If you want to recover well and improve your life, what you say may be the key.
Right now, you are talking to yourself. In fact, it is nearly impossible NOT to talk to yourself. Turn off the TV, and put your iPod on mute and for one minute try not to talk to yourself.
It’s hard not to talk to yourself.
Our words are food for the mind
A healthy mind is determined by the health of our conversations with ourselves.
Our brains tell our story using pictures and images, drawn from both memory and from imagination. Our words, those spoken out loud and those spoken (or shouted) within our minds, create the raw footage, the moment by moment commentary that is ‘uploaded’ with the images.
How long can you survive without words?
- 8 days is how long you can survive without water
- 11 days is how long you can survive without any sleep
- 21 days is how long you can survive without any food
- How long can you survive without saying any words? No one knows and no one has tried.
We need food, water and sleep to survive but it is our words that determine our quality of life.
Our words are like gas or water
Ask yourself, “What are keys to becoming healthy?” The first things that come to mind will probably be diet, then exercise and perhaps seeing your doctor. You might say not drinking too much alcohol or not doing drugs. Often the most important part of our health and fitness is neglected: the words that we speak.
Words are the one of the most important aspects of our health and fitness plan, yet we rarely talk about how to talk to ourselves.
Think about it: We are attracted to people who speak the words we want to hear. Change your words and you can change your life.
On days when my depression is heavier and my mood is dark, one of the most important things that I can do for myself is take care how I use my words. They become either like gasoline or water and depending on how they are used, lighting a negative fire or providing relief.
Our words are how we frame the world, how we understand our story, and console ourselves. Words can comfort or incite… guide or manipulate.
A few of the key developmental milestones growing up include rolling over, eating on your own, walking and first words. By two, the average toddler will be using about 75 words. By adulthood, the average adult should use between 20,000-35,000 words. The words that you and I use will make our world what it is.
What are you doing to expand your world?
Words are more than words. They are food and life. They give life and create openings… doors, windows and a break in the clouds. Words can be a weapon and a healer depending on how we use them.
Your tongue carries the power of life and death. Proverbs
I have one child in high school right now. And for him, it’s a toss up, but words are more important than marks. One of the biggest errors a teen can make is saying the wrong thing. Teenagers may have a short attention span, but they invest most of it looking for ways to fit in.
Words can determine our mental health, our development and potential and our social standing. Words are more powerful than the smartphone you are using to read this little post.
Our words are eternal
Words are how you put yourself out to the world. Our world is a listening world and it wants you and I to have something to say. Don’t discount yourself. You don’t need to be smart to know how to use your words, because even fools know how to use their words to attack.
Just look at Facebook.
Words have life, energy and they have a history. Words have a present and a presence. Words are more than mere letters strung together. They tell a story. And story can change lives.
I become a spewing mess when I am angry. If I stay angry long enough, I stop making any sense at all. By now, you would think that when even I cannot understand myself, I should just shut up. But like a leaky tap, the words keep coming. We say things we don’t mean, but it hurts.
Forgiveness can heal, but our words can create a lot of damage, both to those we love and to ourselves.
Words are the economy of the mind. They are precious. When spent wisely, they are gone, even though we print more. When invested, they produce. When squandered, they also produce.
A million words. That is how many words we have in the English language as of Jan 1, 2014. Even words like fart, goofball and squeegee count in the mix, although they won’t win you friends or new business.
If the average person knows only 20,000 words, they make use of only 2% of the words available. If you want to expand yourself, expand your words.
Our words expand
Words are important because they expand and we expand with them. The kind of words we speak says something. They tell a story of our recovery, our health, our values. What we say matters.
Our words are worth the effort because they will come back upon us. They are how we frame the world, understand our story, and console ourselves. If we invest little time in how we speak, then we can expect little in return.
In Europe, they celebrate words. They set aside one day each year to celebrate language and the words that frame our worlds. They have something to teach the West. Words are the DNA of what life is made of.
Our words and our action
What can you take from this? I hope you put down the phone and reach for a book, for your pen or a friend. What you don’t know can change your life.
Keep it Real
Photo by Martha Soukup