Did you ever think your ability to relax could be reduced down to a science? Stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system can be beneficial for your well-being, especially when it comes to your ability to relax. That’s just one of the reasons that science is so incredible!
You might be wondering then, how to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and take advantage of this science for yourself. We’re here to give you the rundown of the science behind relaxation and some of our best ideas so you can get started on your journey towards a more relaxing life!
The Science Behind Relaxation
So, how exactly does the science behind activating the parasympathetic nervous system for relaxation work? To start, the parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for your rest and digest response. It’s the system that communicates with your body to tell it that it’s ok to slow down, take deep breaths, and relax.
As this response happens, your cortisol (stress hormones) levels start to fall and your muscles relax, along with a lot of other things that help your mind and body to calm down.
How to Activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System
When you activate the parasympathetic nervous system, you enter into a relaxed state. So, what are some of the ways you can do that for yourself? We’ve got you covered!
Vagus nerve stimulation
First on our list of ideas on how to activate the parasympathetic nervous system is vagus nerve stimulation. The vagus nerve is a super long nerve that extends to just about every major system in the body, however, it’s a main part of the parasympathetic nervous system.
You can see why then that vagus nerve stimulation would make the top of our list when it comes to activating the parasympathetic nervous system and helping you to relax!
The Xen device by Neuvana offers perhaps the easiest and most efficient way to stimulate the vagus nerve and get the results you’re looking for. It’s also something that you can do from the comfort of your own home!
Meditation on its own can be incredibly relaxing. It helps to decrease big reactions to stress that are out of your control along with a lot of other things. That includes helping to slow down our breathing and the heart, decreasing blood pressure, and better managing triggers.
When you meditate the lactic acid in your muscles can also be minimized which helps to promote healing
There’s nothing better than a massage, regardless of if you’re feeling constantly stressed, or just want to treat yourself. Massages can help you to relax as they restore balance between the systems in the body – specifically the parasympathetic nervous system.
Getting one can also help you to feel stronger and has even been known to help fight against infection.
There are all different kinds of breath work you can do to help activate your parasympathetic nervous system. However, pretty much any type of breath work will help to let your body know that everything is ok and help to activate this system.
Breath work has also been known to help strengthen your lungs, decrease your heart rate, and even improve your immune system. There are so many benefits to breathing. Even if it’s something that you practice for just a short time each day.
Similar to meditation, yoga can help to activate your parasympathetic nervous system as it decreases your reaction to stress and helps you to calm down. It improves your ability to decrease the fight or flight response you experience when you’re exposed to a certain trigger.
There are also tons of other great benefits to yoga such as better breathing, improved resilience, strength, flexibility, and improved health in general.
Talking to a professional is also something that’s great for a lot of reasons, but did you know it can help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system? Doing so can help you to figure out where your stress comes from and address it.
You’ll be better able to relax and improve your well-being at the same time.
Touching your lips
This is an interesting one, but touching your lips could be the tip you’re looking for! Your lips happen to have parasympathetic fibers running through them which means running your fingers along them can help activate this system.
Next time you experience stress, try taking a finger or two and brushing them back and forth on your lips. Try focusing on the sensation it brings and how your mind and body react.
Another interesting technique for activating the parasympathetic nervous system is to look at calming imagery. Doing so can help you to feel grounded and a lot more relaxed. You might try thinking about yourself in one of your favorite places, or thinking of a happy memory with family and friends.
No matter what it may be, you will want to think about how relaxed you were when you were in that place or moment. Think about the details of the situation, whether it’s colors, or certain smells and allow your brain to focus in on it. As you do so, your mind and body will naturally begin to calm down and the parasympathetic nervous system will kick in!
Get enough sleep
When you get enough sleep your body is better able to rest up and recover from challenges that get thrown your way. The better you treat your body and give it the rest it needs, the better your internal systems will be able to work and help you each step of the way.
We hope these ideas are helpful in activating your parasympathetic nervous system and putting yourself into a state of relaxation when you need it most. Vagus nerve stimulation is one of the most incredible ways you can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is why we can’t recommend the Xen device enough.
Best of luck on your journey and we hope you have all the relaxing moments in your future!
The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.