While humming your favorite song inevitably makes you happy, this almost mechanical practice could also reduce stress and anxiety. An update on this amazing tip with Linda Piazza, sophrologist.
Humming to relax: here is the brand new TikTok tip promising to “reduce stress” and of “promote relaxation“. But does singing really help calm your anxieties? What mechanism is hidden behind it? Answers.
Humming a melody, the best anti-stress tip?
On social networks, well-being advice and tips abound.
The latest one? Stimulate the vagus nerve (a nerve of cranial origin which ensures communication between the brain and numerous organs, editor’s note) in order to induce a generalized state of relaxation.
To do this, according to followers of this practice, it would be enough to hum. If the idea seems rather absurd, for our expert, the process seems rather coherent.
“The vagus nerve, also called the pneumogastric nerve, is a nerve whose role is to transmit nervous information between the brain and the body. When we are stressed, this state compresses the nerve and blocks its anti-inflammatory functions. It is therefore important to stimulate it correctly, through breathing or humming (vocalizing, etc.): this will activate it and promote relaxation.“, assures Linda Piazza.
The sound would in fact vibrate the vocal cords, which would help activate our parasympathetic nervous system.
“When you hum, your vocal muscles create these calming vibrations that travel down your throat and chest and stimulate the vagus nerve, triggering a relaxation response.”specifies Dr. Gaines, holistic clinical psychologist, to the American journal Bustle.
So you will have understood: if humming is not a “magic solution”, but more a little practical help, it is nevertheless an effective tip… and easy to practice on a daily basis.
How to sing to stimulate the vagus nerve?
To activate it, Linda Piazza recommends “to practice cardiac coherence, a breathing technique which consists of taking 6 breaths per minute” before starting to “humming”.
The famous guttural “hmmm”, which is close to a long and regular hum (and which has already proven itself among women who have given birth) can also be used.