Communication between two or more people requires a variety of mental mechanisms. Your listening ability is controlled by one part of your brain. Another part of your brain is working to figure out what the other person is saying. Another part of your brain is used to think about how to respond, and another part is used to share the response.
Even if it doesn’t appear so, maintaining a conversation requires a significant amount of mental energy. As a result, it should come as no surprise that when your mind is flooded with anxiety, it can impair your ability to communicate effectively.
When asked to speak in front of a group, most people experience speech anxiety; in fact, public speaking is many people’s greatest fear. Communication avoidance can range from a mild “nervous” to nearly paralyzing fear. Shaking, sweating, butterflies in the stomach, dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, and squeaky voice are some of the most common symptoms of speech anxiety.
Reliable experts said that although it is often impossible to completely eliminate speech anxiety, there are a number of strategies for dealing with it and even using it to your advantage.
Best Treatment to Handle Communication Anxiety
Become More Aware of Your Emotions
One way to overcome communication apprehension anxiety is to become more aware of the warning signs of anxiety so you can intervene sooner. Consider anxiety to be a wave. The wave will overtake you if you take too long to react.
What emotions and physical reactions do you have when you are anxious? Do your hands start to tremble? Do you have an uneasy feeling in your stomach? Is your chest starting to tighten? Examine your body to determine when the feelings begin. The earlier you notice the anxiety, the more time you have to address it. Exercising on the day of a speech can help reduce anxiety and stress.
Don’t Plan Out Your Script
Novice speakers need to understand the importance of effective communication skills. Stop writing out scripts for your presentations as another way to deal with public speaking anxiety. “But wait!” you might say. “I’ll need my script to make sure I don’t forget anything! “Using a script, on the other hand, can contribute to feelings of anxiety.”
Of course, you should practise your speech as much as possible. However, don’t become too obsessed with remembering everything words for word. If you do, anxiety will set at the moment you forget how you phrased something the previous week or night.
What was the word I used again? Did I just say that again? Isn’t there only one point left? And so forth. If memorising a script is the only way you can present effectively, you’re setting yourself up for an avalanche of anxiety if you forget something. The solution is to find a middle ground between rigidity and winging it.
Keep Your Breathing Under Control
Controlling your breathing is one of the most effective ways to deal with speaking or communication issues. Ignore those who advise you to take a deep breath before speaking. Instead, concentrate on your exhales. You can begin to calm down by taking small sips of air on inhales and exhales. This breathing technique will take some practise, but it will make a huge difference for people who struggle with speaking.
Take Anxiety Supplements
While traditional therapies can be extremely effective, some people who suffer from anxiety may find that they don’t work as well as they would like. In fact, it is estimated that close to half of people who receive common treatments for GAD will not respond to first-line treatment, such as antidepressants.
Furthermore, antidepressants can cause fatigue, weight gain, and libido loss, which may cause some people to avoid or discontinue using them (although you should never stop taking your medication without consulting with your doctor first).
According to Midss, approximately 40% of people with moderate mental distress, which frequently includes anxiety, say they seek therapeutic relief through complementary and alternative medicine approaches such as supplements.
So, can supplements help with anxiety relief? The short answer is yes, depending on the cause and severity of the anxiety. However, before adding any type of supplement to your diet or exploring alternative treatments, always consult with your doctor.
Signs of Communication Apprehension Anxiety
When you become anxious about public speaking, you may experience both psychological responses and physiological reactions.
You may experience the following psychological symptoms:
- feelings of extreme anxiety and nervousness
- fear, stress, and panic in public speaking situations such as presentations and meetings
- dread and fear before talking in public
- intrusive speaking thoughts
These feelings may cause other performers to actively avoid situations involving public speaking opportunities. This could include declining a job offer, changing majors, or missing important or meaningful events.
Anxiety about public speaking can have a physical impact. You may experience symptoms such as:
- Heart palpitations
- Excessive sweating
- Chest pain
- Trembling voice
- Trembling or shaking
- Panic attacks
- Vomiting or nausea
- Shortness of breath
- Sweaty palms
- Stomach butterflies
Try practicing conversing with someone you feel comfortable with. This can help you stay focused, engage, and communicate with the audience well. Try also joining a group discussion or small group discussions to practice your oral communication skills.
Living with anxiety can be difficult, but there are ways to cope with your symptoms and keep them from overwhelming you when you have to talk in front of others. One of the most effective ways to manage public speaking is to be fully prepared, and there are different methods you can use to make speaking or social situations more manageable, such as the ones mentioned above.