Quick Tips to Activate the Vagus Nerve

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


In the simplest of terms, the Vagus Nerve essentially “controls” our parasympathetic nervous system (a.k.a. the “rest and digest” or “calming” one). So, the more we do things that “stimulate” or activate it, like deep breathing, the more we banish the effects of the sympathetic nervous system (a.k.a. the “fight or flight,” or the “do something!” one). When the sympathic nervous system takes over, it creates stress-releasing adrenaline/cortisol, which are not good for the body.

Here are some movements you can use to activate the Vagus Nerve and make your parasympathetic nervous system (the good one) to kick in:

  • Lengthen your exhalations and allow them to become slower, fuller and longer
  • Let the root of your tongue rest
  • Take a long “Mmmmmm” and hum a little bit 
  • Release your jaw and soften the muscles at the base of your neck
  • Look left and right with your eyes to release tension in your head
  • Gently slide your jaw away from your ears


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