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Life: Breath is Best

Dude. Breathe
Dude. Breathe. - Credit: Kyndall Ramirez on UnSplash

People who know me knows that there are not a lot of things I would complain about...well, maybe a few whines here and there but nothing serious....but if there's one thing I would really, really take issue with, it would be having to sit in traffic.

Put me behind the wheel in a gridlock and it turns me from the most patient Saint (not that I am) into a road rage monster. #lol The polarity is startling even to me.

And I don't know why.

There's the feeling of being trapped, of not being able to do anything about it (I've considered dumping the car and walking the rest of the way but...LOL..,the rationale side of me won, thankfully), of feeling like I have better use for my time, feeling like the rest of the world is made up of aszh@le drivers who make no bones about cutting into the lane that I've been sitting in for the past 45 minutes, of having to pay expensive Malaysian tolls that are SENSELESS, of bottlenecks, of rain-clogged roads...I can go on.

Hence, if I had a choice, I would rather teleport. In as far as I can see, there's still nothing on that.

Something could have snapped, could be my Vagus nerve.

The vagus nerve is the longest of all cranial nerves in your body and you can learn about how it affects you on a daily basis here in this article: 9 Facscinating Facts about your Vagus Nerve.

I'll just bring you to point 4 and 5 in the article which points out that the vagus nerve is in control of what goes on with your heart rate and it initiates the body's relaxation response. When you're all revved up, your vagus nerve might need to step up to balance things out.

The worst thing about sitting in traffic (for me, that is) is that as soon as I get agitated, my heart rate goes up and my gut starts churning. Not a good experience when you still have some way to go before you either reach home/your destination or a petrol station. 😂

If there's one thing I've learned so far about sitting in stalled traffic, it's the breath. Really. Put all those woo-woo things a side and I'll tell you it works. Sometimes, I don't even realize that I've stopped breathing altogether, it's shocking when I consciously pull in a really deep breath.

It sounds like a sigh but it works like magic.

Have a quick listen to the Instagram video below, it's just a couple of minutes.

You can also ease yourself into it by simply sticking your face in ice-cold water. Deep and slow breathing is another way to stimulate your vagus nerve. It's been shown to reduce anxiety and increase the parasympathetic system by activating the vagus nerve (51- 52). Most people take about 10 to 14 breaths each minute - SASS.UITTAWA.CA (pdf)

Anyway, I hope this serves as a reminder to us when we're overstimulated, stressed, or feel like anxiety has taken over, breath is best.

It's Saturday so, have a good one, folks!
Love and breathe on,


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