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Dr. Jessica Galano, speech-language pathologist, founder, and CEO of Open Lines Speech and Communication PC is partnering with the National Aphasia Association (NAA) to offer a specialized support group for individuals living with aphasia. This group will address the impact of stress and emotion on thinking, speaking, and swallowing. The group meets on the first Tuesday of each month at noon ET (9 a.m. PST).

Changes to a person’s cognition and communication skills, as well as their ability to swallow, have the potential to cause stress and anxiety, which is valid! What’s worse is that anticipating problems can cause even greater anxiety, which can worsen symptoms, such as difficulty paying attention or remembering information, organizing one’s thoughts, understanding, finding words, and swallowing. Further, this snowballing effect often causes a cascade of unexpected and undesired adaptations to daily living.

Stress, anxiety, and a wide range of emotions can significantly affect a person’s physical abilities and emotional well-being, especially when one has aphasia. Experiencing the frustrations that come along with having aphasia can also lead to feelings of isolation that further exacerbate the challenges a person with aphasia faces and may impact motivation, progress in therapy as well as overall well-being and quality of life. 

Building mindfulness practices and managing symptoms of stress, frustration, and anxiety is a central component of cultivating meaningful interactions in our lives, maximizing treatment gains and recovery outcomes, and living life with confidence, purpose, and joy. 

Dr. Galgano’s expertise draws from years of extensive clinical experience and collaboration with world-renowned academic institutions. The breadth of her clinical background has fostered a truly holistic approach that is care-focused and integrates the highest standards of evidence-based treatments to manage anxiety, panic, and worry with mindfulness based practices, coaching, and meditation to optimize health and wellbeing outcomes.  

Dr. Galgano emphasizes the critical need to appreciate the mind-body relationship in the presence of the many challenges that can arise with aphasia to optimize wellbeing. Our experiences—how we feel in our physical bodies, our identities, and our connection to the people and activities in our lives that matter most to us, may fluctuate as a result of our experience with aphasia. It’s important to cultivate a friendly practice of frequently checking-in with ourselves throughout the day to notice how we feel physically and emotionally.  

Stress can manifest in a myriad of ways in the body, including increased muscle tightness and strain, which can impact thinking, speaking, and swallowing. Feelings of emotional or physical tension, frustration, and anxiety also have neurological implications, as the regions of the brain responsible for processing emotions overlap with the same regions responsible for efficient and effective cognitive-communication. When we feel overwhelmed, these centers are flooded with hormones and neurochemical synapses which may hamper our efficient access to language skills during those moments. 

Stress and emotions may also impact our motivation and mood. They can affect physical aspects of communication, such as posture and movement, such as speech breathing, voice, and motor speech. Stress and emotions may also affect our desire to engage in social activities, such as connecting with loved ones or wanting to eat.  

Recognizing the crucial link between emotional health and other abilities, such as thinking, speaking, and eating, is at the heart of effecting positive, meaningful outcomes to help individuals and families reconnect with those parts of their lives that bring them joy and purpose. 

This support group aims to provide guidance and strategies that will increase awareness of the inextricable connections between emotional and physiological states as well as expand member’s coping repertoires from recognizing symptoms and impacts of stress to engaging practical solutions. 

The Impact of Stress and Emotion on Speech and Swallow meets the first Tuesday of the month at noon ET (9 a.m. PST). 

To register, please fill out this form HERE. 

For any questions about registration, email [email protected].

If you’re struggling with communication difficulties, it’s time to turn to Open Lines®. Contact us via phone (212-430-6800), email [email protected], or by filling out our convenient contact form. Improve your communication skills and unlock your potential with Open Lines® Speech and Communication in New York today!

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