Do you often struggle to start a word or phrase? Do you find it difficult to speak fluently? Does stammering make you feel less confident to speak in the workplace or public places? Stammering can affect people of all ages, including children, teens, adults, and even the elderly. Stammering may have a negative impact on the confidence and self-esteem of adults. Keep reading to find out the techniques and foods to manage stammering in adults.
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What is Stammering?
Stammering is a neurodevelopmental disorder in which a person has speaking difficulty and struggles to talk clearly and fluently. They may, for example, repeat or lengthen a word, a phrase, or a consonant or vowel sound. They may also halt during talking when they reach a difficult word or accent. Most stuttering occurs at the start of a phrase when they repeat the first letter a few times before it is proper. Some people stammer from childhood and continue to stutter into their older years. There have been a few reports of adults developing stuttering suddenly. Adults who begin stuttering may have acquired stuttering as a result of a brain injury, stroke, or chronic neurological disorder. It is relatively rare.
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Causes of stammering
Stammering may begin at early childhood but it may also continue into adulthood due to lack of speech therapy and stammering treatments. Here are some common causes of stammering:
- Childhood developmental delays
- Stress, anxiety or mental trauma
- Brain injury or stroke
- Neurological disorders
- Block in the larynx (spasmodic dysphonia)
- Idiopathic stuttering (unknown reason)
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Techniques to manage stammering in adults
However, some circumstances, such as stress, exhaustion, or pressure, might exacerbate stammering. People may be able to enhance their fluency of speech by regulating these conditions as best they can.
Breathing exercises is essential for the way you speak. These exercises can help you in various aspects which includes
- Lower your stress levels.
- Clear your mind.
Things to do
- Sit in a position that is comfortable for you.
- Close your eyes and concentrate on inhaling and exhaling deeply.
- Breathe in from the abdomen for 10 seconds
- Hold your breath for some time
- Make a “whoosh” sound as you exhale gently through your mouth.
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2. Slow down technique
Speaking slowly is one of the efficient techniques to overcome stammering. Trying to rush through a topic can make you stutter, or have difficulty forming the words. This technique has two advantages, one, it can help you talk more fluently and smoothly and two, it gives the discussion extra time so that you don’t feel pressurised.
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3. Avoid trigger words
As an individual with stammering issues struggles to get their words out, they frequently build up a lot of stress and pressure in their jaws, mouth and throat. Stammering can be modified by a technique known as a cancellation. This technique involves taking a moment or stopping to talk when they begin to stammer, taking deep breaths, letting go of the stress, and extending the stammered sound to make it seem natural.
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4. Record your own voice
To practise this technique of therapy, open your phone and record yourself speaking. Hearing and analysing your speech will frequently reveal unconscious tendencies that cause you to stammer. By doing this you can recognize your own speaking patterns, examine patterns and make changes.
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By sitting down and practising, you are aiding in the formation of strong neural connections in the brain, allowing the remedial actions. Here are some ideas to help you practise your speech:
- Tongue twisters are the phrases or sentences that contain words with repetitive sound patterns. It is a great way to help to get rid of stammering. Practising jumbled, meaningless words with similar sounds in a daily manner will help to improve pronunciation and fluency of each word and syllables.
- Put yourself in scenarios where you’ll be talking to someone else or speaking in public, and practise breathing and slowing down your speech.
- Collaborate with others to practise speaking
- Reading aloud is the great practice to overcome stammering
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Foods and herbs that help to manage stammering in adults
Without the brain, there would be no language. The human brain has a few areas that are specific to language processing and production. Adding foods that support brain development can help to manage stammering in adults.
All the nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashew, peanuts and hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E and vitamin B6. They help to improve the motor functions of individuals who stammer. They are also antioxidants which protect against cell damage. Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and are a valuable substance for brain function, memory and thinking abilities. This fatty acid also encourages cognitive functions.
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Apart from nuts, seeds like flax, chia, melon, sesame and pumpkins also contain powerful antioxidants like vitamin E that protect the brain from free radical damage. Sunflower seeds impact overall mood and mental processing powers and therefore it is considered a brain boosting snack. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, copper, and much higher in zinc than other seeds, which help in increasing concentration and memory.
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3.OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS:
Multiple studies have shown the link between low omega 3 fatty acids and poor development, ADHD, speech delay, poor focus and concentration. These healthy fats are crucial for brain development and help to manage speech disorders like stammering.
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Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. It is known to reduce anxiety and stress. Moreover, it increases acetylcholine levels which support better memory, mental focus and intelligence. Ashwagandha also improves communication between nerve cells and stimulates the body’s capacity to heal any nervous system damage.
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Brahmi is a superfood for the brain and is believed to sharpen the brain by protecting cells and increasing chemicals associated with learning and memory. It has shown to improve spatial learning and retaining power in kids. That is why in older times, brahmi powder with ghee/honey was often given to individuals. This would help in keeping them calm and reduce stammering.
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Shankhapushpi is a traditional remedy for increasing the functioning of the brain. The powerful antioxidants and flavonoids present in it improve the memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness, alertness of an individual. Since it is a brain tonic and stimulator, people taking shankhapushpi have improved memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities.
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Pure cocoa powder (unsweetened) contains brain boosting components as it is packed with a large number of antioxidants molecules, the main is epicatechin helpful to improve cognitive functions.
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