Have you taken time to notice how you speak, and the words you use when you do so? Have you witnessed how someone’s face lights up when you offer them a thank you or a compliment? Or how someone’s posture changes if you are critical or careless with your words? We have a choice in how we use words every time we open our mouths. The Power of words can change the course of anyone’s day.
In this age of infrequent face-to-face communication and the predominance of email and texting, it is easy to be misunderstood. I have realized that it is imperative to reread emails before hitting send. I often read them out loud to myself to make sure I am getting my point across in the intended way. However, I have on more than one occasion been unclear or insensitive and hit the send key too quickly. It is critical to be more cautious with email – once you transmit it, there is no turning back.
I remember reading a book in my 20’s that used a term called “hostile humour.” It spoke about how we make not so nice comments to someone under the disguise of using humour. It basically pointed out that we often poke fun at someone when it is really a jab or an insult. We do this when we don’t have the courage to say what we really mean. If we are upset, it might be a passively aggressive way of getting back at them. I would suggest if what you are going to say is not the truth or is in any way hurtful, to bite your lip for the moment. Take a step back and carefully choose your words. If you are angry, find a time to share your thoughts and feelings when the emotion has settled down. Expressing ourselves in a grounded, loving manner is far more effective. (And a much more effective use of words)
The words we use are spoken both externally and internally. Externally we may habitually repeat many statements and phrases without realizing what we are really saying. For example:
- I am too old for this.
- I can’t afford to.
- I can’t begin an exercise program or lose weight until the children leave home.
- I will eat better when I have more time.
- I’ll do that when I retire.
Being aware of what we are saying is the first step in creating a positive inner reality – which is eventually reflected in the outer reality. If we continually repeat the same phrase while trying to make a positive change – it will never happen. Take some time to notice the kinds of words or phrases you are using today. Are they positive and uplifting, and do they feel good when you repeat them?
Internally we may have repetitive thought patterns and words we use mindlessly – and often against ourselves. When you talk to yourself are you saying: “Wow, I did a really good job today. I am so skilled!” Or is it more like this: “I’m so stupid, I’m not good at anything. I never do anything right.” Do you look in the mirror in the morning and say: “I look great today? I look healthy and happy and fit.” Or are you saying: “Oh my, look at that belly and all those wrinkles around my eyes. I hate my body.”
When I work with someone on weight management, I have found it is key to look at word usage: the internal dialogue. We can try all the diets in the world, but if we are repeating negative words internally we are not getting anywhere. It is counterproductive to the goals we have – we are sabotaging ourselves without realizing it.
Did you know the cells of the body are conscious and hear very clearly what we say and then they respond accordingly (to what is said both internally and externally). Here is an example: If you have ever eaten a meal with me I will often suggest when myself or someone feels guilty about ordering something less than healthy: “Tell your body its broccoli.” If we tell ourselves we will gain weight eating something, we will. That is the power of words hard at work. Eat in moderation and enjoy it – tell your body you are nourishing and keeping it healthy with what you are eating. Awareness is also critical in changing any patterns we have developed with our choice of words. Beginning to notice them, and then catching the negative words in the mind, and rephrasing them on the spot is the best way to effect change immediately. A mental image is often helpful when observing the negative thought again. For example, clearly imagine that you are switching to a different radio station, or that you have a big eraser, or that you are hitting the delete or backspace key when you notice you have uttered a negative thought. Having a simple method like this can help catch those words or phrases and quickly switch them to something more positive. A positive thought is a 1000 times more powerful than a negative statement and it cancels it out right away.
And take some time to notice the words you use to begin your day. Are you excited about the day? Are you dreading work? Do you know that how you start the day will affect the ENTIRE day? Try taking a few moments before you jump out of bed to pause. Take the time to visualize your day, what you would like to see in your day, how you would like the events to unfold, how you will act or speak. Aware and mindful – we can make the day a fabulous one! Try it for a few mornings – you’ll be hooked. It is exciting and empowering.
Here is an example: begin the day with these words… “I create my day…” Allow your words to create and guide your day right from the start. Use creative colourful delicious words that make you feel great. Use them to create the life of your dreams!
Wishing you an abundant August filled with much love and adventure. As always – I am here to support you in this life journey and always love your feedback. See you soon!