The weight of words can tip the scale of your self-image one way or the other with surprising swiftness and accuracy. What you tell yourself about yourself, the world around you, and your circumstances is impactful in a way that can be far more effective even than the things others have to say. 

Self-talk is your inner voice, and the words you use are far more powerful than you think. 

You might not be aware you're doing it, but the majority of us have a running dialogue in our heads that rarely pipes down. 

Self-talk can be both negative and positive. It can lift you and keep you soaring through life, or it can bring you down and keep you there. 

But what about the words we use with others? 

In today's post, I'm talking about how we speak to ourselves, why it matters and how to change the dialogue to serve us. 

I'm also going to share how what we say to others makes a difference in our lives, and I'm going to discuss how we can tune in and tune up our vibration to help us create what we want. 

Why Do Self-Directed Words Matter? 

Self-talk can lift you and improve your general wellbeing – or bring you crashing down and keep you there. 

Positive self-talk and a more optimistic outlook don't just affect your self-image. A high vibrational inner voice has been shown to have several health benefits, including:

  • increase vitality and enthusiasm
  • Increase your overall life satisfaction
  • Improve your immune function
  • reduce pain and physical discomfort
  • better cardiovascular health
  • better physical wellbeing
  • Increased longevity
  • lower stress and help you distress

It's unclear why optimists and individuals with more positive self-talk experience these benefits. However, research shows that women with positive self-talk may have brain skills that enable them to solve problems, think outside the box, and more efficiently cope with hardships or challenges – all of which can reduce the harmful effects of stress and anxiety.

Mindfulness exercises can be a tremendous help in alerting us to negative thoughts and self-talk that may simply be habitual. 

Likewise, the practice of positive self-talk through the use of affirmations and journaling can go a long way toward lifting us up and transforming our self-image.

The weight of Words With Others 

Do you ever find yourself complaining about everything to everyone who will listen - like all the time? 

You may not even notice. Sometimes we complain to fill the silence or create chit-chat where it isn't necessary. 

Do you tend to say "yes" all the time (even when you'd like to say no) because you feel the need to please? 

Or, do you find yourself engaging in gossip – even when you don't mean to? 

The words we use with others – like our internal dialogue – have a massive impact on how we feel and how we see ourselves. 

The heaviness of Complaining 

Did you know?? Additional cortisol is released by frequent complaining, which can harm your immune system and render you more prone to obesity. Obesity, of course, can lead to heart disease, blood sugar imbalance, and high cholesterol.

But that's not the worst of it. The worst of it, my friends, is that – as Tony Robbins puts it – "where our attention goes, energy flows."  

Complaining is expressing discontent, frustration, discomfort, unhappiness, or resentment. We often think we are just "venting," but in reality, complaining impacts our thinking, feelings, and overall level of happiness and contentment.

When we complain, we are in a low vibration, and that vibration feeds on itself to continue its downward spiral.

We all do it, Ladies. In fact, the average person complains 15 to 30 times a day.

Unfortunately, complaining is hard on your mood and the mood of those around you. And, like a wildfire, it can spread its negativity, eventually burning everything to the ground.

Most of us don't intend to torture others with our complaints. Instead, we'd likely attribute our complaining to "just getting it all out" or making ourselves feel better if brought to our attention. 

Unfortunately, it has the opposite effect, damaging not only our general mood but also our physical health.  

A little exercise you can do is partner up with a trusted friend - or your partner - or anyone you spend a great deal of time with and ask them to help you recognize when you're complaining. 

No – The Most Powerful Word You Can Add To Your Vocabulary

For women especially, the default answer to nearly every request is almost always "Yes." So deeply ingrained in our DNA, we can't seem to help ourselves from saying yes when all we want to do is say No. When we manage to get out a boundary respecting no, we often feel trapped, guilty, and frustrated. 

Saying yes when we genuinely want to say no leads to resentment, confusion, and dissatisfaction – or even worse, that we've let ourselves down because we didn't have our own back.  

It all comes down to honesty. Are you ready, willing, and able to be honest with yourself and then with others? This can be the hardest step - but also the most liberating.

Try saying no to little things at first. No to a polite offer of a second drink or dessert. Notice how good it feels to take care of yourself and not your host!

Next, practice the art of saying no to demands on your time. There is no need to give reasons and explanations. A simple "no thank you" or "unfortunately, I'm not available but thank you for asking" will do. 

Gossip Girl – Words That Hurt

We usually associate gossip with malicious rumors, unkind discussion of another person or their behavior outside of their presence, or tabloid fodder. 

However, according to Megan Robbins, an assistant professor of psychology at The University of California, Riverside researchers often define gossip more broadly as "talking about people who aren't present. It's something that comes very naturally to us," she says. She says that talking about other people can be an integral part of sharing information or even community building.

However, even the most benign discussions of not present people can turn into words that hurt. 

Hurting someone through gossip can be defined as sharing private information about them with others, spreading untruths, or talking about something they've done in a judgmental or mean-spirited way.  

Hurtful tattle is not helpful and does not serve you in any way. Here are a few ways to eradicate the unhealthy stain of gossip from your life.

  • Don't spend time with people who gossip. Chances are pretty good that if they are talking about others to you, they are talking about you to them. Also, since it's human nature to talk about other people (sometimes in the most benign way), it can be easy to get sucked into discussions that can only bring you down energetically.
  • Be different and set the tone. Gossipers are nosy magpies and meddlers who seek attention – don't be that person. When you engage in a conversation, as yourself: is it true, is it kind, is it necessary? Try changing the subject when someone starts gossiping about another – anything will do: books, music, current events, inspirational stories, culture, health, wellbeing, or personal development are all great topics of discussion that are far more valuable than gossip. 

 Words Have More Power Than You Think

Words are powerful and can have a positive or negative effect on your wellbeing - spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Take care and choose them wisely.

Whether talking to yourself or talking to others, be thoughtful, kind, and loving. Always pay attention to how your words affect your inner and outer world.  

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