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The Antidote to Physical Exhaustion

Caffeine in coffee, soda pop and chocolate makes many people feel panicky when they
are already stressed.

The stressed body secrets adrenaline and the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine;
your heart beats faster, your eye’s pupils dilate and your muscles contract.

Physical Preparation:

Warm up and relax your body and face.


If you're wearing high heels, take them off. Now, stand on one leg and shake the
other. When you put your foot back on the ground, it's going to feel lighter than the other
one. Now, switch legs and shake. You want your energy to go through the floor and out of
your head. This sounds quite cosmic; it isn't. It's a practical technique used by actors.
Shake your hands...fast. Hold them above your head, bending at the wrist and elbow
and then bring your hands back down. This will make your hand movements more
natural.
Warm up your face muscles by chewing in a highly exaggerated way. Do shoulder
and neck rolls. Imagine that you're eye level with a clock. As you look at 12, pull as much
of your face up to 12 as you can; now move it to 3, then down to 6 and finally over to 9.
All of these exercises serve to warm you up and relax you. Those exaggerated
movements make Recognize these symptoms early and counteract them by disputing the
thinking that is causing them and using stress reduction physical and mental techniques.

It is normal to be excited before speaking up so when that happens, just see it and ignore
it. Call it “excitement” instead of “anxiety” to avoid further stress.

Do not expect to ever be rid of these symptoms.

While planning your speech, see if going to bed ½ hour earlier the week before has a
positive effect on you coping with stress. Catching up on rest over the weekend is not the
same as getting adequate sleep each night. It is hard to cope when you are running on
empty. Add more vegetables, fruits, Snacking all day long isn’t helpful. Stick to three
meals a day, with an apple or pre-measured cheese and crackers between meals to
stabilize your blood sugar. Even little changes will have a positive effect. Sugary snacks
and caffeine drinks give a short term burst of energy but come with a quick deep drop.
Don’t be lured by alcohol to soothe your stress -practice stress management techniques
instead. When you are so drained of energy, why would it be a great idea to take a walk?
Strangely, exercise counteracts fatigue. Movement, even for a few minutes a day,
increases your energy.

When you are mentally drained, physical energy re-energizes your thinking. Walk around
the block, take a walk with your child, and work your arms and legs while on the phone.
Your body releases beta-endorphins, the body’s natural relaxer when you exercise. These
endorphins counteract stress hormones. Don’t feel you must do absurdly vigorous
exercise to get this gain – 10 minutes of walking will start the process.

Frequently overlooked is using music to affect your moods. Music affects the energy of
many people. Calm yourself down and invigorate yourself by purposely playing soothing
and dynamic music.

Stop Running Out of Breath

When you first awaken in the morning, notice how you’ve breathing. This deep belly
breathing is the ideal way to breathe.
Learn to breathe like this any time you wish. You will wish to breathe like this during
rehearsal and any time you speak in public.

It is OK to fail, but it is not OK to give up.

Dr. Reesa Woolf


Public Speaking Coach

- Public Speaking Institute


- Confident Public Speaking