Holistic mental health as a concept has exploded in popularity in the last decade, with vagus nerve exercises becoming the most popular as of late. There are many vagus nerve activation exercises for reducing stress and anxiety, but not all tactics are equal.
This article aims to explain how various holistic vagus nerve activation exercises work and directly compares them to direct vagus nerve activation with VeRelief and why VeRelief is the go-to choice for those living the fast-paced and high-stress lifestyle.
Cold plunge, also known as cold water immersion therapy, is a technique that involves immersing the body in cold water for a short period of time, usually between 2 to 5 minutes. Cold plunge is thought to work for stress relief by triggering the body's natural "fight or flight" response, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. When the body is exposed to cold water, it activates the sympathetic nervous system, which releases adrenaline and other stress hormones. This can lead to an increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and a surge of energy. Once the body is removed from the cold water, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which induces a state of relaxation and calmness.
While cold plunge can be an effective tool for stress relief, it is important to use caution and start with shorter immersion times to avoid potential risks, such as hypothermia. It is also not easily accessible nor practical for people living the fast-paced and always-on-the-go lifestyle.
Using ice packs to the vagus nerve, also known as ice therapy, is a technique that involves applying a cold compress to the neck in the area where the vagus nerve is located. Ice therapy is thought to work for stress relief by activating the vagus nerve, which can induce a calming effect in the body.
When the neck is exposed to cold, it activates the vagus nerve, which can reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure, inducing a state of relaxation and calmness. This can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and promote overall well-being.
Ice therapy can be performed by placing an ice pack or cold compress on the neck for a short period, usually between 30 seconds to 2 minutes. It's important to use caution when performing ice therapy to avoid potential risks, such as frostbite or nerve damage. Ice therapy also requires access to ice packs or bags of ice, which is not reliable or sustainable for people on the go who need stress and anxiety relief on a moment’s notice.
Humming is a simple and natural technique that can provide stress relief by promoting relaxation and reducing tension in the body. When you hum, the sound vibrations can stimulate the vagus nerve, which plays a critical role in regulating various physiological functions in the body, including heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and breathing.
Humming can be performed at any time and in any place, making it a convenient and accessible stress-relief technique. Humming can also be combined with other relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, visualization, and especially direct vagus nerve stimulation to enhance its stress-relieving effects.
However, humming takes several minutes to take effect, and is often not strong enough to pull someone out of a severe stress response or anxiety attack. It also draws attention if performed in a public setting, making this tactic attractive for those on the go.
Slow breathing is a relaxation technique that can provide stress relief by slowing down the breathing rate and promoting relaxation in the body. When you breathe slowly, it can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for promoting rest and relaxation in the body.
Slow breathing can be performed at any time and in any place, making it a convenient and accessible stress-relief technique. You can practice slow breathing by taking deep, slow breaths, counting to a certain number while inhaling and exhaling, or using a guided breathing exercise. Slow breathing can also be combined with other relaxation techniques, such as visualization and direct vagus nerve stimulation with VeRelief to enhance its stress-relieving effects. In fact, the VeRelief device comes with a built-in slow breathing pacer so you can amplify the relaxation effects.
The negative side of slow breathing is that it takes a long time to get effective vagus nerve activation. It is also extremely difficult to perform in the middle of a severe stress response or anxiety attack. The last thing people want to hear when they are in a fight-or-flight response is “just breathe”.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation are practices that can provide stress relief by helping individuals focus their attention on the present moment and cultivate a sense of inner calmness and relaxation.
During mindfulness and meditation practices, individuals learn to observe their thoughts and feelings without judgment, and develop a greater awareness of their inner experiences. This can help individuals become more attuned to their bodies and emotions, and develop a greater sense of control over their responses to stressors in their environment.
While these practice can be helpful for stress and anxiety relief, they require a large amount of time to practice and a quiet place to perform them. They are not ideal methods to be used in public settings. They are also very difficult to perform when one is on the go or currently stress out when the mind is racing. They are often completely ineffective when someone is having an anxiety attack.
VeRelief Auricular Vagus Nerve Stimulation
VeRelief is a powerful and effective tool for stress relief that provides nearly immediate calming effects. By directly stimulating the vagus nerve with electrical impulses, VeRelief can induce a strong euphoric and mildly sedative effect that is more powerful than other stress relief tactics.
VeRelief is small, portable, and easy to use, making it a great option for people living fast-paced and high-stress lifestyles. There is no setup time required, and it can be used discreetly while on the go and in any environment. VeRelief can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other stress-relief methods listed above for enhanced calming effects.
If you're looking for a fast and effective way to manage stress and anxiety, VeRelief is a great choice that you can take with you anywhere.