The effect of stress takes a nasty toll on your life. But it doesn’t just damage your psyche. It harms your body too.
Stress increases dangerous inflammatory factors called cytokines… damages the hippocampus, causing memory loss and mood disorders… reduces the brain’s ability to repair itself… increases abdominal fat… interferes with thyroid function… and even increases the stickiness of the blood (which can lead to dangerous clots).
But there’s something very simple you can do to help alleviate the effects of stress. Stimulate your vagus nerve.
The vagus nerve controls the relaxation response through the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. And this anti-stress machine can be turned on in a matter of minutes.
Here is the exercise.
Take a deep breath into your belly to the count of five. Pause. Breathe out slowly to the count of five. Keep your belly soft. Repeat 5 times.
With this simple and effective exercise, you instantly reduce your levels of cortisol and help your body get back to a peaceful state of balance.
In addition to a few minutes a day of soft-belly breathing, you can bolster your body’s defenses against stress by engaging in regular vigorous exercise, eating a clean diet of healing foods, and enjoying fresh air and sunlight.