How To Reduce Your Stress Immediately With 2 Vocal Techniques

Did you know that can you reduce your stress immediately with simple vocal techniques? Here are 2 quick techniques you can try out today.

Originally published on Forbes
Reduce Your Stress Immediately

You’re in a state of tension, stress, fear, worry, or anxiety-and what happens? Your shoulders naturally raise to protect the vulnerable throat and neck.

In many cultural traditions, the throat represents the center of creativity, self-expression, and communication. It’s also the conduit between your body and your head/mind, representing the link between your thoughts and feelings, or the “Mind-Body Connection.”

When you create more freedom in your throat and neck, you open your ability to express yourself more effectively and generate a greater sense of confidence and well being.

The musculature of the throat is incredibly complex, and I think very beautiful with all its fine, interwoven connections that allow us such flexibility of movement. We often take for granted that freedom of movement until we spend too many hours at the computer, or experience high stress levels - then we sure do notice that tension in our throats, necks, and shoulders.

Since there’s no machine at the gym to exercise your neck and throat (I think I’m grateful for that), you can use your voice to release the tension in your throat and really, your entire body.

Here’s a couple of techniques you can try out today and feel free to let us know what you notice.

1. Sigh like my Italian Grandmother

My great grandma was a 4’5” marvel of efficiency and energy. In the afternoons when she allowed herself to “rest” in her chair for awhile (usually while crocheting something), she would repeatedly release a deep sigh. At the time, I wondered why, but now I know that she was automatically releasing tension in her body.

Take a deep belly breath in through your nose and allow yourself to sigh it out. Bonus points for allowing any sound to come out with the sigh. The long exhale, combined with the vibration of the sound “ahhhhhhh” triggers your parasympathetic nervous system and your body’s relaxation response.

If you’re trying to switch gears between work and home, feel more relaxed before working with a client or going into a meeting, or wind down at the end of the day, this is one of my favorites.

2. Try the “One Word Rant”

If you’ve read my ebook called “Problem Solving in 10 Minutes,” you’ve learned about a creative problem solving technique I developed using our very human tendencies to worry and complain to get you unstuck and into focused action. A super shortcut version of this technique you can use to simply release tension and clear your mind is called the “One Word Rant.”

This is also a fabulous tool to show your kids to help them learn to shift their stress and state of mind quickly.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or wider, and semi-squat like a Sumo wrestler. Throw your hands in the air above your head, take a deep breath, and yell (not a scream, don’t strain your throat) “WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!?!!”

Yes, I’m serious. Yes, I’ve facilitated this in a group of 50 or so leaders and it was FREAKING AMAZING.

The chemical cascade of hormones and endorphins this releases is simply gorgeous. Generally this technique is more energizing than the Italian Grandma Sigh, so I tend to use it if I’m having  a frustrating day, or I need to quickly clear myself and get energy before speaking or a meeting.

I reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyREALLY want you to try one or both of these techniques and comment below to let me know how you feel afterwards.

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