The Wind DownThis first part is what I call my wind down. It may take a few minutes, depending on the level of stressors of the day. I relax as much as possible, in a quiet space by myself. I speak audibly in a soft, low voice, to soothe myself. I slow my speech right down and leave long, silent pauses between phrases. To slow myself down from a busy day, I may even count silently (to five or ten) between phrases of my meditation. Why do I do this? So that I may really feel deeply the reassuring words I speak to myself. I visualize that my inner self — my higher self — my soul who loves me deeply — is doing the speaking. This process is very much a part of my self-love, self-care routine for my personal vital well-being.
I learned that deep breathing stimulates the Vagus nerve. Slow breathing, with an equal time for in-breath and out-breath, has multiple benefits. Slow breathing lowers blood pressure, reduces anxiety, and enables the body to make the healthy switch from the high stresses of the day (fight-or-flight/sympathetic mode) — to the calmer, more relaxed (rest-and-repair/parasympathetic) state which ensures calmness and a sense of well-being.
Counting slowly helps to decelerate myself. It's like driving a car and letting my foot off the gas pedal, without braking. No rush, just coast my way to calmness. After all, I'm by myself now, not caught on the office treadmill or the traffic gridlock. I learned that breathing five or six breaths a minute can be extremely helpful. Let’s do the math:
60 / 6 = 5 seconds for an in-breath, 5 seconds for an out-breath, which means I deep breathe six times per minute.
I breathe from my belly — slowly. As I breathe in, my belly expands out, filling my belly with air. As I breathe out, my belly concaves in, emptying the air from my belly. The more my belly expands out and concaves in, the deeper I’m breathing. This exercise is healthy for the Vagus nerve.
|The Vagus nerve connects the brain to each organ of the body.|
Diagram credit with gratitude: theheartysoul.com
Create a Personalized MeditationThe second step was to create a twenty-minute meditation, based on what I learned about the Vagus nerve’s importance for wellness. I also loved what Dr. Mercola said about the two brains — the first brain located in the gut and how it communicates with my other brain — in my head. The two brains are connected via the Vagus nerve. For me personally, that means the line of communication between the two must be clear and healthy, similar to any two-way communication. No cutting out or static allowed. If the communication between the two occurs without interference, well-being is assured.
But, really it’s much more than the gut-brain connection, because the Vagus nerve also connects all my body’s organs to the brain. All my organs are being monitored by the brain in my head. All the more reason to do everything to love myself, for the sake of the well-being of all my organs!
Abbreviated Example(To be read aloud in your slowest, most soothing and most loving voice)
"May you feel safe (five-to-ten-second pause)
May you feel happy (pause)
May you feel healthy (pause)
May you live with ease and joy (pause)
and vital well-being (pause)"
(Repeat as many times as you desire)
See what I mean about using your own voice to soothe and comfort yourself? Some might say it is a kind of "re-parenting". These are reassuring words perhaps many of us wish our mothers might have used to comfort us through our childish fears. Even so, our own inner being will serve the purpose very well, if we allow our inner healer to be real.
If you need more ideas for affirmations, check out the book “You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. It’s available in Audible book, Kindle book, or Print book.
Just try to stay awake after you try my super-duper-meditation strategy for vital well-being. It can’t be done. So, all I can say in conclusion is “Sweet dreams.”
Feel free to comment in the morning (yawn). G’night.
ReferencesDiagram credit of cranial nerves attach to all organs with gratitude to theheartysoul
Functions of the Vagus Nerve on Selfhacked.com
Dr. Mercola reference to Vagus nerve