While most of us do not think about the way we speak often, it has a serious impact on not only the people around us but ourselves as well. Of course, the world of researching this kind of thing is complicated but it is still quite clear that being overly negative can affect your brain itself.
In the book, Words Can Change Your Brain Andrew Newberg a neuroscientist and Mark Robert Waldman explained as detailed as they could how the things we say can and do affect our minds. They wrote that just one word could influence the expression of genes that regulate our stress on both a physical and emotional level, which is quite true. The more positive we are the less likely we are to be stressed.
“By holding a positive and optimistic [word] in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity. This area includes specific language centers that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action. And as our research has shown, the longer you concentrate on positive words, the more you begin t woo affect other areas of the brain. Functions in the parietal lobe start to change, which changes your perception of yourself and the people you interact with. A positive view of yourself will bias you toward seeing the good in others, whereas a negative self-image will include you toward suspicion and doubt. Over time the structure of your thalamus will also change in response to your conscious words, thoughts, and feelings, and we believe that the thalamic changes affect the way in which you perceive reality.”
A study from back in 2013 actually proved exactly as stated above. You see the language we use has the power to literally reshape the way we see the world and in that ‘change our brains.’ The outlook you have on life or your ‘dispositional attitude’ can make you either love life and the things around you or hate literally everything. Have you ever heard someone that made your stomach sink? This happens to us all at one point or another and while we don’t like to admit it, is proof that words are far more powerful than we tend to reveal.
Permitting negative concepts and words into your mind and allowing them to become thoughts you give power to will bring more fear and stress into your life. The more you use angry or negative words, in general, the more alarming the messages will be moving within your mind. If you overreact to something you’re going to end up freaking out but if you come at it with a logical mind, to begin with, everything will go over much more smoothly, right?
Through compassionate communication, we are able to create better bonds with those around us and align our brains to work more properly. If you have a positive or negative way of speaking eventually as time goes on changes within your thalamus will occur. The way you see the world around you will be altered. The words you use and the words you allow others to use around you can and will literally begin to filter the way you see things.
A study carried out by Positive Psychology took a large group of people ranging in age from 35-54 and asked them to write down three things every night that went through their minds during that day. Then from there also an explanation to that. Over the course of three months, they did this daily and noticed an increase in happiness. Even when they had stopped with the experiment these people still saw benefits to their moods ad they were reflecting on positive ideas and emotions because they had actually managed to ‘change their brains.’
You see, positive words really kick the motivational centers of our brains into gear. While it is something that can be taken too far, the more positive you are the better within reason. Being more on the optimistic side of things is not usually a bad idea.
Sharp Brains wrote as follows on the topic:
According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, one of the world’s leading researchers on happiness, if you want to develop lifelong satisfaction, you should regularly engage in positive thinking about yourself, share your happiest events with others, and savor every positive experience in your life. If you use your language – your inner dialogues and your conversations with others, words, your speech – to engage in optimism and positivity, you will find yourself moving in a more life-enhancing direction.
Can positive thinking be taken too far? Yes, especially if you engage in exaggeration. People may begin to distrust you because the overuse of extreme positive words in speech or writing can be a signal that you are being deceptive. This happens quite often in business communication and advertising, and it isn’t that the public has become more savvy. It’s a natural functioning of your brain, which is specifically designed to look for dishonesty in a person’s face or tone of voice. The solution to this communication problem is to be positive, but honest. You don’t have to oversell yourself, for if you truly believe in the product or service you are offering – if your words feel genuine to you, the other person will be able to intuit your authenticity from the nonverbal communication cues you give out.
We should all definitely be taking a little more time to think before we speak. The power of words is not something we can deny. What do you think about all of this?
Image via Booba and Calle