You are what you speak

Words have the power to direct our actions, and not just the words of other people. Those that we speak to ourselves are a key driver to action or, in many cases, inaction.

A recent letter in the Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, to which I subscribe, pointed out that many of us now use war words in our daily speak. I quote an excerpt here: “a quick glance at the headlines in my local newspaper shows what I mean ‘War on Weeds’, ‘Intergenerational Battle’, … ‘Reports under Fire’.”

The author of that letter found that replacing war words with gentler ones was more challenging than she had expected. It was, however, a challenge that was rewarded with a welcome change in head space.

It seems to be well accepted that our inner voice shapes our emotional state. If we repeat a mantra with sufficient frequency we can find ourselves believing it or at least simply better motivated to make it happen. Indeed, from this conviction has spawned an entire business sector of tools teaching the power of positive thinking.

If the words which we use can shape our mood and our behaviour, then perhaps a concerted effort by all of us to remove negativity and aggression from our vocabulary could have a far-reaching positive impact on our world.

This is the introduction to a series of blogs which will take a look at words in everyday use and consider their impact on our lives.