Breathing and Fear of Public Speaking
It’s very common to experience fear of public speaking. But imagine it as a temporary, manageable, treatable illness.
It’s important to understand that fear of public speaking manifests itself in the body as much as it does in the mind. Therefore to combat the fear, it’s important to know about breathing and fear of public speaking.
- When we experience fear or stress, the adrenal glands release cortisol, and if it hangs around for too long it can temporarily shut down the part of the brain that’s responsible for rational thinking.
- Also, when we fear we’re in danger, the body’s sympathetic nervous system pours adrenaline into the body, preparing it for the “fight, flight or freeze” response. But the parasympathetic system releases chemicals that calm the body down.
One easy way to re-balance the body is to take a couple of deep breaths. If we allow some breath into the belly, it will activate the parasympathetic system.
Research has shown that breathing exercises alter the pH of the blood, or change blood pressure. If we get into the habit of taking a few deep breaths when public speaking fear sets in, it will dampen the production of harmful stress hormones.
Get into the practice of feeling your breathing. Place your hands on your belly. Allow a breath in and determine if you can feel your belly expand and contract. Don’t force the breath. You might hyperventilate. Just allow the breath in.
Let the breath in through your mouth instead of your nose. More air will enter your system.