How to reduce stress and worry simply by minding your language!
As a writer, I love words. I love how they tell a story, inspire visions, evoke emotions... And in my coaching and therapy work, words are life changing.
One good question, one powerful observation, or one truth bomb can shift someone to another level of self-awareness, help them let go of years of pain or launch them into massive action.
Words have the power to create feelings of connection and safety, and they also have the power to create conflict and confusion.
I felt compelled to write about this now because of the highly negative and damaging messages we are being subjected to from the media.
The cost of living crisis. The petrol crisis. The energy crisis. The environmental disasters. The war. The instability of our lives in general and the fact we’re going to have the worst recession in 30 years…
The basic message being that we’re all doomed and you should panic and batten down the hatches and wait for the worst to be over.
But you can’t do that, because life goes on and you have to go to work and pay the mortgage and get the kids to school (when it’s actually open) and on top of that you’re wondering what your purpose is in life and where all this this is going…
By the way, notice how you feel as you read this…..
Words influence your emotions and physically change your biology. Words like “crisis”, “death”, “disaster” activate the fear centre in your brain (the amygdala). And these are the kind of words being used daily in the news.
In their book, Words Can Change Your Brain, Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman write “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”
“Angry words send alarm messages through the brain, and they partially shut down the logic-and-reasoning centers located in the frontal lobes,”
“On the flip side, positive words, such as “peace” and “love,” can alter the expression of genes, strengthening areas in our frontal lobes and promoting the brain’s cognitive functioning which in turn builds resiliency.”
Words can make you ill.
But they can also make you well.
This is why the placebo effect is so powerful. Because if I’m a doctor and I give you a pill that I tell you is 100% effective at curing your migraine. There is a high chance you won’t have another migraine. Estimates for the placebo cure range go from 15% to a staggering 72%!
Drug companies have to take placebo responses into account when looking at the effectiveness of their drugs. In recent years the gap between the effectiveness of drugs and the placebo response has been shrinking (testament to the shift in recent years towards harnessing the power of the mind? I hope so!)
Some well-known drugs for depression and anxiety would struggle to pass their clinical trials if they were re-tested now.
The mind is SO powerful that many allergies and auto immune disorders can be treated effectively with hypnosis.
"Your body hears everything your mind says". Anon
So now you know this powerful information how can you use it to help yourself feel better and build some immunity to the damaging negative messaging that’s all round you ?
Notice how the words you say or hear affect how you feel in your body. What triggers you? When do you notice a spike in stress levels? What are you reading or hearing when you feel worried or anxious? Where do you feel that in your body?
Aswell as activating your brain’s fear centre, negative words can also cause your muscles to weaken!
When you’re in a great mood, feeling energized and positive about your life and your future, what do you notice about the language you’re using? What are you choosing to read or listen to? How do you feel in your body?
I also encourage you to pay attention to what you say about other people or situations, because how you describe this becomes your worldview.
It’s important to develop a strong sense of self to build up immunity to negative outside influences.
Say better things to yourself
The most powerful words are the ones you say to yourself.
How would you describe your relationship with yourself? Are you a kind supportive friend or are you your own worst critic? What do you say about who you are, how you look and what you’re capable of?
Simply changing the way you talk to yourself can have a profound effect on your mental and physical wellbeing.
Say positive, kind words to yourself. Repeatedly. This is why mantras are good, and in hypnosis we use commanding words and repetition to wire in positive thoughts and habits.
A good test to do is ask yourself if you’d speak to your best friend that way. If the answer is NO, don’t do it!
"Talk to yourself like someone you love". Brenee Brown
Garbage in, garbage out
What you consume in your mind gets processed and churned out as thoughts, feelings and ultimately actions. Or lack of.
I want you to know that everything that comes out of the TV, radio and your device is planting suggestions in your mind.
When I tell people what I do they often tell me how fearful they are about being hypnotised, yet every you are being hypnotised by the media. It’s estimated that the average person is exposed to up to 10,000 hypnotic suggestions per day.
You do not need to watch the news. It’s not going to fix the world’s problems by knowing about them all.
Just because you may not be consciously focused on the TV, does not mean the messages are not going in. Your subconscious is always listening.
So take back control, switch off the news, mute the ads, watch uplifting programmes and limit time on social media.
You’ll feel much better for it.
I’m not telling you that your worries are unfounded or that you should pretend bad things aren’t happening in the world, but fixating on the bad stuff and allowing negative suggestions to fill your mind on a daily basis is not going to make anything better, and will definitely impact on your mental and physical wellbeing.
"Words are powerful. Use them wisely". Anon
If you want to transform the way you talk to yourself and overcome stress and anxiety, get in touch to find out how I use Rapid Transformational Therapy and Personal Coaching to help you make deep lasting change.