Once upon a time, I was a duck. A duck by day and an eager to learn disc jockey by night. I’ll always remember my first time on the air Christmas Eve. I had just graduated High School and in the fall of that year was given the chance to work the overnight slot at WQXI-AM and say the station i.d. once an hour. So the closer the day came, the more anxious and nervous I got. And when it was finally Christmas Eve, I couldn’t even eat! Once at the radio station I plugged in my headphones and as the Carpenters Christmas record ended, I started the next record “Snoopy’s Christmas vs. The Red Baron” by The Royal Guardsman. I could barely hear myself over the loud intro as I said “WQXI-Atlanta!” So I said “WQ..WQXI-Atlanta.” How humiliating but I did it!! I was ON THE AIR! As the night went on, my nerves settled and got into a groove as each hour rolled around I felt a little more confident.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to relax before you had to do something that was causing you anxiety? Fear? Worry? Well, there is! It’s all apart of your autonomic nervous system. What? You know, The autonomic nervous system is a control system that acts largely unconsciously and regulates bodily functions such as the heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, urination, and sexual arousal. This system is the primary mechanism in control of the fight-or-flight response. I know this is a lot of science to absorb, but let’s look at how this can affect you.
Part of the ANS is the Parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and the Sympathetic nervous system. (SNS) These two act like the accelerator and brakes on a car. The SNS is the accelerator, always ready to rev you up and take you out of danger. The SNS is activated very quickly. Until the brain perceives that danger has passed, it continues to release cortisol and adrenaline hormones that keep the body on high alert and ready for intense physical activity. Like a Bear is coming for you so you can swing into action and RUN FOREST RUN!!
The PNS is the brakes, slowing you down when danger is no longer present or perceived to be present. Once the danger, fear or threat is gone, your cortisol levels decline and the PNS slows the stress response by releasing hormones that will relax and calm your mind and body while inhibiting or slowing many of the high energy functions of the body. Your stress and anxiety are reduced and your mood is lifted, your immune system is strengthened and your blood pressure is reduced. Relaxation sets in! More of this please!! I also really liked what Bronkar said this morning: “Rather than be paralyzed by fear over giving a perfect speech, become ignited by the possibilities with your audience.”
Now for instance, you’re going to stand up in a room full of people and give a speech. Your anxiety and fear (false evidence appearing real) is accelerated. Your stress hormones are raging through your body, your heart is pounding, your muscles in your neck are tight and tensed (which affects your voice.) You could fight off a bear if you had too! Time to activate your PNS! I just returned from Las Vegas emceeing an event in front a couple thousand people. I started activating my PNS using these methods:
Deep abdominal breathing. Breathe from your diaphragm, not your upper chest. (Practice breathing correctly by laying down and placing a book on your stomach. Breathe in and watch the book rise as your stomach takes in air then slowly exhale and watch the book sink back down.) Breathe deeply IN through your NOSE and then HOLD for a few seconds and then s-l-o-w-l-y exhale through your mouth. You’ll feel your heart immediately slow down! Do this repeatedly over and over while thinking relaxing thoughts. It’s amazing how powerful the mind actually is.
Swallow. You know that feeling of being nervous. You’re on edge. You take shallow breaths. Your SNS is in overdrive. Just swallow! Swallowing reverses that feeling of being on edge and engages your PNS. Sip some room temperature water.
Repetitive Prayer. For me, God is my rock. I lean on him in good times and bad. I cover myself in his Holy Armor before I walk out on stage. Use prayer anytime. I do all the time.
Calming Reinforcement. I recently enjoyed dinner with Dennis and Angela Buttimer, authors of “Inspired” 365 Days of Mindful Mojo. In the book, you learn all about being mindful. When you practice being mindful, “…you have a blend of stillness and dynamic energy. It delivers you to calm and clarity, but it also energizes and empowers you. It builds your confidence and resilience” says Angela and Dennis. E.F.T. (Emotional Freedom Technique) provides more reinforcement for your mind and body. Now think of a calming word like peace, calm, love. Begin to tap lightly on your pressure points: top of the head, on your face between the eyes (your third eye), either side of your eyes, under your eyes, under your nose in the center, on the dimple of your chin and on your collar bone. These specific places on the body help reinforce the calming word you are focusing on. Remember, your only tapping lightly and gently a little bit on each pressure point. (You could also say things like I am confident, I am relaxed, I am safe, I am loved….)
Touch your lips. Your lips have PNS fibers spread throughout them. So, touching them lightly activates the PNS. Take one or two fingers and lightly run them over your lips. This could be why kissing is so good for you!
Posture. As I was standing backstage in Las Vegas this past week, I could hear the theme music starting and the announcer setting up the introduction for my “moment to shine.” I took note of my posture. How was I standing? What thoughts were I thinking? I immediately stood tall and pulled my shoulders back. I felt vulnerable somewhat. (When we have lack of self confidence, we tend to slouch. Be mindful of how you’re standing.) But when I threw my shoulders back, (combined with all the PNS preparation I had been doing for an hour prior) I felt empowered! I was ready!! My confidence soared and I ran on stage to embrace the more than 2,00o people with an energy of conviction and promise.
Earthing. We are all made up of source energy. You are a walking battery. When your battery is drained, you’re tired and unfocused. Recharge with the Earth! Grounding as it’s also called provides your body with surplus electrons to neutralize excessive free radicals which can lead to inflammation throughout your body which can later lead to disease. Just take off your shoes and socks and stand in the yard! The Earth is a large reservoir of free electrons and helps transfer these beneficial electrons to your body. According to Dr. Mercola medical infrared imaging shows that inflammation begins to subside within 30 minutes of grounding. I realize it may be hard to do this for that long but any amount of time is better than none at all. You can sit down and relax while doing it too. By sitting directly on the Earth, you’re nurturing your root chakra and your feet are grounding as well. Your also activating your PNS and promotes balance in your ANS. And during the heat of the summer, do this outside of the heat of the day. It’s important to get sunlight exposure on your skin, the largest organ on your body! Vitamin D from the sun for 20 minutes is better than any supplement you could take. Plus, vitamin D regulates over 400 hormonal functions in the body. (and make sure you’re getting magnesium as well which regulates over 200 hormonal functions including sleep.) A couple of supplements that I didn’t show in my presentation today but can help you relax are DGL Licorice and Cortisol Calm. DGL Licorice can modify the production of cortisol in the body by inhibiting the enzymes that break cortisol down into cortisone, thus rendering it inactive. (There are potential side effects with any supplement so please use your own judgement and / or consult your physician.) Cortisol Calm from Pure Encapsulations is designed to maintain healthy cortisol levels and support relaxation, restful sleep and positive mood during times of occasional stress.
Sleep. Speaking of sleep, get some before your hit the stage! Avoid blue light from devices at night. Use a blue light filter on your computer so your screen reduces the blue light being absorbed into your body. Blue light stimulates the pineal gland and keeps you awake. Your Circadian Clock gets out of whatck … Your melatonin levels are regulated by your pineal gland which operates based on the circadian rhythm of your body. So as sunlight fades, the production of melatonin in your body increases but when you have that blue light shining in your eyes, your telling your body, it’s still daylight and can’t begin to shut down for the night. So, turn down the blue or shut off the devices and TV at least an hour before bed and try to hit the sack (to sleep) by 10 p.m. at the latest.
Avoid stimulants. Before any event I’m hosting or emceeing, I never consume caffeine. As you know, caffeine accelerates your heart rate and increases your cortisol production while increasing your blood sugar levels. All of which you don’t want on top of your perceived fear or anxiety you may be experiencing. HYDRATE WITH SPRING OR FILTERED WATER!! Add in some fresh organic lemon juice to help alkalize your body. I realize that some caffeine can make you more alert but if you have to consume it, just drink a little not overload to the point that you could blast off the planet into orbit! Remember, you’re probably already jacked up anyway from the anticipated public appearance on stage.
You’ve heard the saying “Practice makes perfect” and the more you do something, the better you get. As a corporate host and emcee, my confidence levels improved the more I got on stage and performed. Improving self confidence is the biggest factor of helping you believe in yourself and having others believe in you.
Selfie Video. Turn your phone on selfie mode and videotape yourself giving a speech. Watch yourself back and observe your flow, diction, posture, gestures, facial expressions, vocal quality, loudness, etc. This is an easy way to improve what you do. Have someone your trust watch it also with an unbiased opinion.
Words have power. In the movie “What the bleep do we know” there is a scene where the power of words are explained in a fascinating experiment. Watch it HERE. So remember, words have power. Listen carefully and be mindful of the words you are speaking, projecting into the universe. Whether they’re words about you or someone else, the energy associated with those words can have a lasting effect on your mind and body.
Social Media. Be careful of what you post on social media. Companies, clients and perspective clients look at your social media so before you post anything, ask yourself if it’s offensive or something that would prevent a possible opportunity from coming your way. Maybe even create a business profile for yourself and distance your professional career away from your personal page. LinkedIN is a must! Business relationships are formed here.
Website. You need a website. You need a domain! Get online and go to a domain registrar like GoDaddy and search domains. There is only ONE of you in a .com so grab it if you can. It’s inexpensive costing under $15 a year to keep your domain registered.
Blog. When you blog you create new content that google “spiders” find when crawling the internet looking for new information, data. Make sure you post the link to your blog (connected to your website) on social media. You want the click throughs to your site to generate traffic and ranking on the web.
Exercise Body. When you exercise, you release endorphins! You know, those feel good chemicals your body creates when you’re enjoying yourself…much like sex! I’m not saying exercise is as enjoyable as sex but I feel lifted up and better about myself after leaving the gym.
Vocal Exercises. Bronkar Lee and Norwood both spoke about warming up your voice. It’s just as important as working out. Start by making funny faces and humming. You want to slowly rev your vocal chords like a soft purring motorcycle. Feel the vibration (like the song!) Humm up and down the octive scale vibrating your vocal chords. Clearing your throat (especially repeatedly) isn’t advised. Your vocal chords are delicate and you want to protect them.
Be yourself. I’m hired because of who I am. There is only one of you and there’s only one of me. You were created to shine! Why be someone else when you’re already the best of you out there. The worst thing you can do is compare yourself to others. Everyone has his or her strong points and talents. Use yours to grow your career and excel in your field. Remember to smile on stage and project a feeling of confidence, being relaxed and knowledgeable about your subject. As an Eagle Scout, “Be Prepared” is a motto that is always in style.
Online Revenue. You can use your voice online as a voiceover talent. Because the market is so saturated with people doing voiceover, you’ll find the rates paid are drastically reduced unless you’re hired for a big project or as a voice with a recurring role. Search online for voiceover sites like Voices.com, InternetJock.com, TalentSoup.com, Voice123.com and the list goes on. (I was a member of Voice123 and paid the $250 for a premium membership and only generated one paid gig so I broke even. I don’t recommend spending that type of money for any online voiceover site.) Also 800Casting.com allows in person auditions as well.
Gratitude. Be filled with love and gratitude. Those two words are the most powerful in the English language.
The Secret. Listen to these empowering segments The movie that brought manifestation and vibration into the public awareness is invaluable information. and listen to them daily. You’ll hear things you hadn’t heard before and it constantly reinforces a positive mindset. What you think and what you feel and what manifests are always a match. So you’re getting out what you input to your mind!
Quantum Jumping. I spoke briefly about this during our class. Listen to these fascinating guided segments on Quantum Jumping. Safe, happy travels!
Silva Method. I had the opportunity to experience The Silva Method with Frank Golley and was delighted with the results.
Continued success and embrace the opportunities! Remember, it’s the attitude of gratitude.