Stuttering and stammering - How to stop stuttering
Stuttering is a form of disorder of speech, causing the individual to fumble over certain syllables or words and the inability to vocalize them clearly. Stuttering is a more common among males. Research shows us that four times more males suffer from stuttering, than females. It is commonly believed that stuttering is caused by social anxiety, but the truth is stuttering is not caused by social anxiety, but is highlighted by it. People who stutter become anxious in new environments or when they have to introduce themselves to a new person or in a stressful environment like an interview, where their fluency is tested the most. Stuttering and stammering are the same and are used synonymously. Stuttering is a problem that does not have a cure. There are no easy ways to overcome the problem. Most treatment methods expect you to work on them so don’t expect a magic cure. This article gives you certain techniques which you can practice over a period of time to see improvement.Credit: dreamstime.com
Help for stuttering - stuttering in adults
Accept your problem. Hiding your problem makes it more stressful when you are faced with new people. When you accept that you have a stuttering problem, it is easy to work through it. Find a confidante with whom you can discuss your problem and avoid bottling up your emotions.
Relaxation It is essential to learn and practice techniques of relaxation. There are so many techniques of relaxation that you can learn. You would be greatly helped, if you find the one that is most suitable for you and practice that. Deep breathing exercises will help ease a certain amount of anxiety when you are faced with stressful situations. If you master the art of deep breathing, you could easily be able to introduce yourself and get your words out more fluently.
Speak slowly and deliberately. Don’t try to get all the words out in one go. Trying to blurt it out makes you stammer more. Take as much time as possible and take breaths between words, so that you are relaxed and comfortable and you get each word out clearly.
Use a different inflection of voice. Adopt a melodious or a tuneful way of speaking while ensuring that your message is delivered firmly. Using a different inflection causes you to focus on your style of speaking, thereby taking your focus off the anxiety of the situation.
Practice: Practice makes perfect.
Identify the syllables where you usually stammer. Practice these words loudly before a mirror or video tape it to see how your facial muscles are contracting. There are always times of fluency in speech in every individual, however marked the stuttering may be. Watch yourself to see how your facial muscles move during those relaxed periods. Change and relax your facial muscles and try to minimize the air coming out of your mouth as you speak.
Read aloud and make it a habit to practice this every day. Keep a fixed time for your practice. Remember that this is what you will be paying your speech therapist or speech pathologist for.
Posture practice adopting a posture that speaks of confidence and self-belief would help. Stand tall and erect, but appear to be at ease and rehearse your posture and speech in front of a mirror. If you can do this everyday, your body language will speak more powerfully than your words.
Desensitize yourself. As you keep facing challenges and fears, you learn to desensitize yourself. Also learn not to react to negative speech or negative comments. Do not take it personally. Ignoring and letting go help you overcome emotional pain and to be more at ease in any given situation.
Maintain eye contact. Look into the eyes of the person with whom you are speaking. This gives the impression of self confidence and self-belief and makes people ignore your problem, and look at what you have to offer.
Do not focus on your problem You are not a stammerer or a stutterer. You are a person with talents, potential and a whole lot to offer to the world. So stop looking at what you can’t do and concentrate on what you can, and do it well.
Do not get stuck to that word that you cannot pronounce. Try supplementing it with another word or just let the conversation flow. Try to move ahead as quickly as possible, even if the word does not come out perfectly.
Do not avoid situations that test your speech skills. Seek them out and face your fears. This is the only way to overcome any fears. The more you face stressful situations, the more comfortable you become. Though it is difficult at first, you will improve over time. There is no gain without pain. So remember this and put yourself through some pain, in order to make progress.
Create opportunities to practice. To start with, you can practice your speech on your pet. As you grow in confidence, practice before your family and friends who are supportive. Slowly take it to social situations and try to speak a few sentences at a time. This will help you gain in confidence and work towards overcoming your problem.
Celebrate your small successes. Make sure that you feel good about every time you have shown a certain amount of improvement in your speech. Celebrate it with someone or something that you really care about. Emotional reinforcements help increase self confidence. It is like patting yourself on the back.
Stop stuttering now with determination
Sometimes, some of these techniques do not work as effectively as before. Try different methods. Learn new techniques. Keep in touch with those who have similar problems and learn from them, find out which techniques helped them. This way, you can keep varying the techniques and get them to work for you. Determination is the key to your success. If at every small failure, you want to throw in the towel and run away, you will never make it up there. Take the help of a speech therapist if need be, to identify and learn a few techniques, but the rest of it is always hard work from your side. So, before you throw your cash in, remember that you can help yourself if you make the effort.
Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Sir Issac Newton, Aristotle, Rowan Atkinson, Julia Roberts, Anthony Quinn, Charles Darwin, King George VI- these are famous people who had the problem of stuttering and overcame it to make a name for themselves. You can too!