There’s an argument to be had that stuttering is a creature of habit. The more you stutter the less chance you have of undoing it. That’s one of the reasons for early intervention in children who stutter. Speech therapy is sought, advice and techniques put into practice, and most of the time, the stutter undoes itself.
When it continues into adulthood though, it’s not such an easy habit to kick. Nor is any habit for that matter.
Here’s something to think about though…
There are situations, and you know there are, when you can speak fluently. The only time that doesn’t apply is when the stutter is not psychological, as in it has an underlying cause such as you developed the stutter as a result of brain injury. That’s a physical problem and not a force of habit.
For those with the psychological problem, when you sing; it’s gone. When you act; it’s gone. When you talk to your dog; it’s gone and so too is it gone when you talk to yourself.
Any of those things you do when you speak and there’s no fear of judgment like what happens when you get stage fright speaking in front of others.
For that reason, the best thing for you to do is take downtime and every day.
Take a time out for yourself to speak to yourself, your pet, or even sing along with your favourite tunes.
Give yourself an hour, or even just a half hour of me time. Take that time to speak as you do naturally without fearing observation. The only person around to judge is you, and in those instances, the anxiety ease is enough to allow you to speak more freely and smooth.
The more you speak with a smooth transition, the better you’ll get at it.
Rehearse a poem, a speech, or read jokes aloud.
What you do can become you.
That’s why it’s important you take the time out you need to understand you better.
When you’re speaking, you’ll begin to understand your own stuttering cues. It could be that one of your habits when you get nervous is your tongue gets trapped at the ridge of your mouth. Or your jaw muscles tense to the extent you can’t pronounce a word. Whatever the habit is, it’s a facial problem and that carries over into your mind.
You begin to believe that it’s just something you do and accept you have no control over how you speak. Truth is; you do. And that’s proven to yourself when you can speak fluently to a pet when nobody else is listening. The same when you sing a song
Understand your stutter in terms of what, when and where.
• What causes you to trip on certain words and what are those words?
• When does it seem to get worse, and when do you speak better?
• Where on your face do your muscles tense?
Understand your speech habits better and you can make a start at adjusting them.
You aren’t changing you when you choose to alter your speech. You’re only changing your attitude to a can do one, so even if your speech doesn’t immediately improve, your attitude will. Since attitude has a lot of control over your mind, a natural side effect of the PMA (positive mental attitude) is that you begin to speak better.
The power of influence is one of the most powerful there is and there’s no more so than understanding your cues that trip you up on certain words because when you know that, you know what to focus on to improve your speech.
Image courtesy of awornpath.blogspot.com.