5 Best Breathing Techniques to Calm Speaking Jitters
Breathing is a critical function of life, but it’s not something that we really invest a whole lot of thought to it. When you breathe in, your blood cells receive oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Then, the carbon dioxide is carried through the body and exhaled.
Unfortunately, when we feel nervous, as many people do when they’re asked to speak in public, it can result in improper breathing. This can cause upset in the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange, which can cause additional anxiety, panic attacks, and so much more.
In this tutorial, I’ll explain the 5 best breathing techniques to help you calm speaking jitters next time they come around.
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This breathing technique involves alternately blocking off one nostril and breathe through the other. In order to maintain your posture, it’s best to practice this technique while sitting.
Start by taking your right hand and bending your pointer and middle fingers into your palm and keeping your thumb, ring, and pinky fingers straight.
- Close your eyes. Inhale and then slowly exhale to start.
- Using your thumb, close off your right nostril and take a breath in.
- Using your ring finger, close off your left nostril and take a breath in.
- Take turns closing off one nostril and then the other. Try do to 10 rounds of this and if you start to feel faint, take a break.
According to the experts, practicing 20 to 30 minutes of belly breathing every day will help you to decrease your anxiety/stress. Simply find a place that is comfortable and quiet, such as sitting cross-legged, sitting in a chair, or lying on your back on the floor with a pillow under your head and knees.
- Place a hand on your chest and the other one on your belly, under your ribcage.
- Without clenching or squeezing your muscles, allow your belly to relax.
- Take a slow breath in through your nose. The air should move into your nose and down into your belly.
- Through pursed lips, let the breath out slowly. Pay attention to the hand on your chest, it should be pretty still.
Though your health will determine the sequence frequency, most people can do this exercise at least three times and then work up to five to 10 minutes, up to 4 times a day.
This breathing technique is also known as four-square breathing and is easy to learn and practice. If you have ever found yourself inhaling and exhaling to the beat of a song, then you’ve already familiarized yourself with this.
- Count to 4 as you breathe in
- Count to 4 as you hold your breath
- Count to 4 as you exhale
- Count to 4 as you hold our lungs empty
This breathing technique is known as the relaxing breath and acts as a natural tranquilizer on your nervous system. While you learn the technique, it’s best to sit up with your back straight. Once you have become more familiar with it, you can lie down in bed and do it.
- Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your upper front teeth. This is where it should remain for the duration of the exercise.
- Exhale through your mouth
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to the count of 4.
- Hold the breath as you count to 7
- Exhale through your mouth as you count to 8.
This technique is also known as mindfulness meditation and involved centering your attention in the present moment instead of wandering to the past or the future.
- Choose something calming to focus on. This can be a sound, positive word or phrase, or anything else that calms you.
- Then, let go and allow yourself to relax. If your mind starts to drift, take a breath and bring your attention back to the present.
According to statistics, 75% of adults are fearful when it comes to public speaking. If you are one of those who gets nervous, try these 5 best breathing techniques to calm your speaking jitters.