Are you aware just how much impact the words you use on a daily basis have on your mood and your life in general?
Have you noticed the type of language you use? Not just verbally, but within your inner thoughts as well?
Language is a very powerful tool when it comes to mood control—both for ourselves and for those around us. It really can make the difference between a happy day and a stressful day, and below, I’ll give you some examples at to why this is.
As with many things, the first step is awareness; most people are blissfully unaware of how they speak, both internally and externally, so make a start by paying extra attention to what you’re saying both mentally, and aloud. Consider whether you’re using positive language or negative language. Are you really aware of exactly what you’re saying and how you’re phrasing your words?
I’ve spent some time studying quantum linguistics, and there are a few common phrases that people use without realising just how negative they are. And when we think negatively, guess what? The negative thoughts spiral into negative actions, which then tun into real-life situations and problems. If we can nip those negative thoughts in the bud, we can save ourselves a whole lot of pain in the long run.
Here are 7 useless phrases to leave behind, and 7 useful phrases to start saying so you can start using language to your advantage!
7 Things to Avoid Saying
1. “I can’t…”
“Can’t” is a debilitating word that puts up a barrier between you and your goals—it’s like you’ve almost failed before you’ve begun. Someone very wise once said to me that there’s no such word as “can’t”. That’s a great way to look at things; give yourself a chance for success by ditching the word completely.
2. “I’ll try”
Have you ever “tried” to stand up. Try it now. Try to stand up. Did you do it? No, because it’s not possible to “try” and do something. When we say “I’ll try”, what we’re really saying is that we’re not ready to commit. As Yoda from Star Wars once said: “Do or do not. There is no try.”
3. “I wish I didn’t have to…”
Otherwise known as moaning. No one likes to listen to someone groan on, and plus, it’s pointless to do so. If you don’t like something, then take action and change your situation. Otherwise, you might as well get on with life with a smile on your face!
4. “I should…”
The word “should” is inherently negative. “Should” implies a lose: lose situation and it’s just not conducive to positive outcomes in life. It’s a form of criticism, and it’s best left out of your everyday language. Instead of beating yourself up for what you should have done, focus on what you have the power to change.
5. “I need…”
How often do you proclaim a “need” for something, versus how often you genuinely need it? The word “need” creates an unhealthy dependency. The next time you hear yourself say this, have a re-think to determine if you really need what you’re talking about. If you don’t, then let go and minimize any negativity.
6. Pessimistic greetings like “Not bad” or “could be worse.”
I hear this all the time! So many people feel the need to buy into these common phrases without even thinking about what they are saying. They are so negative! Why not say something positive, or at least be honest? (There’s nothing worse than saying you’re “great” all the time if that’s not how you really feel.)
The word “never” creates immediate restrictions on your life, and when we say that word, it’s very rarely an accurate reflection of the choices that are available to us. It closes our mind to solutions and creates unnecessary limits. Decide today to never say never again!
7 Things to Start Saying
Entrepreneur Richard Branson claims that making a conscious decision to say “yes” to more things is one of his secrets for success. Next time your natural instinct is to say no, try saying yes instead. Open your mind to a whole new world of possibilities and watch as your life suddenly becomes much more interesting.
2. “I’m lucky / grateful…”
It’s been proven that gratitude can relieve symptoms of depression and unhappiness. Before I go to sleep, I like to remind myself of 3 things each day that I’m grateful for, or lucky to have in my life. This is a nice way to go to bed with positive thoughts instead of being kept awake by worries or fears.
3. “I Will.”
This is a great replacement for “I’ll try”. Consider for a moment how much more powerful the words “I will” are, compared to “I’ll try”. By saying “I will”, you’re really committing to something and your goals suddenly feel possible. Don’t worry too much about whether you actually reach the goals or not—this is about you setting yourself up for success, not failure.
4. “What if?”
This is a great alternative to words like “never” or “impossible”. Instead of limiting us, the phrase “what if?” creates possibility. It encourages solution-oriented thinking, which helps us to solve problems. The next time you feel as though a situation is hopeless, try asking yourself “what if?” and see what solutions pop up.
5. Positive Greetings such as “I’m well.”
Instead of saying “not bad” or “could be worse” when someone asks you how you are, try a simple “I’m well, thankyou” instead. Alternately, if you’re not having a great day, be honest but with a positive spin—“I’m not having the best day but I’m sure tomorrow will be better.”
6. Positive instructions such as “Remember to…”
If I said to you “Don’t think about a pink elephant” right now what did you just think of? A pink elephant, right? So we’re actually thinking about the very thing we want to avoid. This can be really dangerous when we use instructions such as “don’t forget to pay the bills today” because all our brain hears is “forget to pay the bills!” If we flip our language so it’s positive, however, we get much better results. If you want to remember something, then tell yourself just that, instead of what you don’t want to do.
7. “Things could be worse…”
The next time you find yourself in a challenging situation, try re-framing your problem by comparing it to something worse. This is a great way to minimise the size of your problems. When we put things into context, we can gain perspective and suddenly our problems don’t feel as bad.