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Don’t Take Your Voice For Granted

Written by: Katarina Hornakova, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

If you have never had a voice problem, you most likely never gave your voice any thought. You probably don’t know much about voice care beyond “drink water” or “don’t yell”.


If you have ever had a minor vocal issue, such as a hoarse voice due to a common cold or flu that resolved itself within a short period of time, you gave your voice a little bit of attention. You drank some tea with honey, rested your voice, or took some throat lozenges or syrup to soothe your throat. As soon as your voice problem was resolved, you very quickly forgot that you have a voice.

If you have ever had to deal with a long standing voice problem or are dealing with a voice problem right now, you know the value of your voice very well. You realize that you use your voice every single day for many different tasks, from work, to talking to your friends and family after work, from taking phone calls and communicating with your colleagues, to reading books to your kids, ordering food or even singing. And when the voice is not working as it should, these tasks seem challenging or impossible. Things that others take for granted are suddenly out of reach.


It is NOT your fault if you don’t recognize the value of your voice. Nobody teaches us about our voices. The closest thing that anyone teaches us about voice is an “inside voice vs. outside voice” in kindergarten classes. But we usually tell the kids to use their inside voice because they are loud and annoying, not because it’s good for their voice.


Why Should We Pay Attention To Our Voices?


If you are using your voice for work, then you are considered a voice professional. Some voice professionals have very high demands on their voices, people like teachers, preachers, singers, speakers, actors, fitness instructors, sales people, and many more. These professionals are prone to vocal issues because they are vocal athletes. If they don’t know how to take care of their voices, one day they may find themselves without a job.


Many people in other occupations also rely on their voices for work. And they also use their voice outside of work for hobbies or just simple communication with family and friends. What would you do, if you could not use your voice for these simple daily tasks?


Thre tips to start giving your voice the attention and care it needs:


Tip No.1 Learn About Your Voice

You don’t need to study anatomy or dive deep into vocal physiology. Just learn some basic voice care principles. Know when you are having a good voice day and when your voice is tired. Be curious about your own voice. How does it work? Why do you sound the way you sound? Play with your voice to get more familiar with it.


Tip No.2 Keep It In Good Shape

If you are a voice professional with high demands on your voice, learn how to keep your voice healthy. The absolute minimum is good hydration and a few vocal breaks throughout the day. Do something for your voice every day: vocal exercise, breathing exercise, mindfulness practice or massage. Check in with your voice regularly. How does it feel? As we get older, our voices get weaker. Doing simple exercises can prevent vocal troubles and keep those muscles in the voice box strong.


Tip No.3 Don’t Wait

If your gut is telling you that your voice does not feel right, then talk to someone. Ask questions. Get help. There is no shame in having a vocal problem. It is not your fault, just as it is not your fault when you get an ear ache or sprain your ankle. If your ear or foot hurt, you go and seek help. Do the same for your voice.


Follow Katarina on her Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and visit her website for more info.


 

Katarina Hornakova, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Katarina Hornakova is a licensed speech-language pathologist, vocal health coach and educator with 20+ years of experience working with diverse groups of people from all corners of the world, including speakers, singers, musicians, teachers, presenters, voice over actors, entrepreneurs, yoga instructors, health educators, and others. She has published several books and articles on speech, language and voice disorders. Katarina is most passionate about helping people who experience vocal tension, strain or even pain when speaking, find more vocal ease and confidence to share their message with the people around them. Her mission is to give voice to those who have lost it. She continues to develop her deep fascination with the human voice through the Estill Voice System model, which formed her belief that “every voice is beautiful”. Katarina has helped hundreds of people discover their true vocal potential. She is a curious life-long learner herself who loves to meet new people, cook, and travel.

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