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How Word Choices Transform Your Mind

How Word Choices Transform Your Mind

The way we speak has powerful impact on our ability to be successful and happy yet few of us are intentional with our choice of words. Studies have shown that use of negative words like “no” can actually change the release of hormones and neurotransmitters  to ones that damage key structures that regulate your memory, feelings, and emotions.  Changing the way we speak to ourselves and to others through making better word choices can impact our optimism and improve the willingness of others to hear what we are saying.

Here are a few tips on how to make your language work for you.

“The words you speak become the house you live in.” – Hafiz

The most powerful word in your vocabulary…YET.

Often we make statements like “I can’t speak French” or “I don’t know how to lose weight” but by adding one little word, yet, to the end of each sentence you change the sentiment from something you cannot do to something you aspire to do. Your brain recognizes the subtle difference between a hopeless statement and one that suggests that at a future time it will happen. Whenever you start something new, remember this helper word to make sentences stronger and more hopeful. For example, “I don’t know anything about economics yet” or “I haven’t run a marathon yet.”

Take BUSY out of your life.

The word busy has certainly become a buzzword of this generation. We aspire to be busy as though it proves that we are doing important things and not wasting our lives. Busy implies doing a lot or even struggling to complete all that needs to be done. I suggest replacing busy with productive or full. This simple switch empowers you to have a results that you control without implied turbulence. Getting the hurry gone and slowing down mentally actually makes us more effective at multitasking. Don’t have busy days — have productive days!

No more SHOULDs.

The word should doesn’t imply a positive action. It gives external focus as to why you are doing what you are doing. If you want to act from a place of personal strength the impetus needs to come from within. Replacing your shoulds with get to, going to, or can creates a much stronger statement of intention. For example, don’t say you should be studying but that you are going to study. Thinking really carefully about the source of the should is a great exercise. It might be our peers, our parents, our culture or religion that has caused us to think we should do something. If that should doesn’t align with what we really want then is it actually something we want to do?

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No more I’ll TRY.

Yoda had it right when he said “Do or do not. There is no try.” Try implies that you probably won’t do it or be successful. Take try right out of your vocab to adopt a more positive and powerful mindset. If you intend to do something, do it. If you have no intention of doing something then own that. By speaking your truth you align with your inner-self and actually start to recognize more clearly what you want to do in your life.

Start talking positively (aka no more negative)

When you move towards what you want rather than away from what you want, you speak with a much more powerful voice. Instead of saying “I have to stop dating losers” say ” I will date people who bring out my best”. Instead of saying ” Stop arguing with your brother” say “I would love to hear you speak kindly to one another.”

It’s not just what you say but how you say it.

There has been a ton of research about how power postures and body language affect your ability to be heard successfully. Here are a few quick tips on how to speak once you have made your word choices:

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1. Make eye contact when you speak.

2. Shoulders back.

3. Hands on hips or at your side.

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4. Legs hip distance apart.

5. If seated sit forward with arms and legs uncrossed.

6. Use adequate volume to display authority without being loud.

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Spending just a bit of time tweaking the way you speak can improve communication at work, at home, and in your personal relationships. Take charge of your word choices to transform your mind.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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