Moxie Institute

How To Overcome Anxiety: The Cause, Solution, and Exercise!

Have you ever wondered whats 73% of the American suffer from?

Stay tuned and find out on the Moxie Talk blog.

Speaker Anxiety – The Cause

Hey everyone, it’s Fia. Welcome to Moxie Talk where we help you find your voice, share your message, and lead with confidence.

So, are you wondering what that thing is that 73% of the American admitted to suffering from? It’s speech anxiety.

Speaker Anxiety

On the last census in the United State, and I doubt it’s different anywhere in the world, Americans admitted that 73% of them suffer from speech anxiety. Actually, on the list of top 10 phobias, this anxiety came up higher than dying. More people admitted to suffering from speech anxiety than admitted to being afraid of dying.

Jerry Seinfeld has a funny joke that at a funeral, more people would rather be in a casket than delivering a eulogy. This is not to say that misery loves company, but if you are one of those people that has pre-presentation jitters, that cant sleep the night before the presentation, you are not alone. So you are probably still wondering – Why do I get these pre-presentation jitters? Why does this happen to me?

Well, there are 3 theories that I teach to my clients that I think might help you unpack why this happens to you.

The 1st comes from our friend Charles Darwin who said that we are all social creatures and what we actually fear most is being rejected or ostracized from our clan.

Fear of rejection

So if there’s any fear that people aren’t gonna like you, that maybe your message isn’t good or they’re gonna criticize you, this causes an ancient reaction in you that you are gonna be pushed out from the clan and that causes speech anxiety.

The 2nd theory, which is one of my favorites, comes from our behavioral therapist friends and they look at speech anxiety from a very different standpoint. They looked at it from our caveman days and realized that there are 4 things, 4 factors that when in combination, signal our brain to into fight or flight. Those 4 things are

  • Standing alone, with
  • No place to hide, with
  • No weapon, and
  • Facing a large group

of creatures staring at you. Public speaking! Right?

Really you are overriding a full-body hormonal ancient response every time you get up to speak in public. It is your body’s –

Survival Instinct

So this makes a lot of sense, right?

The 3rd theory that you might be able to relate to is what’s called

Negativity Bias

This is the theory that your brain holds on to negative experiences more than positive ones. They say that the negative experiences are like Velcro and positive experience are like Teflon. This also has to do with our caveman days when we would hear rustling in the bushes and it was helpful to think that’s probably a really bad thing, it’s probably a saber-tooth tiger. Not so helpful today.

So hopefully all of those theories around public speaking and speech anxiety has helped you to realize that you are not alone.  If you are thinking about how you’re supposed to reduce your speech anxiety, stay tuned. In the next sections, parts 2 and 3, we will tackle those.

Thank you so much for watching. I know that each and every one of you has moxie and I can’t wait to help you discover it.

If you loved this blog, please leave a comment, like it, and subscribe to our newsletter and YouTube channel. Share it with your friends and we’ll see you on the next blog.


What is such a powerful calming technique that it is making the lives of soldiers on the battlefield and beyond feel better?

Stay tuned for when we answer that question.

Speaker Anxiety – The Solution

Hey everyone, it’s Fia Fasbinder, welcome to the Moxie Talk blog, where we help you find your voice, share your message, and lead with confidence.

Are you wondering what that calming technique is? It’s actually:

diaphragmatic breathing.

Diaphragmatic breathing is such a powerful tool to reduce anxiety that has even been used to help soldiers that have post-traumatic stress syndrome from being in Afghanistan.

They did this really cool study where they taught these soldiers 3 different relaxing techniques. They taught them:

  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Breathing

and then they put them in an anxiety-inducing situation. Across the board, the soldiers that used the breathing techniques had lower heart rates lower blood pressure and were able to stay calm and focused. This is an amazing technique for those of you with speech anxiety. This technique will absolutely help you ground, focus, and reduce your anxiety before a presentation.

Why does diaphragmatic breathing work? I have 3 answers for you that are all grounded in science that I think you’ll find really cool.

First of all, when you are feeling anxiety over a presentation, your body is in what we call

Fight or Flight

it is feeling a threat. When your body is in fight or flight, it shuts down your prefrontal cortex.

Your prefrontal cortex is responsible for any rational thinking and any logical thought. It can be shut down up to 75%. This is why if somebody tells you, “Just relax or just be calm,” or you tell yourself, “Just relax, just be calm about this presentation,” it doesn’t work because that’s rational thinking and that part of your brain is actually shut down. That’s one reason that diaphragmatic breathing is a really great tool because it will bring that circulation back to your prefrontal cortex.

Now, the second reason is that when you breathe with your diaphragm, you actually flood your body with extra oxygen. What happens when our blood oxygen levels increase? Our heart rate lowers! So just by learning to breathe from our diaphragm we can lower our heart rate and bring back all that circulation into our prefrontal cortex.

Lastly, the third reason that’s really cool—this is probably my favorite reason—you have a nerve in your body called the Vagal nerve that word in Greek means “wanderer.”  This actual nerve wanders your body looking for signals. It attaches from your amygdala to your abdomen and when you breathe into your diaphragm, you tell your vagal nerve that is that’s looking for signals that it is no longer in fight or flight and it can go into what we call rest and digest.

There you go 3 amazing reasons to learn how to breathe from your diaphragm and reduce your speech anxiety.

Thanks so much for reading. I know each and every one of you have moxie and I can’t wait to help you find it.

Now if you liked this video, please make sure to like it, share it, and leave a comment in the comments below. We’ll see you in the next section.


What is the best sedative on the planet and it’s free?

Stay tuned to find out on the Moxie Talk blog.

Speaker Anxiety – The Practice

Hey everyone, I’m Fia, and welcome to the Moxie Talk blog where we help you find your voice, share your message, and lead with confidence.

Now, are you wondering what this sedative is that’s so amazing? It’s actually:

Deep Breathing or Diaphragmatic Breathing 

Welcome back to the third part in a 3-part series on speech anxiety. In the last section, we talked about why deep breathing helps reduce anxiety, and this week I’m going to teach you how to do it.

A really simple technique that you can use before you go on stage, before a meeting, or before a presentation. You can use it anywhere to help reduce your anxiety.

Your diaphragm is actually a dome-shaped muscle that sits between your chest and your abdomen and its whole purpose in your body is to flood your body with extra oxygen. Now most of us have our diaphragms lay dormant because we don’t need them. When we are giving a presentation, when we are in fight or flight, it is so important that we activate our diaphragm.

If you want to know where to find your diaphragm, I’d love for you to put your hands right on your belly and imagine that you have a big red balloon in your belly. When you breathe in, that balloon fills up with air. You might want to put your other hand on your chest so you make sure you’re not heaving your chest up. We want to activate our diaphragm which is located just below the lungs and heart. We do not want to heave our chest up.

Sometimes I’ll introduce this as horizontal breathing. You want to breathe horizontally instead of vertically. A lot of us breathe vertically or we just hold our breath when we’re nervous.

Therefore, imagine that big balloon in your belly and breathe in and fill up that balloon. Then on your exhale let all that air out of your balloon and out of your nose and mouth and feel your hands go in towards your belly buttonWelcome to your diaphragm.

Let’s do this together.

This time when you do it, I want you to breathe in through your nose which is called dragon breath in yoga if you would imagine a dragon with its nostrils flaring. I want you to breathe out and blow like you’re trying to blow out a birthday candle. Deep breath in through your nose, breathe all the air out through your mouth. That’s it, it’s that simple.

In order for this to work, we have to make sure that our diaphragmatic breathing is actually lowering our heart rate. In order to lower our heart rate, we need to increase our blood oxygen levels and in order to do that, we actually have to breathe and a fixed ratio of

4-4-4

and this has been the breathing pattern that has been shown to really help reduce anxiety. That means we’re gonna breathe in for a count of 4, we’re gonna hold for a count of 4, and we’re going to breathe out for a count of 4.

Now, in order to make this work for you, you can’t just do it once—you’ve got to do it at least 3 times.

Why does this work? When we exhale, we are actually lowering our heart rate. So if you’re feeling really nervous, concentrate on that exhale. Make that birthday candle really far away so you have to really blow out. Then when you blow out, Guess! What comes next? You inhale a big deep breath.

I really encourage all of you to try this technique. I’ve seen it work with countless clients. In fact, I just worked with a client recently that used this technique before she had to do a video recording that she was so nervous about—it really works.

Thanks so much for reading. I know each and every one of you have moxie and I can’t wait to help you find it.


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