Has something or someone ever ”gotten on your nerves”? I have said that phrase more times than I care to admit!
But I discovered 4 simple things you can do to get them off!
I’ve been doing some research on the Vagus Nerve lately because it impacts so many bodily functions.
This nerve could be called the body’s ”communication superhighway” because it starts in the brain, goes down to the gut and enervates many organs in between, such as our heart, lungs, and digestive organs.
It is also the main nerve responsible for the body’s relaxation response, calming us down during periods of emotional distress.
So when something or someone ”gets on your nerves,” what is really happening is that your nervous system has been activated negatively in response.
”Resetting” your Nervous System
In my reading, I discovered 4 simple things that can help your body’s nervous system ”reset’ itself through influencing the Vagus Nerve:
One of the primary ways that we can ”walk in the Spirit” and not according to the flesh is to sing Spiritual songs:
“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,”– Ephesians 5:18-20
In the morning, I often put on praise music, and sing and dance around the house.
A great thing to do any time you need to give your nerves a break!
A branch of the Vagus nerve runs through our neck and enervates our vocal cords. The rhythmic vocalization of singing stimulates it in a positive way.
Even simple humming helps.
2. Pray/Meditation on God’s word
Typically when something or someone gets on your nerves, your focus is on them. However, this is the time to shift focus on to the Lord and the things for which you are grateful in your life.
Many people say they don’t know what the Lord’s will is for their life. However, the following is part of His will:
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”– 1 Thessalonians 5:18
While you may not give thanks for everything that happens to you, you can give thanks in everything that happens.
Why? Because God has promised that all things work together for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
That means you!
Ask the Lord in prayer for wisdom as to how to handle the situation or person that is getting on your nerves for His glory.
3. Deep Abdominal Breathing
Under stress, our breathing tends to become shallow – from our chest.
But when you breathe in deep into your belly, you stimulate the Vagus nerve and activate your body’s relaxation response.
When someone is getting on your nerves, take a 1-minute breathing break.
Sit down and put your hands on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, allowing your belly to fill with air. You’ll feel your hands on your stomach rise.
Hold for a second, then breathe out through your mouth slowly for a count of 5, deflating your belly. As you deflate, imagine pulling your belly button towards your back, giving that Vagus nerve a gentle massage.
As you take your breathing break, meditate on the following scripture:
- The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life (Job 33:4).
You will feel more calm and centered when you imagine the breath of God flowing through your lungs.
You engage in your life right now, with confidence that God is with you, helping you handle any challenge life throws at you through the power of His grace.
4. Splash or Shower with Cold Water on the Body
Okay, this one may seem weird at first but it makes sense when you think about it!
We’ve all heard of someone who is ”hot and bothered” and they say, ”I need to take a cold shower!”
Turns out that the shock of cold water, even splashing your face with cold water, causes the Vagus nerve to recognize the abrupt change in skin temperature and go to work on re-establishing body balance.
Once it does, the relaxation response kicks in as a response to the ”all clear” signal. Does that makes sense?
Recently, I have started splashing my face with some cold water before going to bed. And guess what? I have discovered that I sleep better.
So the next time you find yourself saying, ”They are getting on my nerves!” then think of your Vagus nerve.
Put one or all of the strategies above to the test and you will get them off your nerves so that you can handle the problem in a more constructive, Godly way!
Be blessed in health, healing and wholeness,
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Do you struggle with eating too much sugar? If so, you are not alone!
Overcoming sugar addiction was a key factor on my journey to losing 85 pounds and dropping from a size 22 to a size 8.
In our 14-day Sugar Detox Challenge (inside the the Take Back Your Temple program), you’ll get the same success strategies and support to gain peace in your eating habits and achieve lasting weight loss success.