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Voice and anxiety

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  • Voice and anxiety

    Your voice especially as a man plays a huge role in the impression people have of you, and the influence you have on them. Its not just a coincidence that anxiety plays a factor on how you sound, the more confident and masculine you sound, the more influence you will have on people, the more people will look up to you and see you as someone significant.

    Just recently in my class we were doing group activities, I was put in a group with three other women who are probably more competent than me when it comes to the class material. I wouldn't say I have a deep voice, but I've been training my voice the past month or so, and so my voice sounds more masculine and confident, probably more than the average male university student. So in our group, we were answering the group work questions, when it came to a question we were unsure of, I just randomly picked an answer and told them I guessed, and they went with my answer despite them having explanations of their different choices. We did get some of those answers wrong. After the fact, they started blaming me for us getting those questions wrong, saying how confident I sounded, despite me literally telling them I guessed. Obviously though competence does play a factor too with how much influence you have on people, I wasn't completely incompetent, I knew my stuff well enough, but just not to the point where I knew it like the back of my hand, like these women did. But its clear that the way I presented myself played a big role in me having an influence on them.

    For deep voice your tongue position has to be as low as you are able to, and the air has to come using your diaphragm/your belly, keep practicing this in your spare time to do it the best you can. When you have anxiety or get nervous, all this tightens up to keep you from doing that, you get the feeling that something is in your throat and you need to swallow, which makes your tongue position higher, you forget to use your diaphragm, the muscles in your throat also tighten up which tighten up your vocal cords which also make your voice higher. On top of that you start talking faster which also signifies to people that you're nervous, because you just want to get it all out and over with so you can stop talking.

    The solution to this is a whole other can of worms, because it involves tackling your anxiety. But a quick temporary solution when you're already in the moment, is to just slow everything down, just remember to talk slower, and remember to breathe when you're talking, eventually the rest of you will catch up and calm down.

    Another key preventative measure is to work out the muscles in your neck, start just stretching them, and especially doing neck curls, lie down on the edge of the bed with your head hanging off, have your mouth closed with your tongue on the roof of your mouth, putting pressure with the back of the tongue mostly (regular mewing position), and start slowly curling your neck, after 4 sets of 5-8 reps its gonna be sore, over time as the muscles get stronger you can put pressure using your hands to add resistance. What this will do is improve the mind muscle connection and the control you have of them, so they'll be less likely to involuntarily activate when you're talking and tighten your vocal cords. A little warning though, the day after this workout, your voice may be higher, but the day after that your voice gets lower.

    One last quick short term temporary trick to make your voice a little deeper and raspier, for maybe if you know your voice isn't as deep in the moment, and you're going to have to talk: with your mouth closed, close your nostrils with your hand, and try to blow out voiced breaths (as if you were humming) in short bursts out your nose, you'll feel a pressure building in your throat, keep doing it until the pressure builds enough where you can't blow easily anymore, then start talking and you'll notice your voice is deeper.

  • #2
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    • #3
      The New Voice: How to Sing and Speak Properly
      by Alan Greene, 1981.

      It's an old book, but get a copy. There's a series of exercises which are designed to get the constrictor muscles of your throat to relax. The goal is to build a new vocal instrument by totally reshaping the interior of your throat while speaking and singing.

      The main exercise consists of "yawning the adam's apple down."

      Put your fingers on your adams apple when you speak. You might notice that it has a tendency to rise up under your jawline when you talk. This is the same motion in the throat when you are swallowing which constricts and closes off the throat.

      Now yawn. Just try to activate your yawn reflex or pay attention the next time you naturally yawn. The adams apple drops way down in your throat.

      You can learn to consciously "yawn" the adams apple down without yawning. It's not hard to do. Just this exercise alone in moderation will produce some new resonance in your voice.

      So the exercises try to train you to relax that "adams apple rising reflex" when you speak. I'm not convinced that it can be elminated totally, but the exercises are fun and you will notice some natural changes in your voice from spending some time with this.

      The book suggests using a bowtie during this exercise, but I found it unnecessary and used my hands to provide a little resistance instead.

      Another exercise works on expanding the space above the adams apple outward. Difficult to describe.

      One of the exercises is invasive and involve desensitizing the gag reflex way in the back of your tongue - more constrictor muscles. You learn a LOT about your throat and your vocal instrument.

      Anybody serious about doing voice work should seriously get their hands on this book and try to work with it.

      And of course if you can afford it, get a vocal coach who can give you feedback while you are speaking.


      • #4
        I guess if this voice exist - you need to listen what it says and analyze why do you are hearing it. Sometimes it goes away eventually but sometimes it is getting worse. One day you find yourself in the situation where you don't want to get out from your bad or go out from your house. Proper healthy lifestyle, good amount of sleep and exercises can help to deal with the anxiety troubles.