Your eyes and tongue can be powerful allies in your quest to calm your nerves. As noted before, the Vagus nerve rests very close to the surface in your mouth and tongue. Using your tongue to gently stroke the roof of your mouth stimulates your Vagus nerve activating your parasympathetic nervous system. You might think of stimulating your Vagus nerve as hitting the “recover” button on your nervous system.
The Vagus also rests close to the surface behind your eyes. So adding eye movements to the movements of your tongue can enhance their effectiveness. There is also the added benefit of using awareness and conscious movement to break the habitual movement patterns of tongue and eyes.
Give it a try:
Rest the tip of your tongue lightly and softly at the back of your top teeth.
Very gently and slowly begin to stroke your tongue along your upper palette in the direction of the roof of your mouth. Once there pause. Then reverse the movement, returning your tongue to its resting place behind your top teeth.
Repeat the movement, softly and slowly stroking toward the roof of your mouth and back several times.
As you do this, NOTICE what your eyes do.
Do your eyes move up or down as your tongue moves toward the roof of your mouth? toward the back of your teeth?
Once you identify how your eyes move, begin to move them consciously in the direction they seem to want to go as you continue to stroke your upper palette with your tongue.
Move very slowly and just a tiny bit. With awareness and movement, less is definitely a lot more.
After several repetitions with your eyes moving in their preferred direction, switch directions.
Notice what happens with your breathing.