03/19/2014 07:57 pm ET Updated May 19, 2014

Thrive, Turn on Your "Buddha Nerve"

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Do you know you have your own internal, hard-wired Buddha Nerve, just waiting to be turned on?

The Buddha Nerve is built for precisely the kind of successful life that Arianna Huffington argues for in "Thrive."

Your Buddha Nerve, better known as the vagus, is your body's built-in mechanism for thriving and for maintaining good health.

What are five ways to turn on your Buddha Nerve?

1. Breathe slowly and deeply, at six breaths a minute. This turns up your Buddha Nerve activity, pouring calm back into your brain. In optimal meditative states, six breaths a minute are automatically achieved.

2. Prioritize sleep. Sleep is not a fungible time bank from which to draw hours to put into other activities. Sleep is crucial for well-being, allowing cleanup of the brain's toxic debris buildup and allowing new memories (including names) to be laid down within the fabric of our brains.

3. Disconnect your smart phone for a few hours each day and increase activity in your Buddha Nerve.

4. Give to others, with no strings attached, and celebrate humaneness, one of the four pillars of success touted in "Thrive." Feel your Buddha Nerve activity sky rocket.

5. Be Einstein, "pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe." The very act of standing still, staring in wonderment, ups our Buddha Nerve activity.

Your Buddha Nerve, aptly also referred to as your "Great Wandering Protector," slows down your heart, deepens your breath, modulates your voice, controls your sweating and influences your orgasms, among other tasks.

Learn to turn on your Buddha Nerve and Thrive!


Huffington, A. (2014) Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder. NY, NY, Harmony.

Devi, G. (2012) A Calm Brain: How to relax into a stress-free, high-powered life. NY, NY, Penguin Dutton.