Growing up my sister and I would always be singing. We would sing everywhere and it would get louder when we sang together. We drove our siblings and parents crazy. They would always get mad at us and tell us to stop. One weekend we decided to camp out at some land we owned. All by ourselves and in a tent with just the two of us we sang our hearts out all night long. No one to tell us to stop singing or be quiet. It was glorious. A memory with my sister I will never forget.
Did know singing can reduce anxiety. It can actually change your mood. This isn't just me saying this. Its actually scientifically proven in studies. WOW! I wish I would have known that when I was a teenager. Let me try and explain it to you all! The Vagus nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It connects your brain to many important organs in your body including intestines, stomach, heart and lungs. It is a key part of your breathing, digestive function and heart rate, all of which has a huge impact on your mental health. So what we need to pay attention is the "Tone" of the Vagus nerve. Which is the biological process that represents the activity of the Vagus nerve. Increasing your Vagal tone activates the nervous system and having a higher Vagal tone means that your body can relax faster after stress. For people with treatment resistant depression the FDA has approved an implant that stimulated the Vagus nerve to increase the Vagal tone. So what does this have to do with singing? The Vagus nerve is connected to your vocal cords and the muscles at the back of your throat. Singing, humming or even chanting can activate these muscles. This has been shown to increase the vagal tone. So let's get singing more and activate our Vagus nerve so that we can relax faster after stressful situations. Sing Away!
If you have a teenager or young adult in your life that struggles with anxiety you need to book a free mini session with me to learn more strategies to help. Click the link below. I am also coaching parents who are interested in learning how to manage their own emotions with raising anxious teenagers.