How we speak to ourselves and others becomes second nature to us. But if we really pay attention to our words (said both out loud and in our heads) we may be surprised.
According to neuroscience, when we use positive words we increase cognitive reasoning and strengthen our brain’s functions. However, when we use negative words, we increase activity in the amygdala which is the brain’s ‘fear’ centre. This causes stress hormones to flood our system.
So, by using positive words instead of negative words we can improve our logic and reasoning and decrease our stress levels; benefitting our physical and emotional health.
Notice the language you use
Start noticing the words you use to talk to yourself and to others. Maybe even carry a notepad and write them down whenever you remember. Do you call yourself an idiot? Do you say “I can’t do this”? When someone asks how you are do you reply with “not bad”? Catch yourself every time you speak to yourself in your head or when you speak to others with a negative word or phrase and jot it down.
You may be surprised about how negative you are being. See if you can pick up any words or phrases you use regularly. Then make a note of them and write down some alternatives you can use instead. Below are some examples:
Create your own dictionary or words and learn to replace your negative ‘favourites’ with more positive versions.
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