Podcast Episode #25 – How to use your voice effectively! Part 2
Access Your Complete Voice
Many people live life using a sub-optimal voice. What do I mean by that? Well, just because you can speak doesn’t mean you access your complete voice when you do. Most often, the sound coming out is thin, pressed and limited.
The voice many of us use daily to express ourselves is a mere shadow of what’s possible. In fact, it’s a drastically reduced version of how a voice could sound. And it uses only a fraction of our available vocal potential.
As baby’s this isn’t the case. We access the full spectrum of our voice, and we use it! Our voice rings out of us in complete colour, freely. As we grow up, however, we learn to limit our voice. We modify how we sound to suit those around us and the expectations of our society. Essentially, we tone our voice down to fit in. We reduce ourselves in order to be acceptable. And although these decisions may be made unconsciously, they have a very tangible impact on our physical body, and on our voice in the long term.
We Learn to Limit Our Voice
Imagine for a moment that you are a beautiful house containing many diverse rooms. As a baby, the doors to each room were open, and your voice flowed freely throughout the entire space available to it. It was unlimited. And this was evident in the complete spectrum of sound you made. But, as you aged in order to fit in, you closed some doors. Your voice could no longer access the complete space available to it. Instead, it was only allowed into certain rooms. And overtime it was shaped by the colour, size and atmosphere of these rooms. It became calcified by them. And you began to identify with this voice as being your true voice. The other rooms were forgotten. But what if I told you that in order to access your complete voice, just like you did as a baby, you need to open up. You need access to all the space available within.
Your voice operates through your body. It’s not a separate entity existing outside you, and it is not something happening in your throat alone. Vocal production happens through a chain reaction involving your brain, nervous system, respiratory system, and articulation system. If something is blocked, restricted or under tension in any of these areas, then your voice is affected. It becomes limited are you are unable to express yourself as you want to.
Tension Blocks Your Free Expression
For example, if you have a bad postural habit in one part of your body, the rest of your body will compensate for this. Unfortunately, your breathing system will be affected. You won’t be able to breathe as freely as possible due to the physical tension you carry. Because your voice functions through breath, it will be affected, and won’t come out freely.
Likewise, if you clench your jaw the tension that builds up overtime will impact your neck, shoulders and the rest of your articulation system. Because of this your voice will be affected. You may experience this already as hoarseness or burning sensations when you speak. In the same vein, if you hold a disempowering belief about how you sound in certain situations, a neurological process will be set in place that shuts your voice down. Why? Because your brain wants to protect you and your nervous system reacts accordingly.
How Can You Access Your Complete Voice?
First, you need to unlearn a lot of disempowering habits held in your mind and body. You can begin this process by learning to use your voice more effectively. What does this mean? Well, it means understanding how your voice works on a mechanical level, doing specific exercises to help reduce bodily tension, re-opening doors to rooms you may have closed, and learning to allow your voice out in any situation.
In the podcast episode below I share some of my favourite exercises with you for reducing jaw tension and increasing awareness of the resonance spaces in your head. These are two foundation steps on the pathway to being able to access your complete voice.
Try the exercises I share each day for the next two weeks and see what effect they have on your voice and on how you feel.
Show Notes – How to use your voice:
- 2:28 – What are your vocal cords?
- 3:50 – 1st exercise: How to release tension
- 5:43 – 2nd exercise: How to release tension
- 7:10 – How to relax your lips
- 8:15 – 3rd exercise: Warm up your vocal cords
- 9:05 – What is resonance?
- 9:30 – 4th exercise: Using resonance