Anxiety is a troubling feeling that most of us have experienced. One of the go-to-remedies is to take a few deep breaths so you can calm yourself and lessen your fear. Speaking is among the worst fears that people have. The link to your voice with fear and nervousness causes you to feel and sound not at your best. Breathing is a great tool to use.
However, did you know that shallow breathing in your upper chest area in which your shoulders rise quickly with each new breath, increases your anxiety and leads into a panic attack? Diaphragmatic breathing, on the other hand, allows for you to have more control to manage your nerves before and during your speaking activities.
The link to your voice through Diaphragmatic Breathing releases tension in your body muscles and your mind so you will not look or sound nervous but speak with confidence. If your body has tense muscles the pitch level of your voice goes higher and you have less volume to project your voice to be heard easily. Relaxed body muscles will slow and calm the breathing process together with relieving stress from your mind.
The benefits of diaphragmatic breathing will help you to keep a mental focus to balance relaxation and breathing to manage the flow of your speech. You will have a fuller and lower tone quality. Your voice mirrors your stress level. Make relaxation as your key priority and diaphragmatic breathing as your best strategy.
Try this easy warm-up to give yourself a head start to empower your speech with body, mind, and voice relaxation:
For more exercises and benefits of Diaphragmatic Breathing process take a look at Chapter Two on Relaxation in “Breathing…Just Steps to Breathtaking Speeches” by Speech Coach, Brenda C. Smith.
Brenda leads you through taking the tension out of your muscles, visualizing your calming place, breathing with the diaphragm, and having a secret cue to avoid panic attacks and control your nerves. She has written an easy-to-follow book with targeted exercises from beginners to advanced levels including stories of successful participants.
Have you read the previous Blog Series on How Diaphragmatic Breathing Is Linked to Your Voice?
Brenda C. Smith