The calm switch
If you look around an app store these days, you’ll find a lot of programs designed to help us calm down. I’ve always liked recordings of rainfall, babbling brooks, and other nature sounds, but it goes way beyond that. There’s also the 528 frequency, which many people believe to be the frequency of love, and which has been shown in studies to have certain health benefits in addition to its calming effect. But my first recommendation wouldn’t be either of those. There’s a piece of music called Mozart’s KV 299, which has proven to be the most calming and healing composition ever studied. So if you just want to listen to something that will calm you down, I’d recommend finding your favorite arrangement of it and just putting it on repeat for a while. But if you’re willing to take a more active role, there are even more powerful options.
There is a kind of physical switch that has the ability to calm down your entire body, right down to the nervous system, and all your autonomous functions such as breathing, digestion, and immune function. It not only diminishes negative energy but also increases positive energy, and it is very rare to find something that does both. It is called the vagus nerve, located in your neck near the brain stem, and when activated it stimulates your body in all kinds of wonderfully healthy ways.
In fact, mainstream medical science is currently running tests to see if stimulating the vagus nerve might be able to cure cancer, and their initial results have been promising. One thing they tried was inserting a device that stimulated the vagus nerve every few minutes, similar to a pacemaker, and the results were hugely beneficial: lower blood pressure, balanced pulse rate, more relaxed breathing, better digestion, better immune function, and lower stress.
Fortunately, you don't need surgery to get those benefits. I'm going to teach you three different ways of stimulating your vagus nerve to induce physical, mental, and emotional peace and all three are extremely simple.
I’m going to start with my favorite, which is through breathing. Breathing can have such an enormous impact on a person’s health that many natural health practitioners don’t do anything else. A lot of people are in the habit of breathing from the chest, which is stress breathing. When you breathe, your stomach should move in and out—this stomach breathing increases oxygenation, which gives you more strength and endurance, more energy, and better brain function. A lot of professional athletes take supplements to increase their body’s oxygenation because it has such important and wide-ranging benefits, but proper breath makes a big difference too, so you’re getting a two-for-one with this one.
The actual technique is incredibly simple. First, draw in a deep breath over the course of about 6 seconds. Then hold that breath in for 9 seconds. Finally, release the breath slowly over the course of 12 seconds. 6 seconds, then 9 seconds, then 12 seconds. That’s it, 27 seconds total. So you can do it 10 times over the course of about 5 minutes, which is what I would recommend at least once per day, but doing it more often can’t hurt. You can also do it a few times whenever you think about it throughout your day, while driving or listening to someone in a conversation, for example. This is definitely the method I would recommend the most, so if you try anything today, try this.
But you can also stimulate the vagus nerve by massaging it directly with your fingers. The spot you want is on your neck, just beneath the ear. I would do this for at least a couple of minutes, but like the first technique, it's best to try for about five consecutive minutes at least once a day. There’s not much else to say here; it gives you all the same benefits as the first method, although you won’t have the additional benefits of practicing relaxed breathing, which is why I recommend that method first. The final method is actually the simplest of all: humming. Researchers have found that humming naturally stimulates the vagus nerve, which I find interesting because the effect of a stimulated vagus nerve is physical and mental peace, and humming is something we tend to do when we’re feeling peaceful. What the correlation might be beyond that I don’t know, but it’s probably the easiest way of all to get it working for us, so pick a favorite tune and make a habit of it in the car or the shower!
It’s hard to believe that something as simple and unremarkable as these methods could have such an impact on our wellbeing, but life is full of quiet miracles. I urge you not to let these techniques pass you by because they seem mundane, or because they feel pointless at first. Many of the body’s greatest needs are simple. It pays to make sure you’re filling them as well as possible.
Have a blessed, wonderful day!