Here’s a lifestyle hack for those of you have a social stutter.
Let me guess…
- You are not entirely an introvert, but you avoid group situations afraid that you’re going to stutter.
- You never volunteer to give speeches, even if it’s for your best friend’s wedding.
- You don’t look forward to large meetings with unknown people in case you have to introduce yourself.
- You take sickies (aka sick days) to avoid meetings because you are required to talk.
- You skip classes in case you have to read out loud.
- You avoid taking phone calls.
- You generally miss out on life due to your stutter!
Yep, I feel your pain! I’ve been there and done all of that but not really proud of it. Having a stutter is not your fault, and there’s nothing wrong with you, as proven in the movie The King’s Speech. If King George VI can have a stutter, do good things, and inspire so many other people, then so can you! Research suggests it’s a chemical imbalance thing that can be fixed up provided you take action now.
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My stutter rap story
I’ve struggled with stuttering most of my life, especially at school and university. I was picked on by my peers and teachers continually, which affected my life into adulthood. My English teacher loved picking me to hear my read out loud just so that she and the entire class can have a good laugh. The only option I had to skip English classes with a fake sick note to avoid these embarrassing situations. I thought there was something seriously wrong with me, but I realized they lacked the education to deal with my unique situation.
I won’t lie – it has taken a huge toll on my life, but I feel like I have come out of it a stronger person. I also feel like it’s time to share my experiences and simple tips to help people to keep their stutter under control.
How I do keep my stutter under control?
Here are some lifestyle hacks I use to keep my stutter in check:
1. Basic martial arts movements and deep breathing
I do the basic martial movements and slow breathing anytime I can.
Learning different martial arts has helped with my breathing, discipline, and balance in life. I highly recommend you sign up for Tai Chi, traditional Chinese Kung Fu, or other martial arts which teach proper breathing. I think self-defense should always be secondary to life skills.
When I was 16, my dad joined me up for Vietnamese Martial Arts; this helped a lot due to its focus on deep breathing techniques and guided meditation. Being only 16, I was too impatient to apply this technique until I realized how powerful it was when I was around 30 (where somehow I became more patient, probably due to kids). This training inspired me to learn more about martial arts, and I continued to do Chinese Traditional Martial Arts for around 5 years.
Below are some martial arts exercises that really help me overcome my stutter in around 3 months. The key is maintaining disciplined and practicing them daily, even if it’s just for 5 minutes.
Horse stance and punches
Basic Tai Chi moves just 5 minutes a day
2. Work out regularly and maintain a balance
If I stop working out for a week or get into unhealthy habits (like drinking lots, eating fatty food, excess carbs, sugar, etc.), my stutter comes back simply because I’m breathing harder. Therefore I have to make an effort to keep it in check with regular exercise and a balanced diet. For you, it might be different. You may have to go for a walk, cycle, reading, playing games, or whatever else to keep your stutter under control. Find your happy place and go to it as much as possible while maintaining a balanced and healthy diet.
Check my quick workout hacks here if you need some motivation.
3. Breathe in quickly before talking
I take a quick breath in and out before I start to talk; this really helps, especially when kicking a meeting off, introducing myself in a job interview/big group situation, or starting a speech.
4. Watch the Kings Speech!
Watching the Kings Speech when it came out in 2010 gave me a massive boost in confidence.
5. It’s all in your head
The little man in my head keeps saying I can’t and question things even up to this day, probably due to the trauma I went through in my high school days. I try my best to shut it down by staying in the moment by having fun, connecting with people, and trying new things whenever I can. Mindfulness training and positive thinking are also helpful.
6. Keep life simple
Don’t overdo it and do it over! Don’t overthink it and think it over!
As a wise man once told me, do one thing at a time and do it well.
Take it light but take it easy. I’m still trying to work this out but I think it’s about letting go of the bad stuff.
If you’re still struggling, get professional help!
Everyone’s situation is different, so if the above tips are not working and you’re still struggling, try and get some professional help. I have looked into many online courses, and I can highly recommend you check out this Kill Your Stutter program, which has amazing reviews.
Click here for other ideas for doing things the easy way.