Get InformedVagus Nerve Daily Toning Activities

Vagus Nerve: Daily Toning Activities

25 June 2024

Try these Vagal Nerve toning activities that you can easily fit into your daily routine. Strengthening your vagal nerve has many benefits including better stress management, emotional regulation, and overall well-being

There are many benefits to making these small practices like these part of your routine. When we build these into our routine engaging in them soon becomes automatic as a habit is formed, supporting consistent practice. By regularly practicing these exercises we signal “safety” to the nervous system, pulling us back into a calming response.


Why Consistency Matters

Building these practices into your daily routine ensures they become second nature. Regular practice helps create a habitual response, making it easier for your body to access a calming state even when under stress. Engaging in these activities both during calm times and stressful moments enhances your body’s ability to respond effectively.


Tips for Embedding Vagal Toning Practices

To make these activities a seamless part of your day, try integrating them at specific and regular points:

  • Beginning and ending the day
  • When you boil the kettle
  • Before transitioning out of the car
  • In the shower
  • While you walk
  • When you brush your teeth
  • When applying skincare
  • Before you eat


Vagal Toning activities to fit into each day

Here are some simple yet effective activities you can incorporate into your routine:

  1. Cold Water Splash on Face with 10-Second Breath Hold

    • Splashing your face with cold water and holding your breath for ten seconds can stimulate the vagus nerve, promoting a calming effect. Try this in the morning to start your day refreshed.
  2. Humming and Singing

    • Humming and singing stimulate the vagus nerve through vibrations in the vocal cords. You can do this while showering, driving, or even while cooking.
  3. Gargling Water

    • Gargling activates the muscles at the back of the throat, which in turn stimulates the vagus nerve. Do this for a few seconds each time you drink water.
  4. Belly Breathing/Deep Breathing/Extending Exhales

    • Deep, slow breathing, particularly focusing on extending the exhale, can activate the vagus nerve and promote relaxation. Practice this while waiting for your coffee to brew or during a break at work.
  5. Get Into Nature

    • Spending time in nature can reduce stress and stimulate the vagus nerve. A brisk walk in the park or a quick visit to a nearby green space can work wonders.
  6. Butterfly Breathing

    • This involves crossing your arms over your chest and gently tapping your shoulders in a rhythm as you breathe deeply. This technique is soothing and can be done anytime you need a quick calm.
  7. Ear and Neck Self-Massage

    • Gently massaging your ears and neck can stimulate the vagus nerve. Trust your intuition on what feels good and do this while applying lotion or during a break.
  8. Brisk Walk

    • Physical activity like a brisk walk can stimulate the vagus nerve and improve your mood. Incorporate this into your daily commute or as a mid-day break.
  9. Connection with Others

    • Social interactions can stimulate the vagus nerve. Make time to connect with friends or family, whether through a quick call, a chat over coffee, or a walk with a friend.


Start small, pick a few activities that resonate with you, and gradually make them a regular part of your day. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Get Inspired Further

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This exercise was developed by Stanley Rosenberg. It is believed that it stimulates the vagus nerve which in turn, can initiate a relaxation/parasympathetic response.

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CBT can be accessed by someone with CPTSD, but this will often depend on where you have tried to access CBT and also on your individual situation.

Lets talk about the Vagus Nerve

Let's dive into the fascinating world of the vagus nerve. Ever heard of it? If not, you're in for a treat because it's a big player in taking us from the stress response, back into the relaxation response.


If you are experiencing distress or are in a mental health crisis please contact
Lifeline on 0808 808 8000


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