In today’s fast-paced world, what you get to see is high functioning robots with flesh and skin.
The rat race is so gruesome that we have lost connection with our own selves, let alone knowing about the turmoils of the people around us.
Research suggests that depression has infected 10% of the Indian population.
Moreover, one in four people suffers from anxiety disorder. And what’s worse?
Depression is a major taboo topic. You can’t disclose your condition to anyone and God forbid if you seek help from a psychiatrist you are deemed crazy. Yes, even in the 21st century.
What people fail to realize is that it is ok, to be depressed, it is ok to talk about it and it is very much ok to seek help.
Here are some simple DIY tricks to manage your anxiety, mood disorder and depression.
The key to all your nervous issues is to active your ‘Vagus Nerve’- best depression treatment.
What is Vagus Nerve?
It is a part of the sensory-somatic nervous system.
Vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve arising from the brain stem, connecting to the vocal cords, and in-nerving your vital organs like lungs, stomach etc.
Vagus Nerve is the link to the mind-body connection.
It works as a part of the parasympathetic nervous system which helps you to relax.
The parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems are like two sides of a coin, inseparable and equally important.The Parasympathetic nervous system regulates our ability to rest, digest and reproduce.
Whereas sympathetic nervous system is the counter system which is associated with fight or flight response.
An overactive sympathetic nervous system floods the system with stress hormone ‘cortisol’. This leads to a state of dis-ease.
Stimulating the vagus nerve can help you to feel calm and make you healthy.
Benefits of stimulating the vagus nerve:
- It helps to improve your immunity.
- An active vagus nerve helps to improve memory. This is particularly beneficial in order to prevent or reduce the intensity of Alzheimers.
- It helps to generate new brain cells.
- Vagus nerve stimulation helps to improve a person’s concentration.
- It increases the level of endorphins which are your ‘feel good’ hormones. Therefore, it helps to lift your mood and grab depression by the collar.
How to stimulate the Vagus nerve?
The simplest and easiest way to do it is by focusing on your breath.
We feel breathing is a natural involuntary process that just happens without us realizing it. But what we don’t realize is that most of the time we end up breathing shallow.
That means we take only half breaths where we do not supply enough oxygen to our cells.
To activate the Vagus Nerve we must consciously practice belly breathing.
That is to take a full deep breath, that fills in your stomach. This involves the diaphragmatic breathing.
The Diaphragm is a horizontal muscle dividing your chest cavity from the abdominal cavity.
When you take a complete deep breath your diaphragm curves downward and your belly expands.
As you exhale the diaphragm goes back to its normal position and the belly contracts. When you breathe shallowly only your chest expands.
While deep breathing you reduce your breaths per minute from 10-14 per minute to 5-7 per minute.
Studies suggest that even 10 mins of deep breathing is enough for you to feel relaxed and calm down.
Other ways to stimulate the vagus nerve are:
- Humming: Humming a song or chants like Om or Mm.. helps to create vibrations in the vocal chords, thereby stimulating the vagus nerve.
- Meditation: Meditation helps to feel good about oneself. These positive emotions lead to increased social closeness and also help to tone the vagus nerve.
- Forward, downward (mountain pose) and backward bending (cobra pose) yoga postures also help to tone the vagus nerve.
- Laughing loudly from the belly also helps to stimulate the vagus nerve.
A well-stimulated vagus nerve ensures, that your blood pressure is lowered, you have a strong immune response and promotes a state of well-being.
These are completely harmless methods that you should definitely give a go.