Do you need a vagal toneup?
The vagus nerve is called the wondering nerve. It connects the limbic system (think emotions) with your internal organs. It also plays a critical role in our social interactions. It influences eye contact, mimicry of facial expressions, and how the middle ear adjusts to the sound of a person’s voice.
To state it as simple as possible, the vagus nerve helps us form connections with other people and it helps us regulate our emotions. People, who have a high vagal tone – individuals, who have a very fit vagus nerve (it is well conditioned) – have healthier relationships and increased health outcomes.
Like any other part of your body, you can improve the fitness of your vagus nerve through exercise. Exercising the vagus nerve involves practicing loving-kindness meditation.
New research published in Psychological Science – the leading journal in the social sciences – shows how simple meditative practices can improve one’s positive emotions, social connections and vagal tone.
A link to the research and a video demonstrating loving-kindness meditation.
The research shows that the benefits of improving your vagal tone are just as important as quitting smoking, losing weight, and exercising.