Stuttering has a big impact on your life as a whole. Disagree? Ask any stutterer and they will gladly tell you, if they can get a word out, that stuttering changes and reigns over every part of your life. From answering the telephone to simply stating your name each time you open your mouth and start sputtering a bit of you shrivels up and die.
I have been a stutter for most part of my youth and I understand the consequences. Most people would love to ignore those consequences but to the stutterer they are as real as the tongue that keeps pattering away at their palate. When you’re a stutterer people do not take you seriously. They see you as someone that is in need of help. Talking and reading in front of people becomes a warzone. It decays your self-esteem and breaks down your sense of self-worth. Stuttering is a real problem and the worst is that it will stay a problem until you muscle up the strength to deal with it.
When dealing with my own stuttering problem I came to certain conclusions. Firstly, if your brain is the centre of control then it would make sense to start understanding how it forms part of the solution. Secondly, I needed to take control of the situation and not see it as a disability that cannot be rectified. The advice that was given by well intending people was to use inhalation as a way of helping. At that point this did not work for me so I decided that Thirdly, I needed to come up with my own tools and tricks to combat my stuttering.
Here is how I overcame stuttering and banished it from my life.
Through research and self-actualization I understood that I needed to accept the fact that I am indeed stuttering and that it is fine. Something I also found reassuring was that it was in my power to change. Not to resist but change over time. I realized that this will not be a quick fix.
The tools I used:
- 1. We don’t always stutter. You should use the times when you’re not stuttering to become aware of your physiology and state. Physiology is your posture, breathing, body-language and even your tone of voice. Your state will probably be one of calmness, no pressure and relaxation. Mentally record this state. You will use this recording later.
2. Make time to visualize. When you visualize, do this as often as possible, you will make yourself comfortable and then have a mental experience.
- See yourself in your mind’s eye as sitting in a cinema.
- Play the recording you have of yourself when you were having a conversation without stuttering. See it play out on the screen.
- See yourself float up into the studio where you can change the settings of the movie. Give the movie full, bright colours. Turn up the volume so that you can hear yourself speak.
- Now, See yourself float out of the studio and into the movie and see through your own eyes. Now become aware of the sound, the smells, the texture of your clothes and the colours around you.
This experience may feel weird at first, but keep doing it. This process will help you to engrave the experience of “no stuttering” on your mind.
- 3. Make time to read. As a stutter you know what the words or even the letters are that you are struggling with. So take something to read and give yourself time each day to read through what you perceive as difficult passages. Before you begin to read do your visualization technique.
When you are comfortable you can start reading. Before you read take a deep breath in and out. Another breath in, it is important to note that this breath must feel comfortable, exhale slowly and start reading. When you exhale it is impossible for your vocal cords to tighten up. Read for as long as you can, taking comfortable breaths between sentences.
As you do this the amount you can read will increase. Make this part of your everyday conversations. Become aware of when you need to talk and slowly go in your mind and remember how it felt during the visualization. Change your physiology and state to copy the ones in your visualization. Also remember to take those breaths in and talk while exhaling slowly.
These tools changed my life dramatically and I am no longer bound by fear when talking or reading.
It is of outmost importance to realize that you possess the power to change and that it is easy and within your grasp.
Take time out now and banish stuttering away.