Speaking Anxiety Symptoms
When you are about to speak in public, have you ever felt your heart pound out of your chest, sweat pour down your face, and fog fill your head?
This state of anxiety is called the “fight or flight” response. It makes you want to run out of the room and get the heck out of dodge.
But … hold your horses…
There is a way you can instantly take your body to a calm and centered presence… a place where your voice is clear and powerful.
When you can go from one energetic state (anxiety) to another (tranquility), you do a “physical state change.”
Before I go into what we’ve learned from science about energy and “physical state changes,” let’s look at one other anxiety state.
It’s called the “freeze” state. This state is exactly what it sounds like.
Your body is absolutely frozen in the moment. You are overcome with extreme and uncontrollable fright. You tremble. You go blank. You can’t move. Your mouth is dry. A few minutes stretch out like a suspended eternity.
You know you can’t scream at your listeners (“fight”) just because you feel pressured by them to perform.
And, you know you can’t run out the door (“flight”) just because you feel vulnerable.
So you “freeze”… and your nerves are captured for everyone to see…. right there in the middle of the bright spotlight.
I understand that your worst nightmare could not be more terrifying than the scene I’ve just described.
“Fight, flight or freeze” is an agony suffered by many people who stand before an audience.
I work every day with those who still carry memories of those dreadful “deer in the headlights” moments.
And the dread can linger on… and on… and on…
What science can teach us about changing anxiety states
You don’t need to stay stuck in dread. You don’t need to hold yourself back from ever stepping into the spotlight again.
Remember I said earlier that we can take lessons from science? Look back to your 8th grade science labs. You might recall experiments with three states of matter…solid, liquid, gas. To change “physical states” such as ice into water, all you do is add another element (heat).
Science provides the clue to how you can change your state of anxiety to a state of tranquility.
Changing your anxiety is as easy as A,B,C
You can change your public speaking anxiety to tranquility and it’s as easy as A, B, C:
A – Accept
B – Breathe
C – Change
First, A… Accept
Recognize that the “fight, flight or freeze” reaction is a natural, normal physical response to stress (and since public speaking is at the top of the the stress scale, realize you have a reason to be scared!)
Second, B… BREATHE
Breath is the fastest way to calm down your nervous system. Just pause and take a deep breath. And then another full breath. Oh, and just one more breath so that you can create the conditions for changing your “physical state.”
Finally, C… Change
With Acceptance, and Breath, you are now in a new state of calm where you can Change your mindset. Instead of thinking “I can’t be myself. I look stupid. People are going to laugh at me!” go to, “I got this. I can be myself. The most important thing is to be my real self.”
Once you’ve accepted the situation, taken a breath, and shifted your mindset… connect with your audience and continue.
Tranquility can be that easy!
And, if you want to learn how to move quickly from anxiety to a calm inner strength I can help you. Check out my coaching programs.