Day One: The Vagus Nerve
Boosting your Mindset with your Information Superhighway
Hi, and welcome to Day One
Here is your video for the day, where you’ll learn how to stimulate the all-important vagus nerve for a happier, healthier mindset.
Another way to help promote healthy communication along this nerve and improve our mindset is with better posture!
If you spend a lot of time slouching over, it puts undue strain on the neck and spinal cords, which has a negative impact on feelings of stress, mood, memory, and even behavior.
Research has shown that, when we maintain good posture in the face of stress, it helps us maintain self-esteem, improves mood, increases the rate of speech and reduces self-focus. Meanwhile, poor posture can result in more stress, potentially leading to chronic stress.
Slouching also affects the position and function of your abdominal organs and inhibits breathing and oxygen intake, which definitely impact the health and functioning of the vagus nerve. So – think like a ballerina!
If you’d like to learn more about better posture for a healthier, happier brain, ENJOY this article that I wrote on the topic.
Your Health Tip for the Day: Enjoy a Cuppa!
If you are a tea drinker, this probably won’t be big news, but many people may not be aware of the many kinds of tea besides peppermint and chamomile that can help alleviate stress and help ReSet your MindSet.
Studies have found that lemon balm tea can directly impact the level of certain stress hormones in your blood and help improve your mood while providing healthy energy
Some of the antioxidants and active compounds in passion flower tea can help suppress stress hormones and reduce anxiety, while also helping you overcome any sleep issues.
Fennel tea has traditionally been used to calm anxiety, and ashwagandha tea has been trusted for thousands of years as an anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) remedy, particularly in Ayurvedic medicine.
Matcha is the finely ground powder of new leaves from shade-grown green tea bushes. You can find it in most grocery and certainly in any health food stores.
It seems counter-intuitive that Matcha tea, which has caffeine, could also help reduce anxiety. But according to a recent report from Japanese researchers, it can help because of mechanisms in the tea that activate dopamine and serotonin receptors, both of which are closely related to anxious behavior.
Another reason to drink Matcha tea is because some research shows that several of the components in it could help enhance brain function.
It has been shown to cause improvements in attention, reaction time, and memory and one serving daily for 2 months has helped improve brain function in older people.
Matcha also contains a compound called L-theanine, which has also been shown to increase alpha wave activity in the brain, which may help induce relaxation and decrease stress levels.
Taking the Time and Making the Space
Making and drinking a cup of tea mindfully is also a powerful boost to your mood and mindset. Wellbeing rituals like tea-making and drinking are all about taking the time and space to collect your thoughts and use your senses to get yourself in a more positive mindset.
So, please do take the time to make and enjoy your favorite tea to help ReSet your MindSet.
Your Mindfulness Note of the Day
Meditation and mindfulness are truly important for our mindset and for the health of our bodies and our brains. Each day I’ll offer you a prompt or a meditation that you may wish to contemplate.
Today, as we start our time together, I thought it would be good to consider one of the attributes of mindfulness as described by Jon Kabat-Zinn –
The richness of present-moment experience is the richness of life itself. Too often we let our thinking and our beliefs about what we “know” prevent us from seeing things as they really are. We tend to take the ordinary for granted and fail to grasp the extra-ordinariness of the ordinary. To see the richness of the present moment, we need to cultivate what has been called “beginner’s mind,” a mind that is willing to see everything as if for the first time.
As you begin your journey to ReSet your Mindset, try to look at everything as if for the very first time – the joy, the feeling, the uniqueness of every moment and every experience.
“My life is taking place in the here and now, not tomorrow, not next week.”