When you speak in English with someone, there’s more than just your mind and mouth involved.
You’ve probably rarely given it a thought, but when we speak, our WHOLE BODY participates in the verbal and non-verbal communication.
Your body responds to stimuli emitted by your brain. That’s why you tense up in stressful situations – your embarrassment, anxiety and stress translates in real body reactions.
So far nothing new, right?
Let’s keep going!
The feedback between your body and mind actually goes both ways.
Not only your emotions influence your body reactions – the opposite is also true!
Basically I’m talking about how you can influence your mind and mental performance in terms of English communication by controlling your body.
It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s another useful strategy to be added onto a number of English fluency management techniquesÂ I’ve spoken about in the very detail on this blog.
One of the Easiest Ways of Letting It Go…
I’m a passionate proponent of the Evolution theory, and over the years I’ve come to realize that nearly all aspects of human behavior can be explained by looking at how our ancestors would have acted.
Now, imagine you’re a caveman (or a cavewoman) and you’re startled by something – bet it a predator, or an enemy from another tribe.
Your body instantly prepares for an attack, and the oldest instinct of all – the survival instinct – kicks in.
Adrenalin is injected into your bloodstream.
Your muscles tense up, especially – your core muscles. They play a very important role of rotating your torso and bending it in various angles, so no wonder your abdominal muscles become rock-hard.
Stressful situations make your abs contract. It’s nature.
Now, if we apply the reverse principle we learnt about in the beginning of this article, we can conclude that contracted abs induce stress to some extent because it reminds your subconscious mind of hundreds of thousands years long survival.
And now we’ve come to a point where I’m finally revealing the big secret.
You can reduce stress and eliminate anxiety by relaxing your abdominal muscles
It’s very simple, and very effective. Try it yourself!
Next time you’re a bit worried, push out your belly, exhale and relax your abs. You’ll instantly feel calmness descending on you, and I don’t think I have to be telling you how important it is to remain calm in order to control your mental performance.
Forcing Yourself to Say Something May Result in ‘Tunnel Thinking’!
DON’T FORCE yourself to say something when you’re speaking in English with someone. If you do it, you’re running the risk of getting stuck and not being able to continue the conversation.
When you exert mental pressure, you may not realize that you also tense up your muscles, and that’s when your ancestral reflexes start taking over your rational mind.
You don’t want it, but it happens irrespective of your intentions.
Your body is tense, the fight-or-flight responseÂ starts affecting your reasoning and I believe that the loss of peripheral vision (the so called ‘tunnel vision’) also transfers to your mental performance resulting in something that could be called ‘tunnel thinking’.
Your mind is racing, you find it difficult to gather your thoughts – this is the typical English fluency issueÂ in action!
Relax Your Abdominal Muscles To Speak More Fluently
When I first discovered this easy technique of controlling my mental performance, I was blown away by its effectiveness!
I knew about the importance of slowing my speech down when I was stressing out.
I knew that it’s crucial to try to ignore any negative emotions going on within me such as embarrassment, anxiety and being too conscious of my own speech.
Yet something important was still missing, and I couldn’t really put my finger on it.
And then one day out of pure luck I noticed that my stomach grows tense when I’m worried and anxious. I was preparing for a job interview and even during the preparation the thought of next day’s interview started giving me creeps.
I was seeing the interviewer in my mind’s eye and I actually started struggling with speaking out the prepared standard answers despite being completely on my own.
I pushed my belly out.
And strangely enough, I felt the tension leave my body.
Next thing I knew, I could say a very well fitting phrase for the job interview preparation indicating an instant improvement to my ability to produce automatic speech, to speak in English without much thinking.
Ever since that situation, I’ve been paying attention to my belly when I have to speak in English in stressful situations.
If I find it a bit more difficult to speak and it’s getting harder to gather my thoughts, I simply relax my abs, push my belly out, and part of that tension leaves my body and mind enabling me to speak more fluently.
It may sound too simple to be true, but if you really set your mind to it, you’ll realize that it DOES work!
P.S. Would you like to find out why I’mÂ highlightingÂ some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!
P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!