Parasympathetic Response: Train your Nervous System to turn off Stress.  (Anxiety Skills #11)

In this episode we’re going to talk about your vagal tone. So in a previous episode we talked about four self-regulatory techniques that help trigger the parasympathetic response in our nervous system. That’s the calming reaction that our nervous system has to balance out the sympathetic response which is the alerting fight flight or freeze response. In this episode we’re going to talk about a few more things that we can do to calm our brain. One of the first things that comes to mind is meditative breathing so long deep intentional breathing now This helps trigger that calming reaction and people have been doing it for thousands of years for that very reason. When you breathe out with a long exhale you may notice an increased production of Saliva in your mouth. Now That’s a parasympathetic response. A lot more people are familiar with the sympathetic response Which is a dry mouth. So meditative breathing long slow out-breath. Now on that note Mindfulness and meditation is also very helpful in triggering the parasympathetic nervous system And we’ll talk more about that in upcoming episodes. Laughter is another technique that helps trigger the parasympathetic response So try and find a way to laugh every day even if it’s watching dumb cat videos on YouTube. I’m going to put a link to my favorite down in the description so check that out. Another way to foster your vagal tone Which is the strength of your vagus nerve is to listen to your biorhythms. So that means going to sleep when you’re tired, Waking up when you’re refreshed, eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’re full. These sort of biorhythms naturally help the body restore its nervous system and function at its optimal level. We all know how crappy we feel when we don’t have enough sleep and how it affects our emotional reactions. Multitasking is something our brains are not very well developed to do So mono-tasking is a way that helps calm the brain. Doing one Task at a time and doing it slowly so doing one slow thing a day something that’s calming and slow and peaceful. For example sitting down and petting a dog or or taking a slow walk, looking at the sunset or doing some knitting or crocheting whatever it Is that you like to do. But just do it slowly without rush. That helps trigger that vagal response. Social connection also helps trigger that parasympathetic response so hugging someone, interacting in a positive way, reaching out and connecting. That all helps soothe the mind and foster calmness. Anything we can do to take care of our body also helps relieve that sympathetic stressed-out, stored up, pent-up energy, so stretching like just stretching out your muscles is a Helpful way to release that tension and trigger that calming reaction as well as getting a massage or any kind of physical activity really can be very helpful. Another weird thing that triggers the parasympathetic response is Standing on your head Now this puts extra pressure on the heart which causes the heart to reacts differently and long story short it triggers that vagal nerve. Messaging to the body to slow down and calm down so you can give that a try go try standing on your head. It’s important to remember that none of these techniques are going to solve your problems. The purpose behind these techniques is Calming you down So that you can solve your problems if we use these anxiety reducing techniques as a distraction from our problems or from our anxiety, in the long run our anxiety is going to stay. So it’s really important to find out the Function behind your emotions what they’re trying to tell you and then meet their needs. We’ll talk more about this in upcoming videos. Make sure you’re not using these techniques as an attempt to control or force your emotions to change as That can often make things worse what we’re really trying to do is foster the calm part of your nervous system That’s already there. Hope this was helpful. Thanks for watching and take care

28 thoughts on “Parasympathetic Response: Train your Nervous System to turn off Stress. (Anxiety Skills #11)

  1. Thank you. Could you please share your thoughts on CFS. Fight or flight permanently triggered for momths, even years. Grateful for any advice. 6 years still stuck

  2. hello! so i have a question and here’s a little backstory.. my husband and i lost our son at 37 weeks back in may.. it was a stillbirth.. it’s been a really tough time. 2 months after i developed some kind of issue that doctors can’t seem to figure out but have said its PTSD or anxiety which would totally make sense. but also my symptoms are similar to a dysautonomia called POTS. where my heart rate jumps from like 70-100 when i stand up and i’m lightheaded. i have random high blood pressure on some days and take meds as needed. but EVERY test scan blood test you can think of has come back normal. also i don’t quite fit the criteria for pots. my heart rate does jump but it comes right back down and settles. one doctor said it just seems like my body is stuck in fight or flight mode. which is what dysautonomia is. that my parasympathetic system isn’t responding correctly. after the trauma of the delivery and losing my baby my body just thinks it’s in stress or trouble. makes sense! i am not a unhappy or depressed or anxiety prone person so if anything i was excited to start trying again for a baby. i didn’t know how to tell doctors look i’m not depressed. something is going on physically with my body!! so i’m wondering if these things might help trigger my body back to normal state?!

  3. i tried the meditation and emdr therapy! and so here are my results so far and i was wondering if this happens. so my blood pressure has been completely back to normal and mentally i was feeling a lot better too! signed up for school and was out and about. but last night i woke up completely sweating and freaking out. i was having a dream and i have never in my life woken up sweating and freaking out that way. my husband said it looked like a panic attack. is it normal that during the process of healing you can take a step back and get worse before you get better? it was like major progress but then this major setback that i’ve never felt before and it scared me so much. i’ve never had an attack like that before

  4. I like to count 4 as breathing in, hold for 4, release to count of 4. Helps stop anxiety from escalating. Very good information you are sharing, thankyou.

  5. So my body is stuck in depersonalization/derealization after a panic attack. Are these tips what I have to do to get back to normal or?

  6. The cat video IS NOT FUNNY if this your favourite funny cat video you have a sick and twisted mind …watching a cat get garrotted on a leash is not funny it's a pitty the cat didn't shred that guy's lolly bag

  7. You have to change ur reality. Go somewhere u can relax and rest for a while. Exercise, eat healthy go to bed early, wake up early. Maditate and do breathing exercises. You will rewire ur brain. Otherwise it will go on forever.

  8. i think my biorhythm is totally messed up. i wake up in the middle of the night and im tired and awake at the same time, like having a car in park and slamming on the gas.

  9. I'm not depressed. My GP has experimented with every antidepressant. I wake up in the morning with dead-battery syndrome, chronic fatigue. Hypothyroid of course. Anxiety has always been an issue. I've tried psycho-therapy, and many Employees Help Program psychologists.
    I'm on another leave of absence.
    My GP I think is at her wits end trying to figure out what to do with me.
    Any suggestions to a new direction?

  10. The irony is a lot people watching this video will try these techniques and will anxiously try to make themselves calm which will only keeps them in a sympathetic response. Doesn't matter exactly how you do it, just calm and slow yourself down!

  11. Standing on your head is just stupid and can’t be good for the neck. Some exercises can make it worse. Yoga, walking, stretching are good ones. You don’t want intense exercise.

  12. Here's a quick summary of techniques:
    1) Meditative breathing (long slow outbreathes)

    2) Mindfulness (covered in separate video)

    3) Laughter (watch stupid Youtube videos)

    4) Listen to your biorythms (eat when hungry, sleep when sleepy)

    5) Monotasking (do one thing at a time, do it slowly)

    6) Social connection (close friendships)

    7) Take care of body (stretching, massage)

    8) Standing on your head (heart works differently which triggers vagal nerve response)

    None of these techniques will solve your problems. The purpose behind these techniques is to calm you down so you can solve your problems easier.
    You're Welcome!

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