You want to speak up and take a stand. Your boss says something you disagree with, or your romantic partner keeps interrupting you. Someone at your family dinner is talking politics, and you disagree. A kid is getting bullied on the train, and you act as a bystander. Then you come home and watch the news.
If you've struggled with finding your voice, one way to become more confident speaking up is through opening up your Vishuddha chakra, which is located in the throat. This chakra (or energetic channel, of which there are seven total throughout the human body) governs our speech, how we choose to express ourselves, and the language we choose to converse in. By unlocking this chakra, you will be better able to speak up for what you believe in because you'll be more connected to your own authentic voice and self-expression.
Here are four practices you can use to open up your Vishuddha chakra, also known as the fifth chakra, to help you speak up:
- Inhale deeply through your nose.
- Seal your lips and hum.
- Practice this for 11 exhales or until the jaw loosens.
2. Positive mantra breathwork with the words "Speak up"
"According to cognitive neuroscientists, 95 percent of brain activity is beyond our conscious awareness," writes psychology and wellness expert Tchiki Davis, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Speaking out loud supports our learning process and encourages the subconscious to hear our wishes and desires. Use this mantra practice when you're trying to inspire yourself to speak up.
How to do it:
- Exhale while saying aloud the word "speak."
- Inhale while saying aloud the word "up." (You will notice this sounds like a sip of air.)
- Repeat until you have the confidence to voice your opinion.
3. Swearing stream of conscious
Swearing—yes, as in using profane language—is one way we accent our language. It is also used when we want to attract higher attention to our feelings on a certain matter. For those who swear sparingly, these cuss words activate the fight-or-flight instinct, which leads to increased adrenaline and can be helpful in a situation where you feel your voice must be heard.
How to do it:
- Make sure you're in a safe space for releasing some profanities. If you can't do it where you are, move to a single-occupancy bathroom or another place where you're alone and can practice this meditation.
- Inhale and think of the curse words brimming within that you want to let out.
- Exhale and speak them out loud.
Singing is a healthy practice that is also linked to happiness and increased self-expression. Through opening the throat with song, we exercise the fifth chakra and its ability to make noise. Songs also allow us to reach for words that resonate with us when we can't find words of our own to express what's within.
How to do it:
- Pick your favorite song, perhaps a song that speaks to how you're feeling.
- Belt it at the top of your lungs.
Keep these tools in your arsenal for whenever you need them.
These practices are here to help you take a stand and stand up for what's right by using your voice. You can use them just before you're heading out to an event or difficult conversation where you'll need to be able to speak with strength and confidence. Or the next time your throat tightens after you see something terrible happen or after you're interrupted or made to feel uncomfortable, take a step back and practice one of these chakra unlockers. Then speak.
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