 counts more than the inhale reduces the heart rate telling your brain that al is calm & peaceful.
For our first practice of the month we're focusing on activating our Vagus Nerve via the power of our breath.
What is The Vagus Nerve
The Vagus Nerve is the 10th cranial nerve originating in the brain stem, extending through the Thorax & inserting into the abdomen. So called The Vagus Nerve because Vagus is Latin for "wanderer". Isn't that beautiful?
It's directly linked to our heart, lungs, diaphragm & digestive organs so has an impact on our heart rate, our breathing & of course, digestion!
How To Activate The Vagus Nerve
Slowing down our breathing
Lengthening our exhale by 1 or 2 counts more than the inhale
Walking outside in nature
Trying some mindful meditation
Listening to your favourite chill-out playlist
When we activate the Vagus Nerve a message is sent to the brain telling us that everything is calm, even if the opposite is true. The brain further supports this shift by bringing us out of fight, flight or freeze, and into rest & digest.
Benefits of Activating The Vagus Nerve
Slows down heart rate
Alleviates feelings of anxiety & worry
Encourages effective digestion
Calms the mind & body
Reduces feelings of stress
Enhances overall wellbeing
Try This Breathing Technique To Reduce Stress
Rhythmic breathing is one of the simplest & most effective techniques to activate the Vagus Nerve. Here I show you how to practice it in less than 10 minutes.
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