Losing the ability to talk can feel like a daunting challenge. This can be especially true when people rely mostly on verbal communication to carry out their daily activities. Suddenly, being unable to speak or having limited speech in some way can make it tough to do the activities of daily living. Living in a world of constant verbal communication, most people are not making much effort to develop the quality of their inner voice. It’s important to realize that it is within you. Your inner voice could be your best companion in the darkest times, someone who can help you see the hidden meanings of life. One of the most interesting spiritual meanings of losing your voice is that it can mean that you are not being heard by the people around you. This could be because they don’t want to hear what you have to say, or because they are not listening when you do speak. This may be happening because the people around you are not listening because they don’t agree with what you’re saying. This suggests that there may be conflict between yourself and these individuals. Or perhaps it’s time for them to hear something new from you—something new from inside of yourself?
Spiritual Meaning Of Losing Voice
A loss of voice can also mean that the universe is trying to show you something about yourself or the people around you: what is important, why it’s important, or how important it is for someone else’s voice (or their opinion) to be heard by everyone else around them. When you lose your voice, it can feel like you have lost a part of yourself. The voice is the most powerful tool we have as humans. It is what we use to express ourselves and connect with other people. It is our most direct link between our thoughts and actions, and when we lose that connection, it can feel like we are losing control over ourselves. This feeling of loss can be painful, but it doesn’t have to mean that something bad has happened or will happen in your life—it just means that you now have the opportunity to change how you communicate with others so that you aren’t relying on words alone anymore. If you find yourself losing your voice, try engaging in some activities that allow you to use other senses besides hearing: look at works of art or listen to music; go for walks in nature; eat foods that smell good; touch new textures; write down things about yourself that are important but hard for others to understand from just listening to your voice alone (like what makes up your personality).
Losing your voice is a spiritual concept that originated in Christian churches. In general, it refers to being denied the right to speak your mind for a variety of reasons: the power-that-be may not want to hear your voice, you might not have something valid or timely to say, or you may be asked to remain silent as part of a punishment.
Losing Voice But Not Sick Remedy
We all know how important it is to communicate effectively, and — for many of us — it all starts with our voice. But, from noisy environments and bad cell service to that friend who’s really only paying attention to his phone, it’s easy for things to get lost in translation.
But, then there’s losing your voice, which can make being heard and understood feel impossible. I mean, clarifying, “I said no cheese — not, yes, please” is tough when you’re yell-whisphering at a drive-thru intercom that’s three feet away.
“While losing your voice typically isn’t a huge medical concern, it can be a significant nuisance to the person experiencing symptoms, especially if that person relies on his or her voice for work,” says Dr. Yin Yiu, ENT doctor specializing in laryngology at Houston Methodist. “In addition, frequent voice loss or sustained hoarseness can be a sign of a more serious medical condition.”
Why do we lose our voice?
You’re probably already familiar with the most common reasons for losing your voice. After days of post-nasal drip, sore throat and feeling like you’re hacking up a lung, it’s not really all that surprising that your throat is calling a time out (which your doctor is more formally calling laryngitis).
But, what about that time you lost your voice after shouting at a sporting event or belting out lyrics at a concert? It makes you wonder — what’s actually going on when we lose our voice?
“Regardless of whether it’s caused by illness or excessive use, laryngitis occurs when your vocal cords become inflamed,” explains Dr. Yiu. “This inflammation, or swelling, prevents your vocal cords from vibrating properly — which can lead to hoarseness and, ultimately, voice loss.”
Dr. Yiu says that hoarseness can also result from development of benign vocal cord lesions, such as cysts or polyps. In addition, hoarseness could be a symptom of vocal cord cancer or neurologic conditions like vocal cord paralysis or vocal tremor.
“These conditions aren’t as common, and affect the vocal cords in a different way than acute laryngitis, but they are less likely to resolve on their own and can only be diagnosed with a scope evaluation,” says Dr. Yiu.
Do some people lose their voice more easily than others?
Anyone can lose his or her voice, but some people are more prone to voice loss than others — particularly those who use their voice a lot.
“About 30% of the U.S. working population is considered professional voice users,” says Dr. Yiu. “The more obvious examples are performance voice users, such as singers and actors, but professional voice users also include people whose occupation requires they talk most of the day, such as clergy, teachers, lawyers and salespeople.”
Plus, vocal cord inflammation can be caused by more than just illness or excessive use. While less common, Dr. Yiu adds that you can also develop hoarseness due to:
- Inhaled irritants, such as chemicals, high levels of dust, molds and aerosols, fumes or vapors
- Sinonasal inflammation or infections, which can result in post-nasal drip
- Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPRD)
So, do people who lose their voice more easily need to be concerned?
“Frequent voice loss usually indicates an underlying vocal cord abnormality,” warns Dr. Yiu. “So, the concern is to determine why you’re losing your voice so frequently. If you’re losing your voice regularly or if your voice doesn’t return to normal after a few weeks, it’s time to consult a laryngologist (ENT voice specialist). He or she can investigate whether it’s a sign of a larger, more serious medical issue.”
Tips for getting your voice back
If you do lose your voice, you might be wondering how to get it back — quickly.
“The best thing you can do if you’ve lost your voice is to give it a rest,” says Dr. Yiu. “Your vocal cords contact eachother every time you speak, so limiting speaking also limits the chance of further aggravating the vocal cords.”
Dr. Yiu also recommends focusing on what’s called your vocal hygiene, which can include:
- Staying properly hydrated
- Using a personal humidifier
- Avoiding irritants, such as smoking, excessive caffeine or foods that induce reflux
“It’s second nature to listen to other people when they’re speaking, but we sometimes forget to listen to ourselves,” says Dr. Yiu. “Preventing voice loss really begins with listening to yourself. If you feel like you’re straining to speak, rest and give your vocal cords time to heal.”
Finding Your Lost Voice
This spirituality blog post is directed towards those who lost their voice or whose voice is really underdeveloped. For you, talking to others or speaking in front of people is very intimidating. It may be so bad that you find yourself a mute in certain situations. If it’s underdeveloped, a lot of the practice will be needed to find your comfort and to work out the issues that are constricting your vocal (and probably even written) expression. You don’t need to worry about talking about spirituality specifically. You simply need to practice talking.
When Your Voice Shutdown
For those dealing with wounds to their voice and their abilities to express themselves, you need to go back in time to when you felt like you still had your voice. This may be a little tricky because the voice can get squashed at an early age for some people. You may be feeling like you don’t remember ever having a voice. But even if you feel like you have to imagine being a baby when you could scream, wail, babble, giggle, and everything else, there is almost certainly a time when you had a strong voice. Then something happened.
In all likelihood, you probably absorbed someone else’s voice issue. If someone had been abusing their voice around you or towards you, you may have shutdown to protect yourself. People who yell and scream at others feel like they themselves have no voice. They are trying to be heard and recognized, but obviously, this isn’t being done deftly. It most likely is meeting with resistance or silence from their audience, and this may confuse the person more. They may think that they’re just expressing themselves, but they aren’t mindful at all of how they are doing it or how they are influencing others. One of the big things about retrieving your voice will require you to be mindful in how you bring it back. Otherwise you may perpetuate a similar cycle.
What You Have to Say Is Important
Part of a damaged voice often comes through a lack of self worth. You feel like you don’t have anything worthwhile to say. That’s just not true. You have many beautiful things to say, and you should offer them to the world and to others. Even if what you are saying is known to others, the value is in the practice of speaking, and for many friends and family, they genuinely do want to hear your expression. I may not be saying anything new about climate change or spirituality, but my friends genuinely want to hear my expression because they love me. Not talking doesn’t give my friends space to appreciate my voice, and it also diminishes the relationships.
No One Is Listening: The Importance of Spiritual Community Strikes Again
Well, you don’t have to talk to friends in a spiritual community at this point, although it helps. Any community that actively encourages you to talk and make mistakes without judgment is a helpful one. You could join a toastmasters group or sign up for a public speaking class. I am sure both will scare the fear right out of your vocal cords…eventually. The point is to be around a community that actively listens to you. Active listening is incredibly nourishing and encouraging. Active listening reflects the energy that you project from your voice. It creates a stronger bond that supports you. This type of community support further helps your healing and can allow you to own your voice more quickly and easily.
Your Voice and Intimacy
There are a wide variety of issues that can affect your voice. You may lose it in specific situations where an issue is activated in you. Perhaps you aren’t comfortable with your sexuality, so when you’re getting close to physical intimacy, it shuts down. Perhaps you aren’t comfortable with your heart, so when you’re getting close to being in love, you can’t talk to your partner. Whenever it shuts down, you have been given a clue as to what the underlying issue is, and you can use that clue to go back in your memories to find a time when that issue first ignited. Perhaps you were about to tell your very first boyfriend/girlfriend that you loved him or her, but that was the day that person broke up with you. So now, your voice immediately shuts off when you get close to someone still expecting to be hurt right at the edge of that space of connection. Bring your awareness to this issue, and then with your next partner, you can start talking about this beforehand. A loving partner actively listening to you can be immensely healing, and they can offer encouragement by understanding the issue at hand.
Voice Robbing and Traumatic Events
There are plenty of other really nasty things that happen to people that cause them to lose their voices. A violent crime coupled with intense shame can leave many people unable to explain what happened to them. In serious situations like that, you may have to find the perpetrator (in a safe space) to confront them and take back your voice. This would have to be done with a lot of support and preparation. If it’s not possible to do it with a perpetrator in a safe way, you may seek out others to set up the situation and allow you to relive it. This time you are able to use your voice. This is an intense thing to do, and you’ll need a very safe space with very strong people to be with you to relive a trauma. This is also assuming that talking about the situation hasn’t brought healing to you along the way. Talking in safe spaces is always the first part for finding your lost voice. You can even begin by talking to yourself at home. You may feel crazy, but you aren’t. You’re just learning to be with your voice and to take back what is yours.
Experiencing Your Voice Again for the First Time
Healing your voice is a powerful thing. It will shift the relationships around you. Where some people have been used to doing all the talking, they’ll have to learn to give space to your voice. True loving friends will do so, although they may be surprised that you have so much to say. It’s okay. Stick with it. It really is all right to express yourself because if you don’t, who else could possibly speak for you?
What Does The Throat Represent Spiritually
The throat chakra (also known as Vishuddha) is responsible for communication, self-expression, and the ability to speak your personal truth.
Reasons Why I keep losing my voice
Maybe you first notice something is wrong when your normally clear-as-a-bell voice gets a little bit husky. Pretty soon all that your friends can hear is a lot of croaking when you try to speak up. Too much singing in the shower, you wonder, or is something more serious to blame?
Check out these culprits that could explain why you’re hoarse.
When you speak, air passes through the voice box in your throat and hits the two bands called vocal cords. Your voice makes sounds when they vibrate.
A cold can throw a wrench into this smooth-running machine. Your throat gets inflamed and sore. Then your vocal cords swell, which affects the way they vibrate. The end result: You’re hoarse.
Rest your voice and drink plenty of fluids. Your volume will return when you recover.
You Use Your Voice Too Much
Each time you talk or sing, you use different muscles, including some in your mouth and throat. Just like other muscles in your body, overuse of the ones that help you speak can lead to fatigue, strain, and injury. The wrong technique can also bring on hoarseness.
Here are some common things that you may be doing wrong:
Speak, sing, yell, or cough too much
Use a pitch that’s higher or lower than normal when you talk
Cradle your phone between your head and shoulder
Cigarette smoke irritates your vocal cords, which can lead to long-term voice problems. Studies show that former and current smokers are about three times more likely to have a voice disorder than people who never smoke.
Smoking can also raise your risk of developing a small, noncancerous growth called a polyp on your vocal cords. It can cause your voice to become low, breathy, and hoarse.
When you think about allergies, you probably think of a runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing. But they can also take a toll on your voice in several ways:
An allergic reaction can cause your vocal cords to swell.
Postnasal drip — when mucus moves from your nose into your throat — can irritate your vocal cords.
Coughing and clearing your throat can strain your vocal cords.
Antihistamine drugs for allergies can dry out mucus in your throat. This may harm your vocal cords, which need moisture to work.
Learn ways you can allergy-proof your environment.
It’s an autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in your joints. About 1 in 3 people with RA get vocal problems, including a sore throat and loss of voice. That’s because the condition can affect tiny joints in your face and throat, which leads to problems with your breathing and the way your vocal cords work.
Trouble With Your Thyroid
This butterfly-shaped gland in your lower neck pumps out a hormone that controls a number of functions in your body. When your thyroid doesn’t make enough of it, one symptom you might have is a hoarse voice.
If you have a goiter — when your thyroid gets larger — you may cough a lot and have problems with your speech. A growth on the thyroid, or a nodule, can also affect the way you speak.
It’s a condition that makes stomach acid wash back up into the esophagus, a tube that leads into your throat. The main symptom is heartburn, but GERD can also weaken your voice.
Stomach acid can irritate your vocal cords, throat, and esophagus. This leads to a hoarse voice, wheezing, and too much mucus in your throat.
It’s not a disease, but a catch-all word that means you’ve lost your voice. If it happens suddenly, it’s called “acute” laryngitis. You can get it from a cold or overusing your voice.
You can get long-term laryngitis if you breathe in something irritating, like smoke or chemical fumes. It also develops if you get yeast infections of the vocal cords, which can happen if you use asthma inhalers or have problems with your immune system, the body’s defense against germs.
Nodules, Polyps, and Cysts
Although experts aren’t sure why, non-cancerous growths can appear on your vocal cords. They believe that heavy overuse of the voice, such as too much yelling or speaking, can be a cause. There are three types:
Nodules. These callus-like formations usually grow in the middle of the vocal cord. They tend to go away if you give your voice enough rest.
Polyps. These typically appear on one side of the vocal cord. They have a variety of sizes and shapes. Unlike nodules, they often need to be removed surgically.
Cysts. They’re fluid-filled or semi-solid masses of tissue that grow near or beneath the surface of your vocal cord. If they make serious changes to your voice, your doctor will likely recommend surgery to remove them.
Nervous System Diseases
A condition that affects your nerves, like Parkinson’s disease, can affect the muscles in your face and throat. Nearly 90% of people with Parkinson’s get some form of a speech or voice disorder.
Parkinson’s causes the parts of the brain that control movement and coordination to decline. This may mean that you’re no longer able to control the muscles needed for speech.
Long-term hoarseness or voice loss may be a sign of throat cancer. Other symptoms for the disease are:
Pain when swallowing
Pain in the ear
Lump in the neck
Get more information on throat cancer diagnosis and treatment.
If your voice problems last for more than 2 weeks, see a doctor.