Anyone who has personally faced stress; has been with someone who gets stressed or who somehow deals with stress regularly (like through volunteer work, psychotherapy, counselling, etc.) knows that stress manifests itself in many different ways in different people. Sometimes someone stressed will show just one habit of stress, but more often than not people tend to show a number of habits. The reason why they do this is simple enough, it’s a coping mechanism, a way for the person to relieve themselves from the stress if only temporarily; but it doesn’t really help in the long run. In some cases it can actually be more harmful for people and lead to more problems down the road and hence more stress, turning into a vicious and spikey (in other words harmful) cycle. Thankfully there are ways to get rid or at the very least manage these habits as long as you are willing to try.
Right now I am going to be talking about one particular type of stressful habit, rushed speech.
As you can probably tell by the words themselves, rushed speech means to talk fast, sometimes too fast for people to comprehend what you said. Sometimes when a person is stressed they have a tendency to start talking faster than they normally would; it is also called pressured speech.
This site called goodtherapy.org talks all about pressured speech. According to them pressured speech isn’t an illness by itself, but rather a by-product of other maladies like schizophrenia, mania and extreme anxiety. The article also says that pressured speech may be caused due to thought issues which they refer to as flight of ideas, which means that the ideas or concepts are going through a person’s head so fast that the person feels they must speak quickly in order to keep up with them.
The best way to deal with pressured speech (when it is caused by anxiety) is to calm down, at least enough so that you can catch up with your brain or your brain slows down a little. There are many things you can try doing to instantly calm yourself, at least enough to start speaking properly again. Take a look at this list from the article, “10 Instant Ways to Calm Yourself Down,” by Therese Borchard. Just to quickly summarise what they say, you can try:
- Hand Massage: Use the thumb of one hand to gently massage the palm of the other.
- Closing Your Eyes: According to the article, 80% of your sensory information comes from your eyes, so closing them gives your brain a break.
- Mindful Sighing: Breathe in, count to five and then breathe out while letting out a long and loud sigh.
- Palm Push: Push your palms together and hold for 5 – 10 seconds.
- Hugging yourself: try hugging yourself for ten seconds, hugs really help relieve stress.
- Mindful Monkey Stretch: According to the article it is a small series of exercises. First you bring both hands arms extended, in front of you, then bring the arms down. Next you bring your arms (still extended) to our sides, and then down. Next you bring your arms all the way past our heads and then swooped down, your head dangling between your knees, and hang there for a second.
- Wall Push: push against a wall with your palms, feet planted on the floor for five to ten seconds.
- The superman Pose: For this one you need to lie down flat on your belly and extend and hold your arms straight in front of you, then extend your legs and hold them straight out so that you look like your flying through the skies like superman, hold that position for 10 seconds.
- Shaking: Nothing much here just shake for as long as you can, like a dog after coming out from a bath.
- Bubble Breath: Place one flat palm on your chest and one on your stomach, Breathe in through your nose and hold it for 5 seconds, now breathe out for five seconds and imagine you are blowing out one large bubble (be careful not to pop the bubble while you are breathing out).
Now I’m not saying this will definitely cure your anxiety, all I’m saying is that these are ways to help calm you down for a while so that you can reduce your stressful habit and move on with your day regularly. Try it out for yourself and see if it helps, there’s no harm in trying after all.