“What a nightmare!” That was one of my favourite sayings for a long time (I even passed it on to my Mum!). Alongside, ”This is disastrous, horrific, horrendous.” “My day was just horrid”. This was the language I used to use on a daily basis, until I stumbled upon today’s work on positive speech. Everything in my language was dramatic and exaggerated. To be fair, there really had been a few nightmares, but these were now over; and there genuinely were many an horrific day – but this language had stuck and I was now using it inappropriately, frequently and to my own detriment.
It has been proven that positive words promote positive feelings, which in turn promote positive action. All of which aid improving well-being and increase happiness. Using negative language, including the word “No” (see our further research) has been shown to stimulate a particular part of the brain associated with negative emotions, motivating us to withdraw. Conversely, positive language stimulates a different area propelling the motivational centres of the brain into action.
So choose your words wisely. Try to consciously select the words you use to describe your emotional states. This will allow you to interrupt the brain’s propensity to be negative and you will most likely feel better. Instead of “angry” maybe try “peeved” (that word itself makes me smile!). For “worried” try substituting “concerned”. Or how about every time you say “I have to” or “I need to” using the words “I get to”. At first this one made me laugh, but today laid up in bed I’d be happy to say “I get to go to work” instead of “I have to go to work”!
Also look at how you CHOOSE to talk, and what you place attention on. Going back to Day 3’s Happynesshub Hint, Positive Focus, when I speak to my mum tonight there are two versions of my day I can recount:
“I felt so ill all day Mum. The antibiotics haven’t kicked in fully. My emails went down regularly and it was just a horrid day.”
“I am feeling better than yesterday Mum and the antibiotics have just started working. I had some lovely feedback from the Happynesshubbers about how the work is helping them, and I think I am going in the right direction.”
Neither story is untrue, it is where I choose to focus and what language I choose to use. But which conversation is likely to leave me feeling better?
So whether you are chatting with a colleague, in conversation with a loved one, or talking with your toddlers, observe your words today.
Have a positively articulate day!
Please click here for further research on Positive Speech.