Lift Your Depression in 10 Minutes or Less

We could all use a mood boost now and then (especially these days). But if you find yourself feeling down more often than not, you might be depressed. If so, you’re not alone.

In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression.

Today, I’m sharing my effortless plan to lift your mood in less than 10 minutes. You can use it anytime, anywhere to help combat depression naturally.

It works by harnessing the power of sound. But before I show you how to do it, I want to share the remarkable science behind this natural approach…

A solution for even treatment-resistant depression

A 2018 breakthrough study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry followed nearly 600 patients with diagnosed depression, for whom antidepressant treatment only offered mild relief.

The patients were divided into two groups:

  • Group one was treated with standard antidepressant medication.
  • Group two was treated with vagal nerve stimulation (more on that in a moment) in addition to standard antidepressant drugs

The researchers found that, compared to the standard treatment group, the group using vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) experienced a 34 percent decrease in their depressive symptoms and a significant improvement in their quality of life.

In fact, many participants in the group using VNS reported improvements in quality of life after only three months of treatment, and persisted throughout the five-year observation period—well beyond what most standard approaches can do for treatment-resistant depression.

Releasing your natural “feel-good” chemicals

Why is vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) so effective in treating depression?

First of all, the vagus nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It touches every major organ, and can provide whole-body benefits¾especially to your brain.

Secondly, when your vagus nerve is stimulated—typically through vibration from self-generated sound—your body produces “feel good” chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. This provides your brain with an immediate flood of happiness and relaxation.

Essentially, the participants in the study were using VNS to help their body produce their very own mood-improving hormones and neurochemicals, whenever they needed them.

However, I should mention that the study participants had a VNS device surgically implanted to artificially stimulate their vagus nerve. Every five minutes, the device emitted a vibration to stimulate their vagus nerve for 30 seconds.

While this surgery might be effective for some people, my all-natural sound-based plan helps you get similar mood-boosting effects on your own¾without the risks, costs, side effects, and recovery time associated with surgery.

Upgrade your mood with manual VNS

Fortunately, you already have everything you need to activate your vagus nerve. In fact, all you need is your voice.

Here’s how:

  1. Start by going to a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Get into a comfortable seated position.

  2. Now we’re going to perform a humming chant.

    To do this, breathe in deeply and slowly, with your mouth closed.

    On the exhale, you’re going to hum three vowel-sound syllables: “Ohhm, Ahhm, Hoom”

    You want to time it so that each syllable is vocalized for an equal amount of time (about three to four seconds each). Aim to hum all three syllables in one exhalation.

    (I made a short audio clip to show you how: https://soundcloud.com/jimdonovanmusic/om-ah-hum-short-exercise)

  3. Repeat the step above three more times.

  4. Now we’re going to do some slow, deep breathing.

    This will help to calm down your nervous system, clear your mind, and reach a deepened state of relaxation.

    Take eight slow, deep breaths—inhaling, and then exhaling without any humming. (Try to inhale so that your stomach expands outward, then exhale to deflate it inward toward your spine).

    You can do more or less of these deep, slow breaths if you’d like.

  5. Now we’re going to hum again.

    Repeat step three for a total of eight humming chants.

    Remember to inhale deeply, then hum the “Ohhm, Ahhm, Hoom” syllables in one exhalation.

    Of course, it’s always okay to do more or less of these chanting repetitions… Whatever feels best for your body.

  6. After you’ve finished, breathe normally.

    Close your eyes and check in with yourself. Has your mood improved? Do you feel more focused? Are you more relaxed?

Whenever you do a sound-based exercise like this, there are three things I want you to always keep in mind:

  • Always try your best.
  • Doing something is always better than doing nothing.
  • It doesn’t matter how you sound. The act of creating the sound is what really matters.

Remember, mood-boosting with VNS is not just a “one and done” activity—nor is it necessary to carve an extra hour out of your day to do this. It only takes a few minutes to “upgrade” your mood.

For even more effective ways to improve your mood, sharpen your focus, and protect your brain, you might be interested in my Sound Mind Protocol. It includes over 34 easy-to-follow video lessons. Click here to learn more or get started in your journey to better wellness today.

Keep in mind, you should always check with your doctor before making any changes to your treatment plan, discontinuing medication, and/or if you feel like your depression has become unmanageable.


SOURCES:

6 Ways to Instantly Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve to Relieve Inflammation, Depression, Migraines, and More. (n.d.). The International Alliance of Healthcare Educators. Retrieved from: iahe.com/docs/articles/6_Ways_to_Instantly_Stimulate_Your_Vagus_Nerve_to_Relieve_Inflammation.pdf

Conway, C. et al. (2018). Chronic Vagus Nerve Stimulation Significantly Improves Quality of Life in Treatment-Resistant Major Depression. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 79(5): p.18m12178. Retrieved from: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30152645/

Perkins, R., Yorke, S., and Fancourt, D. (2018). How group singing facilitates recovery from the symptoms of a postnatal depression: a comparative qualitative study. BMC Psychology. 6: p. 41. Retrieved from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6098577/

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About the author

Jim Donovan M.Ed., is a professional musician and educator. He's an Assistant Professor at Saint Francis University where he teaches music and how the power of sound can help you experience a healthier life.