This post contains information from Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz’s book, Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook for People who Know they Should but Don’t. This book contains quick, simple, and practical tips to incorporate mindfulness into your day. Finding that time can be tricky in the busy days of early childhood educators and caregivers, but to care for little ones, we have to first care for ourselves to ensure that we are healthy and able to give.
What is the Vagus Nerve
Sukey and Elizabeth Novogratz explain that “the vagus is the longest nerve in the body. It runs from deep within the brain, through the heart, and into the gut…It controls breathing, digestion, and heart rate, as well as our reactions and responses, and can act as a brake pedal for fight-or-flight.
Meditation and deep breath work give the vagus a workout…the more you activate the vagus, the better your ability to slow down and observe what the situation actually requires of you. High stress, a lack of sleep, and long work weeks are a few of the things that make your vagal tone drop.”
Stimulating the Vagus Nerve
Working long hours in a high stress environment can make your vagal tone drop. In order to increase it, you can actually stimulate it by doing any of the following recommendations suggested by the authors: