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Title:How to Turn on The Parasympathetic Response to Calm Anxiety - 22/30

Do you want to learn How to Process Emotions and improve your Mental Health? Sign up for a Therapy in a Nutshell Membership, you'll get access to all of Emma’s courses, workbooks, and a Live Q and A with 100’s of exclusive videos: Break the Anxiety Cycle in 30 Days- Online Course: The good news is that there are practical things you can do to turn on and strengthen your parasympathetic response. In this video you’ll learn how to activate the parasympathetic response, and how to strengthen your vagal tone- which is your body’s overall ability to regulate your nervous system and return to a sense of calm. Your nervous system has three responses - the Sympathetic response- which is activating, alerting, it’s been called the FFF response, it’s meant to prepare you to respond to danger. The Dorsal vagal response- which is the shutdown response, it’s meant to conserve energy and numb you, protect you from hurt. And the ventral vagal response- the parasympathetic response, the internal sense of safety, where you feel secure, that you can connect with others, heal, rest and digest, love and be loved, relax and restore. But each of these responses, imagine them as being like a muscle, the response that you use the most gets stronger, so if you’re anxious a lot, you’re constantly strengthening your activating response. And if you exercise your parasympathetic response a lot, it gets a lot stronger. OK, so let's break it down: The vagus nerve is a long nerve that runs from your brain through your neck and into your abdomen. It's one of the most important nerves in your body, controlling many functions, including heart rate and digestion. Vagal tone is like muscle tone, your vagal tone is the activity level of the vagus nerve. Higher vagal tone means that the vagus nerve is more active. It's generally associated with better health and well-being. For instance, high vagal tone is linked with better mood, lower stress, and a more efficient heart. And low vagal tone is often found in people with depression, anxiety, and other stress-related disorders. You can actually measure the strength of your vagal tone with HRV (Heart Rate Variability): In essence, both vagal tone and HRV are measures of how well your body responds to stress and recovers from it. High vagal tone and high HRV are generally seen as signs of good health and resilience. Looking for affordable online counseling? My sponsor, BetterHelp, connects you to a licensed professional from the comfort of your own home. Try it now for 10% off your first month: Learn more in one of my in-depth mental health courses: Support my mission on Patreon: Sign up for my newsletter: Check out my favorite self-help books: Check out my podcast, Therapy in a Nutshell: Therapy in a Nutshell and the information provided by Emma McAdam are solely intended for informational and entertainment purposes and are not a substitute for advice, diagnosis, or treatment regarding medical or mental health conditions. Although Emma McAdam is a licensed marriage and family therapist, the views expressed on this site or any related content should not be taken for medical or psychiatric advice. Always consult your physician before making any decisions related to your physical or mental health. In therapy I use a combination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Systems Theory, positive psychology, and a bio-psycho-social approach to treating mental illness and other challenges we all face in life. The ideas from my videos are frequently adapted from multiple sources. Many of them come from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, especially the work of Steven Hayes, Jason Luoma, and Russ Harris. The sections on stress and the mind-body connection derive from the work of Stephen Porges (the Polyvagal theory), Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing) Francine Shapiro (EMDR), and Bessel Van Der Kolk. I also rely heavily on the work of the Arbinger institute for my overall understanding of our ability to choose our life's direction. And deeper than all of that, the Gospel of Jesus Christ orients my personal worldview and sense of security, peace, hope, and love If you are in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or your local emergency services. Copyright Therapy in a Nutshell, LLC


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