Omega-3s help reduce anxiety by stimulating the vagus nerve
However, when your vagus nerve isn’t working properly, it can lead to widespread health concerns (especially in the gut, brain, and immune system) that over time will have a negative impact on your overall well-being.
Even worse, our bodies can’t distinguish between a real threat (like a bear running toward us, ready to pounce) from a perceived threat (like a looming project deadline at work or a “we need to talk” text from your partner).
With stressors at their highest, it’s easy for our bodies to get stuck in fight or flight mode for long periods of time. However, if you have strong vagal tone (ie, vagus nerve activity), your body won’t go into fight-or-flight mode every time you’re nervous about a serious conversation or overwhelmed by work.
Fortunately, you can stimulate your vagus nerve, essentially training it to cope better with stressors. Some ways to stimulate the vagus nerve include cold therapy, light exercise, singing or humming, and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.
Another easy way to increase the tone of the vagus nerve? Consider omega-3 fats.