Every since I was a young girl I’ve had a very low self-esteem. There are a number of reasons for this. I was always overweight so of course I was teased about that. I wasn’t athletic or coordinated so I was always chosen last for team sports at school. The biggest hurdle I had to overcome was believing I was stupid. This was because someone I was very close to as a child often told me I was ignorant. Words like these can have a lasting effect, especially on a child.
Negativity is Habit Forming
Have you ever looked in the mirror and told yourself that you hated your looks? Have you driven to work thinking that you hated your job? Or maybe you were constantly thinking your co-workers didn’t like you. Continuously thinking or say negative thoughts and words have both a mental and physical impact on you. The more we speak, think, or hear negative things about ourselves and/or others, the more we tend to believe them.
Associating Words with Emotions
Every moment of every day, we are either thinking, reading, listening, or speaking. There is an emotional feeling or response to the words we take in, thus forming our associations, beliefs, or perceptions about ourselves and others.
Spoken words in particular have an emotional impact. For example; if your supervisor offers you praise, you are most likely be motivated to continue to do as well, or even improve your efforts. However, if you receive negative feedback you are most likely to feel discouraged and think you aren’t good enough. The same can be said for parenting. If a child is constantly criticised they will believe they can’t meet up to the standards set before them so why should they even try? Yet there are some, like myself, who will continue to seek the approval they so desperately need even if they “know” in their hearts that they won’t receive it.
Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones….
Words can and do hurt. One negative comment can ruin a person’s day. Constantly receiving them can ruin someone’s life. Think about the children, and even adults who have been bullied. Some of them have taken their lives because they truly believed it wasn’t worth living.
Negative Thoughts and Words in Relation to Stress & Anxiety
Hearing or thinking negatively releases stress and anxiety inducing hormones in our brain’s “fear” center. These hormones and neurotransmitters interrupt the logic and reasoning process in the brain inhibiting normal functionality.
Scientific studies have shown that positive and negative words not only affect us on a deep psychological level they can also have a significant impact on the outcome of our lives.
“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” – Benjamin Franklin
Wise words from a very wise man. It’s very important when speaking, whether it be to yourself or someone else to remember, words can hurt. Please be kind to yourselves as well as others.