Video: Paraverbal language– how to calm yourself

In a high-stress pandemic, paying attention to these three things might help bring peace to you and/or to others. These are:

  1. Tone: quality and pitch of your speech
  2. Volume: loudness or intensity of speech
  3. Cadence: the rhythm or rate of speech

These three things make up what is known as paraverbal language. Here is a video I made last week about it:

The takeaway here is that the way you speak can make both the sender and receiver of communication feel either safe or stressed. Yes, how we say something is just as, if not more important, as what we say.

Most people are stressed right now. Sick, sad, fearful, afraid, overwhelmed, exhausted, mad, annoyed, disappointed, frustrated, trapped, uncertain. On top of that, these emotions are probably ever-changing. Whatever we are feeling is valid. We’re each responding differently, partly because we’re each affected and impacted differently.

If you’re not in an emotional place to pay attention to your paraverbal language, I hope and pray others can use their paraverbal language to care for and support you. But if you are in a space to pay attention, I really encourage you to try. It could make a difference in our family’s life, in the lives of the people we are virtually in contact with, and in the world. Anxiety is contagious, so also is calm. Sending love, warmth and inspiration to pause, and speak slower and softer.

Feature Image: My emotions have oscillated a ton in the past couple weeks. And on this particular evening, I felt grounded; and then made this video.

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