Diagram from: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1875813-overview
Craft a Road Map for a Meaningful Life, based on a lecture by Dacher Keltner, PhD. University of California, Berkeley.
Three simple steps one can practice each day:
1) Practice Kindness, through a smile, a hug, a positive or uplifting word
2) Cultivate Gratitude, reverence for things given to us
3) Express, Pursue, Seek Out Awe & Wonder
Do this, and feel better. Mentally, emotionally and physically.
Why? Because this tones and stimulates the Vagus Nerve.
The Vagus what?
No, I’m not saying a weekend in Las Vegas is the antidote to feeling bad. I’m suggesting, based on a lecture I attended in Oregon in August as part of the Opening Convocation at Willamette University, that by taking time each day to breathe deeply, give and receive hugs, and walk in nature, your whole being can become, restore, even maintain “healthy.” Why? Because these are the activities that help keep your Vagus Nerve toned.
The Vagus Nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It travels between the brain, the heart center and the gut relaying messages back and forth between these important centers in our body. Many equate it with the wisdom located in these areas, and thus link it not only to our physical body, but to our mental and emotional bodies as well as our subconscious selves. Associated with the part of the nervous systems responsible for relaxation, when we take time to nourish ourselves through loving contact with others, time outdoors, as well as deep breathing, we benefit, in large part because of the effect on this nerve.
This post is a teaser of sorts... If you’re curious, like I was after hearing Keltner speak about his research in this area… you can read more by clicking here to go to the longer article I’ve written about this, which also includes a few practices to consider as you aim to relieve stress and bring more harmony and joy into your body/mind & life.
Once you've read the longer article, please come back here and leave a comment. It will be anonymous, yet very helpful as I consider what other information to share from my studies, wanderings, and musings... Thank you!
Please let me know:
Was this interesting? Did you find it useful? What else are you curious about?
Any type of feedback is helpful as I develop additional information on such topics.
Thank you! ~Sharon Harvey Alexander, Yoga Therapist, Adjunct Professor at Naropa University, Reiki Practitioner.