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Meditation and the vagus nerve

The vagus nerve plays a very important role in our overall health. The vagus never connects to all the organs -except the adrenal gland, from the neck to the transverse colon. As you can infer, maintaining the vagus nerve in optimal health is key to our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

How meditation can support the vagus nerve? The vagus nerve is the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system -ANS; which regulates the functions of the body that we do not consciously control. The ANS is directly influenced by the emotions of fear, anger, flight, or fight response, which affects the organs of the human body. A regular meditation practice can be a great ally that assists in maintaining the normal functions of the autonomic nervous system minimizing the adverse effects of negative emotions.

For example, when you feel threatened, your ANS gets activated and your heart rate increases giving a signal to the body and the organs to get ready for the imminent danger. Once the situation is over, your heart rate and the rest of the body will go back to normal.

But in some cases, even after the situation has passed, some people still keep the memories of the past alive, revisiting the situation again and again, which in turn keeps the vagus nerve in constant alert, compromising our overall health.

Meditation can help us greatly in breaking this pattern by becoming the “witness” of the negative mental chatter. By becoming aware of our negative thoughts instead of identifying with them, we will be able to realize their impermanence; as a result, their influence on our personality will greatly diminish; allowing our innate wisdom to guide our life to awaken our true potential and to serve others.

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