Posted by: Jo Banks
The words we use are incredibly powerful, directly affect our thoughts and emotions, and ultimately affect our behaviour and so the spiral begins.
With this in mind think about the strong emotions that you often experience and the words you are using to describe them. Do you use strong words such as angry, livid, devastated, nightmare to describe how you're feeling and how do those words make you feel?
Instead of using such strong emotional words e.g. "I'm really angry about that" try changing the word to something less emotional e.g. "I'm a bit irritated about that". We can only experience a feeling if we actually use the word that describes it, therefore, if we don't use the word 'angry' we are not likely to experience the feelings of being angry.
If it sounds a little farfetched to you, try making a list of the stronger words that you use habitually and substitute them for something that is less emotive. Get into the habit of using those new words and see what an effect they have on your general wellbeing.
SPEAK ONLY IN POSITIVE TERMS
Our brains literally do not recognise the word 'don't' and therefore, it is important to state your intentions in the positive e.g. if you tell a child, "Mind you don't trip" their brain will not register the 'don't' and they are likely to trip. Similarly, if you tell yourself, 'don't' do something your brain simply will not 'hear' the 'don't' and will deliver whatever it is you have asked for. For example, if you say to yourself, "Don't forget to..." you are much more likely to forget.
What you need to do, is state things in the positive and remove the word 'don't' e.g. instead of telling your child, "Be careful you don't trip" say, "Walk carefully" or instead of, "Don't forget to..." say, "Remember to...." We get what we think about, so stating intent in positive terms is important.
Also start to notice and pay attention to the language of the people around you. Do they use negative or strong, inappropriate language (and I am not just talking about swearing here) to describe how they are feeling? The more time we spend with others, the more we tend to adopt their language patterns subconsciously, so make sure that you consciously choose your language and only adopt other peoples' language if it serves you.
If you decide to try these techniques I'd be very interested in hearing what happens, contact me with your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.