The words you use can change your reality. Language actually generates changes in your brains and changes your perception of the environment around you.
Language is linked to emotions. Your words are constantly sending messages to your brain. According to neuroscientists Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman, negative words cause the increase of cortisol, the stress hormone. Therefore, adopting a negative attitude and using phrases like “I cannot do it”, “I will fail” or “it is impossible” could weaken your personal physical and mental health.
Nowadays, many techniques associated with changing the language to treat various psychological disorders are used. An example of this is the cognitive-behavioural therapy, which demonstrate that promoting positive thinking through the language used by the patient improves their mental state.
This therapy aims to replace patients’ negative views about themselves and their surroundings with more positive ones. The applied techniques have proven to be an effective treatment for disorders such as depression, phobias, addictions or anxiety, as the activity of the brain amygdala increases when you perceive a more prosperous future through positive words. On many occasions, these therapies have proved to be as effective as medicines.
Research has shown that the brain improves when you start using three to five positive expressions for each one negative. Language has a powerful ability to change your world. It affects you negatively when you use a poor, defeatist language but it also works the other way around, namely, when you use positive phrases they will help you change your perception of the world.
Start adopting a series of simple but very effective techniques. For example, use “yet” instead of using only “not”. Saying “I cannot do it” is not the same as saying “I cannot do it yet“. “Yet” leaves the doors open, arouses hope, evokes motivation.
You should not use “but” or, at least, you should build your phrases differently. “But” does not have the same effect when you say, “You did a good job, but you gave it to me late” compared to when you say, “You gave it to me late, but you did a good job.”
Tenses also give you a great opportunity to change your emotions. Instead of using the conditional, try using the future. You change a hypothetical scenario for a true one. It is not the same as saying: “When I write a book, I would speak of happiness” rather than “When I write a book, I will speak of happiness”. Doubt lives in the conditional, certainty in the future.
At the same time, you should avoid words like failure, problem, impossible or guilt in your language and replace them by more inspiring words like challenge or responsibility. The latter not only pushes you to grow and open more doors, but also makes you interact better with others.
Words are not harmless. They can build or tear down walls. By changing your language, you will improve your image, as language is a way to reach others. Remember that the words you use also improve the environment around you.