Part of the difficulty in speaking a new language comes from being anxious. It is not something we plan but a reaction of the body, not harmful if we know how to work with it. While anxious, we also put ourselves on the alert, so the important thing is to work to keep anxiety under control, at a reasonable level and beneficial to the results we hope to achieve. Here are two relaxation techniques based on Mindfulness technique:
1. If you have some time, do a body scan: You can either record your own voice or memorize each step. A typical Body Scan runs through each part of the body, paying special attention to the way each area feels, the scan usually moves as follows:
- From toes of both feet to
- The rest of the feet (top, bottom, ankle) then to the
- Lower legs,
- Thighs and
- Pelvic region- buttocks, tailbone, pelvic bone, genitals. From there moving to
The Abdomen, then the
- Lower back,
- Upper back- back ribs & shoulder blades,
- Hands (fingers, palms, backs, wrists),
- Arms (lower, elbows, upper),
- Face and head (jaw, mouth, nose, cheeks, ears, eyes, forehead, scalp, back&top of the head),
- and finally ending with the blow hole (Fleming & Kocovski, 2007)
2. If you are in a hurry try Anchoring:
One of the best ways to calm yourself down is to anchor yourself by directing your attention into the lower half of your body. Begin by focusing on your feet and how they feel inside your socks or shoes and against the ground. Expand your attention to include the sensations first in your lower legs and then in your upper legs – do they feel heavy or light? Warm or cool? Tingly or numb? Now include the sensations of your breathing, really relaxing as you breathe out.
This is a great way of anchoring yourself and you can do it any time, with your eyes open or closed, while sitting or even while walking around. Anchor yourself. Then breathe.
Once knowing that anxiety is controlled, we can continue with a simple Mindfulness technique to develop focus and stimulate the cognitive thinking.
- Take a small, plain object—a pebble would be ideal—and place it in front of you.
- Place your full visual attention on object for 30 seconds.
- Relax your focus, give your mind total freedom, and look away from the pebble for 30 seconds.
- Repeat step 2 and 3 for as many rounds as you like. When listening and talking to someone else, try to focus on content only, without worrying about your mistakes or vocabulary. Training mindfulness & active listening is also an important life skill. To help you memorize and turn your attention to the present moment, this is our last tip of today.
Wake up notes: Here’s how you use wake up notes:
- Get some regular post-it notes.
- Write the words “wake up” on them.
- Stick them around your home or workspace.
- Every time you see them take three conscious breaths.
Some of us have been doing at T&F and it has been amazing! Would ou like to try out? After practicing the techniques above for several times, share with us the results!