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Why do we often freeze up during public speaking?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
This response is called tonic immobility, and it's not be confused with the inability to walk out of a bar after a half-dozen cocktails. The response is common in animals that are avoiding other predators.

See, most animals will not eat meat that they didn't kill, so if you're caught and play dead, a predator will pass by. This same instinct is sometimes stimulated by our autopilot nervous system to make us feel like a Volkswagen in two feet of mud-completely stuck and paralyzed about spinning our wheels trying to get out of the situation.

The solution: Focus by speaking to one person during group talks, then move to another. We do that too.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.