Words are powerful.
We know that because we have seen the look on people’s faces when we have unleashed our anger or sarcasm on them. When my four-year old granddaughter comes out of pre-K with a sad face I can be sure that someone said something that hurt her feelings. And as she describes her day, sure enough, the incident of words is revealed.
We know how powerful words are when we our minds conduct a negative speak conversation with us. How many times have you sent yourself down the black hole of despair by telling yourself that “you will never amount to anything” or that “nothing ever goes right for me” or “I just can’t catch a break” or one of the worst culprits “who do you think you are trying to ….”?
So besides the obvious – stop doing those things and eliminate all that negative talk from your vocabulary – I would also like to suggest eliminating another word from your vocabulary that keeps your anxiety high. The word is ‘stressful’. Instead of describing a situation as stressful use more positive and equally powerful words like ‘challenging’ or ‘difficult’.
According to Scott Sheperd, Ph.D and author of Who’s In Charge? Attacking the Stress Myth, “describing a situation as “difficult” or “challenging” instead of “stressful,” will open you up to more options for taking action, rather than making stress an immutable fact of life”. He goes on to say that by using these words you feel you have some control and power over what is happening to you.
For the next week I am going to do my own experiment and see what happens to my emotional state when I stop using the word ‘stressful’ to describe situations. I’m also going to stop any negative self talk as well. And while I’m challenging myself I will commit to no angry or sarcastic outbreaks unleashed on the world as well! Anyone care to join me in this experiment?
How we talk can actually create that time for ourselves that we all crave by providing a context of relaxing words flowing into and out of our minds and mouths.