Worship songs build community, teach theology, help people remember scripture, and give praise to the Lord. And the Vagus nerve is another good reason to sing.
The Vagus nerve is a unique part of our creation. It’s the longest nerve in our body, connecting the brain to the throat, heart, and gut.
A quick search can tell you loads of information about this important nerve. This nerve is tasked with helping keep the heart rate consistent, assisting in digestion, helping with the back of the throat, and sending/receiving signals directly to/from the brain.
No wonder you can get a lump in your throat and butterflies in your stomach at the same time. No wonder your heart beats faster and you feel sick to your stomach when you get nervous. When I get stressed or overtired, I almost immediately become hoarse. It’s all connected!
Science has proven you can massage or strengthen this nerve by singing. Singing from the diaphragm and out the throat pushes up on the lungs and the oxygen from this compression helps stabilize the heart rate. All of this signals to the mind that things are good, which in turn helps bring a sense of peace.
Have you noticed that it’s really hard to sing when you’re upset? So, theoretically, when you’re singing, you’re doing well. I think humming has the same effect and I think that’s why kids naturally hum a lot.
If you want to release stress and get your body back to a normal function, try singing. In the midst of this pandemic, you can still sing at home, in the car, and in the shower. If nothing else, hum all you can.
I’m grateful that as we keep climbing out of this pandemic, the church is able to gather fully and sing! I’m also amazed at God’s creation – singing is a great part of life and it’s important at the same time!
It’s been a while now, but one podcast episode we did was the Grant Norsworthy and he had a really clear goal for every worship team: to get people singing! Make that your goal this week! Do all you can to help your congregation sing.