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10 Creative Ways To Comfort Without Speaking

10 Creative Ways To Comfort Without Speaking
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There are many ways people go through a tough time, whether it is depression, anxiety, grieving.

There are many reasons people just feel off. So what do you do to comfort them?

Here are 10 creative ways to comfort without speaking.

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1. Comfort Food

This could be anything you know that person loves to eat. I hate to say this but I LOVE sweets! When I’m feeling down and someone brings be a bag of crispy M&M’s, or they have a tub of Ben & Jerry’s American Dream… I cannot help but give them a smile. Now if it was reversed and I was trying to comfort my daughter? She loves homemade food! It can be buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy, tacos, cookies. Comfort foods were made for just that, comforting.

2. Hush the Mouth

I know that sounds harsh, because it probably is. If you are there to comfort your friend or loved one, then it’s not about you. Sometimes the best thing that you can do is be quiet and just sit there with them. This shows them that you have respect for them and that you really want to hear what they have to say; when they’re ready.

3. Patience

I know this one is hard to understand, let me explain it. Everyone goes through what is happening to them in their own time. If you were to show up huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf and it were me? I wouldn’t open up to you either. I get it, after a year and they are still moping around? Tough love might be good for them. If you show up two weeks after the incident and they are still laying on the couch and you want to be supportive? Suck it up buttercup you’re there for them remember?

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4. Hugs

Hugs are a great way to show comfort. I LOVE HUGS! This article from The Huffington Post by: Lindsay Homes, 7 Reasons Why We Should Be Giving More Hugs is a great example of why we should give out hugs as a silent comfort!

5. Warm Drinks

Sometimes it’s nice to be around people in a coffee shop. No one is talking to you but everyone is enjoying a warm drink (unless it’s summer). Examples of this are coffee, teas and cocoas. Does someone you know have the winter blues? How about mixing these tips and bringing them a basket with cookies AND their favorite type of coffee or cocoa? During the winter, one of the most comforting things for me is when it’s snowing outside to have a cup of coffee or tea in my hands. For my kids I make them cocoa, boil the water fill it up 1/4 to 1/2 the way, stir in the cocoa, then fill the rest of the way with milk. This makes it just warm enough to warm them up from playing in the snow, but not hot enough to scald their mouth.

6. Surprise Gifts

There is no need to say anything when you walk up to someone and leave them a basket of their favorite things. One example; your girlfriend just had a horrible break-up. What do you give someone for that? If it’s one of my buddies, I would throw together a basket with their favorite coffee, some creamer, different sweets, and a snuggly blanket, and a comedy (or a chick flick if they’re into that). No words needed.

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7. Charlie Chapman Style

Have you ever tried to be a mime? I’m not very good at it because I look like a frustrated ostrich. If my loved one is laughing and not crying? Mission accomplished! For my daughter, sometimes when she has had a bad day at school and she has a temper tantrum and isn’t intentionally trying to take it out on someone, I will show her what she looks like while doing it. Usually I get a laugh and a then she is okay, no it doesn’t always work. When I throw some humor on it and she starts laughing I know I’ve done something right.

8. Music

Music has always had a way to sooth the soul or the person for that matter. If you know the person that needs comfort and what they like for music, then it is almost as good as giving them a hug!

9. Get them out of the house

You don’t have to say anything when you get them out of the house. Go hop in the car throw their favorite tunes on and just drive. Sometimes this is what really does the trick for me.

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10. Just be there

I know that this sounds crazy, but sometimes if you just sit there and let someone know that you’re there it makes all of the difference in the world. I’m not someone who opens up easily. I can sit there and listen to your stories all day. It takes a really good friend to just sit there with me, not lecturing me, not saying anything, to get me to open up and let them comfort me.

There are so many other ways to comfort people through whatever type of time they are going through, these are just some of the basics and I hope that they bring you and your loved ones some comfort.

Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via pexels.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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