7 Methods to Activate Your Vagus Nerve and Their Importance

If you’re stressed during the day, your vagus nerve will give you all the calmness you need. This article teaches you how to activate this nerve and beat stress easily.

What Is The Vagus Nerve?

The vagus nerve is a key component of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for your body’s “rest and digest” response. When stimulated, it can move your body from a fight-or-flight stress state to a rest-and-digest state of relaxation.

Research has also shown that activating this nerve could prevent and treat certain psychiatric disorders involving stress, such as anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve

If you’re trying to stimulate your vagus nerve, here are some effective methods to use:

Let Yourself Have a Full-Body Laugh

A big laugh can help you stimulate the vagus nerve and combat stress. You can create humorous situations by watching a funny video or having an exciting night out with friends.

Take a Handful of Deep Breaths

Deep breathing can reduce your anxiety and stress. You also need to practice breathing deep consistently to soothe the stress you experience at the moment.

Meditate Daily

According to one study, meditation brings you awareness of what is present, which, in turn, stimulates the vagus nerve to quell stress. If you don’t know where to start, try meditating for one to five minutes during your available time.

Splash Your Face With Cold Water

Immersing your face in ice-cold water for several seconds or taking a cold shower can stimulate your vagus nerve. However, cold is probably more useful for people dealing with depression rather than those with anxiety. That said, the cold pressure is still effective in calming you down.

Hum Your Favorite Tune

When you hum, the vibration from the throat to the chest is the vagus nerve vibrating. This blunts the effects of stress and eases moments of acute discomfort.

Massage Your Outer Ear

According to research, the outside of the ear contains a branch of the vagus nerve, known as the Arnold’s or Alderman’s nerve. This means you can massage your vagus nerve anytime you want. You can do this with this process:

● Gently massage the inner part of your ear using slow circles
● Pull your ear
● Massage the area below your ear.

Gargle Water in the Back of Your Throat

Gargling with water can activate the muscles in the back of the throat connected to the vagus nerve. You can gargle for 30 seconds to one minute while ensuring you’re directing water to the back of your throat.


Regular vagus nerve stimulation can activate your “rest and digest” mode to help your mind deal with stressful moments. You can use these DIY practices safely and from the comfort of your home to activate the nerve and effectively handle life’s challenges.