Stress…….we all have it and we all feel it. And the effects of stress will take a toll on your life.
Stress doesn’t just damage your mind. It harms your body, too.
Stress increases dangerous inflammatory factors called cytokines. It also damages the hippocampus, causing memory loss and mood disorders. Stress reduces the brain’s ability to repair itself, increases abdominal fat, interferes with thyroid function, and even increases the stickiness of blood leading to dangerous clots.
I don’t know about you, but that last paragraphed stressed me out!
However, there is a very simple action you can do to help alleviate the effects of stress. You can stimulate your vagus nerve.
The vagus nerve controls the relaxation response through the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This anti-stress response can be switched on in a matter of minutes.
Here is what you can do to stimulate your vagus nerve.
Take a deep breath into your belly to the count of five. Pause. Breathe out slowly to the count of five. Keep your belly soft. Repeat 5 times.
With this simple and effective breathing exercise, you instantly reduce your levels of cortisol and help your body get back to a peaceful state of balance.
In addition to a few minutes a day of soft-belly breathing, you can bolster your body’s defenses against stress by engaging in regular vigorous exercise, eating a healthy diet, and enjoying fresh air and sunlight.
Try this belly breathing exercise next time you feel stressed and see what you think.