Slow Talkin’ to Decrease Anxiety
This is a great technique that I use to help clients that come in for treatment of anxiety in my practice in Broward County, Florida. Enjoy the video and if you just want to read the transcript, it’s below.
Hi, I’m Dr. Elizabeth Bonet with floridapsychotherapy.com. Today we’re going to talk about a technique to help you decrease anxiety, and it’s very simple, and it’s not one that’s talked about a lot. I actually discovered it by accident. I have two girls, ten and fourteen now, and they both had speech disorders when they were little, articulation disorders. My youngest daughter actually had really severe speech disorders and developed stuttering right around the ages of about three, four, or five where she couldn’t get words out. She would go into all this tension and could not get words out, and it was pretty severe. The technique that the speech therapist used was to have us slow our words down.
Now if you have some just trait anxiety you tend to move faster and you talk faster. Generally, people with anxiety talk pretty quickly actually. We move fast; we say things quickly and some of that is fueled by anxiety, those type of behaviors.
What I had to do for my daughter, part of her treatment, was to actually slow my speech down. This was heartbreaking, by the way, at the time. I was in tears often trying to help her get over this. The speech therapist, who we have worked with her for quite a while by that time, said, “Okay, part of her treatment is that you have to talk and read very slowly to her.” And also turn taking in the house became really important for people to talk. If you have kids, you know that’s so hard to teach kids to take turns. They’re constantly interrupting you, they’re interrupting each other, but turn taking was part of it.
The main part that I had to do at home was to talk very slowly to her and to read very slowly to her. That . . . sounds . . . like . . . this. I had to read books with this . . . pace . . . of . . . speech. Now, I didn’t have to talk like all that time, but I certainly had to slow my speech down quite a bit. Now, this had a huge effect on the whole family, but on me in particular to where my rate of speech actually slowed in general. Then, when I would talk to someone or had a client who had that really high rate of speech, I actually had to speed myself up to match that. Where in the past, that wasn’t the case.
Anxiety also decreased
I noticed that after I slowed my speech, anxiety also decreased. When you have to speak slower, your heart rate goes down. Your breathing matches your rate of speech, so your breathing slows. It become a technique that I can use to control some anxiety, to decrease some anxiety and that I can recommend to my clients to try as well when I’m doing anxiety treatment in my practice in Broward County. Try it. See what you think, let me know if slower speech actually helps you. Create pauses. Be more mindful. It’s the same type of thing.
I specialize in hypnosis, anxiety and helping adult children of toxic parents feel more stable. To see if we’re a good fit to work together, schedule your free consultation at 954-309-9071.
Yours in health,