Archives for September 2013

Stuttering, Anxiety And Making The Connection

There is a link between stuttering and anxiety, but not everyone is able to use that link to their benefit. The more you stutter, the more anxious you become. If you’ve been dealing with a stutter for any length of time, sudden or not, you’ll probably know that already.

What you may not know though is some of the self-help techniques for free flow speech is not always the best. Despite it seemingly sound advice. This is the advice of relaxing and letting your words flow freely.

It may appear to be sound advice on the surface of things, but relaxation is something you are going to struggle with, when trying to speak fluently, minus a stutter.

That’s because not everyone is able to understand that link that connects stuttering and anxiety together.
You see, with a stutter, your nerves get the better of you during your conversations. Be it on the telephone, in person, or even speaking in public. The more anxious you get, the more tongue-tied you become.

Therefore the information that you’re advised about relaxing and letting your words just flow from your mouth doesn’t really resonate when put into practice.

The reason for this is that you’re concentrating. When you’re highly focused on something, you’re liable to go into anxiety frenzy. (Oh no! what if that word doesn’t come out right?) That leads to more anxiety and that causes your stutter to become worse.

How you can use the stuttering anxiety link to your advantage:

By knowing about the anxiety, and how it makes a speech impediment worse.

The actual problem lies with faulty processing. Nothing to do with your stress levels in the first place. So if you’re focusing on pronunciation, to get your words out without a stutter, you’re likely to trip up and your words will be stuttered.

• Stuttering will increase your anxiety
• Anxiety will increase your stuttering

It’s a catch 22
…or so it would seem

The only way to manage your stress when speaking is to forget about controlling your speech patterns. When you’re focusing on what you’re about to say, you’re increasing your stress levels. That leads to an increase in your stutter.

When you try to control your speech, you raise your stress levels. That’s the link between the two coming into action, but to put things in perspective, relaxation is only part of the process.

You need to train your mind to process speech automatically, without your conscious effort to control your speech.

You can only do that when you’re in a completely relaxed frame of mind.

A relaxed state of mind helps to reduce the severity of a stutter

Both stress and stuttering go hand in hand. Eliminate the stress barrier by ceasing controlled speech, and you’ll naturally reduce your stress levels.

That’s the philosophy behind the principle anyway.

So let me ask you this…

If you’re dealing with a stutter and trying relaxation techniques, have you seen any benefits to it?
If the answer is no, then it’s more than likely that you’re disregarding the faulty processing element that’s causing the stutter in the first place. By focusing your efforts towards something that’s not processing efficiently, you’re inadvertently enhancing the problem, through nothing more than focus.

While focus is a good thing to have, it can also be a weakness in people with a stutter.

The brain works in mysterious ways, and the only way to control how it works, is through a deep understanding of your mental processing.

For someone with a stutter what you think about saying and what you say are two completely different things. The only way to reprogram your mind is to shift your focus away from controlling your speech, to developing a flowing speech pattern, one that has you speaking fluent through automatic processing. Not controlled processing!

When you begin to do that, you’ll begin to see improvements to your speech patterns.

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