Since you do not mention stuttering, I guess you do not stutter but you have a chronic anxiety problem. Anticipatory anxiety and the ensuing humiliation being, for stuttering, major problems, I easily recognize myself in your remarks.

I do not think there is one particular technique that can work on its own. There are several techniques to use. I may not be a therapist, but I have learned a lot about my own anxiety and how to reduce or eliminate it. I would like to share with you what I experienced, hoping that it will be useful to you.


Let’s start by identifying what is behind chronic anxiety:

1. The need for approval / appreciation of others:

We need others to love us, to compliment and appreciate us. This desire for approval is so powerful that we would do anything for others to love us. We are also afraid of what they will think of us if we do not meet their expectations. Will they make fun of us? “I must avoid this so as not to be humiliated in front of everyone and make me laugh. We would do anything to avoid humiliation.

2. Self-image:

Your ego and the image you make of yourself require that you be “perfect”; there is no room for error. Perfectionism is the norm. Because mistakes are unacceptable, we must despise them. “I am not entitled to the error; otherwise, it would be the end of the world. “

3. To lend intentions to others (mind reading):

We have the bad habit of imagining what others may think of us. We are like those soothsayers who divine the thoughts of others: we presuppose what others might think of us, assuming that it is the truth. We accept, without questioning, everything that comes to mind.

4. Fear – reaction fight-or-flee:

Thousands of years ago, whenever our distant ancestors faced a threat to their survival, such as a monster ready to charge, they had to make a quick decision: fight or flee. Their fear of monsters triggered certain natural physiological responses, such as a sudden surge of adrenaline throughout their body, increased heart rate to provide more energy and blood to the muscles, and muscle tension to prepare the muscles. muscles to the effort.

Although in modern society we do not face physically threatening situations similar to those of the caveman, our mind continues to consider certain situations, especially social ones, as physically threatening and to react in the same way than the caveman. That’s why this fear always produces an identical reaction even though we no longer need to react as well

And now, the most important question: what to do about all these things I just mentioned? Here’s what I used to do:


When it’s time to relax, meditation and self-hypnosis are the best solutions. But, alone, they will not be enough for the task. You will need to combine other exercises such as those that I will mention below. When you go to bed, once extended, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Free your mind of all thoughts and focus on your breathing. Inhale through your nose and hold this breath for 10 seconds before exhaling through your mouth. Repeat this 10 times or as many times as you like.

2. Self-hypnosis:

Once relaxed, imagine yourself on your bed while it’s dark all around. Imagine a big number 3 of any color, right in front of you. Suppose this 3 is off-white and produces an intense white light on your abdomen. Suppose that every time a light touches your body, you feel more relaxed. Imagine that all parts of your body are affected by this light: your abdomen, your feet and legs, then your chest and arms. Feel them relaxing. Imagine becoming bigger and bigger as you become more relaxed. Now imagine a change. You are still on your bed, in the dark.

You now see a big green. This light is on your head and your face, which now relax. Feel the relaxation of all parts of your head, starting with the top of it, then the forehead, the eyes and your face. Feel all that. Now imagine that this 2 of green is even bigger, its light more intense as you feel every part of your head and your face relaxing to the maximum, the ultimate relaxation. Let’s change the scenario and now imagine a pink one. This 1 projects a light on your whole body. This light relaxes all parts of your body. This time, the whole body.

3.After doing the above, imagine yourself now in your office.

Relaxed, calm and confident. Imagine that you are in your body, stuck in your seat, looking at your desk and the screen of your computer. Then comes an email from your boss and you do not panic. You are relaxed, smiling and you answer it. Everything is normal. Imagine any other situation that you fear and imagine yourself being relaxed.

4. After this exercise using your imagination, repeat positive statements about yourself.

“I am someone strong and confident. I do not care about others; let them go to hell! Repeat this in your mind, in a high, confident, dominant and affirmative tone. Do you say that 10 to 20 times?

5. Now let’s see other techniques.

Write down the answers to questions you have. “Why do I worry about others? Why ? “What could it produce if I stopped worrying about the opinion of others? Is it the end of the world? “What would happen if I was wrong?

” Perfection does not exist. We are all humans; we all make mistakes, we learn from them and continue our journey. I try my best, I will always make some mistakes. And it’s up to my boss to evaluate my work and inform me of my mistakes so that I can correct them. It’s normal. Unless you identify your underlying irrational beliefs and thoughts, lurking in the depths of your subconscious,

You will never know about it and you will not be able to tackle it. The very first thing to do is to identify your reductive beliefs and irrational thoughts. How? By writing on paper. By brainstorming. Remember, observe, think and write. Write any answer to any questions you have so that you can remember and analyze it to find out if it is useful to you or not.

6. Finally, NLP techniques.

Do you have nightmares at night worrying about the next day, emails and other aspects of your daily life?

Close your eyes and see what you see, hear what you hear and feel what you feel. For example, before an important meeting, I see myself sitting at this meeting, having a terrible block, everyone looking at me in a bizarre way while I feel deeply humiliated. I start out of my body to see myself as in a movie. This reduces the intensity of the moment. Then I make this film even bigger. The intensity of the situation is further reduced. Then I make it blurry while moving it away from me until it is tiny. The intensity is then broken. I feel relaxed. I repeat this scenario again and again until this anxiety film breaks.1


PS “In another email, Junaid wrote to me: I did all these exercises because I already stammered mentally. But oddly, I just realized that these exercises can be used to cope with anxiety in all its forms. Irrational thoughts and belief systems do not cause problems other than stuttering, but also a host of other problems.

HERE’S HOW TO DECREASE ANXIETY: Translation of an email from Paul Junaid published on neurosemanticsofstuttering by Bobby G. Bodenhamer. Translated by Richard Parent, December 2014.