The opposite of the sympathetic nervous system is the Parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). This is the “rest and digest” system and helps conserve energy as it slows heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.
How humming can help you de-stress
The answer is pretty simple. The Vagus nerve (Cranial Nerve 10), is a major player in the Parasympathetic Nervous System, connecting your brain to the heart, gut and lungs. It helps influence heart rate, breathing, memory, cognition, plus lots of other things.
The tone of the Vagus nerve is key to activating the Parasympathetic Nervous System. This is where humming can help. The Vagus nerve is connected to the vocal cords and the muscles in the back of your throat. Humming along with chanting and gargling can activate these muscles and stimulate the vagus nerve.
What to do
Simply hum a happy tune or your favourite song for 30-60 seconds or longer if would like. You can do it loud or soft, but keep your lips closed and jaw relaxed. It’s that simple.
Try this simple body hack and see how you feel. Your body will thank you for it.