October 13, 2015
Swap These Phrases Out of Your Vocabulary for a Positive Lift!
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” - Buddha
Your thoughts are incredibly powerful. Your mind controls your physical body and your experiences. The connection may not always be overt, but the words that you speak to yourself and others will manifest themselves in your life. Your choice of words, therefore, is so important!
Our culture is prone to negative, often exagerrated statements. They are common sayings, and they roll off the tongue without much thought. But when they are repeated and interalized, they can infiltrate our subconscious and throw off our mental and physical balance. Below are some of these common negative phrases. This week, challenge yourself to notice when you are tempted to use one of them and find a postive statement to make instead.
"My head (or back, or neck) is killing me"
Saying that a pain or discomfort in your body is killing you manifests the idea of death. No, uttering the words won't make you die tomorrow, but it does allow the image to settle into your body and your mind. It's also likely an exagerration.
Instead, try using more accurate words to describe your state:
- "My head (or back, or neck) hurts today, and it's distracting me"
- "I need to focus on healing my headache (or back-ache, or neck-ache) so I can feel my best"
"I'm broke" or "I have no money"
These phrases create a constant stress in your life, and they can foster resentment towards your job or those who have greater financial means that you. They project an image of financial instability that will become your reality if you repeat them. They are also often used an excuse, when what you really mean is that you don't want to spend the money you do have on the thing in question. Don't be afraid to just say no.
Instead, focus on your financial goals:
- (To yourself) "I am making making wise financial decision in order to meet my needs"
- (To others) "I cannot spend money on x because I've chosen to prioritize y, thanks for understanding"
Though this phrase is often used lightly, it would not be taken that why by someone truly struggling to nourish themselves and their family. Furthermore, it manifests an image of poor nutrition and health in your body.
Instead, try a more accurate statement:
- "I'm hungry and it's distracting me"
- "I've been looking forward to this snack/meal and it's time to eat!"
"I hate my job"
Nothing positive will be born out of negative complaints. To say that you hate your job infuses negativity into the activity that you devote most of your day to, which is not healthy. It also expresses a lack of appreciation for the wages the job provides, for the energy you devote to the job, and for the universal circumstances that allow you to hold that job. If your job is not satisfying you in some way, take steps to change it. If you spend all your energy on negativity, the universe may deal you a worse situation than the one you started in.
Instead, use positive phrases that embrance change:
- "This is not my dream job, but I appreciate the wages/opportunities/community that it provides."
- "This is not my dream job, but I choose to stay in it because ________."
- "This job provided me with x, but it not longer meets my needs so I am working to _____."
"I'm too old"
The human spirit is age-less. Any limitations you feel are imposed by yourself, and age is a justification that you use to back them up. Are you faced with a new activity or opportunity? What advice would you give someone else in the same position, young or old? You likely wouldn't tell them to give up. Maintaining the courage to try new things as you age will enrich your life and have a positive impact on the young people around you.
Instead of using likening your age to a closed door, acknowldge it and work with it:
- "I'm new to this, so it may take me a few tries"
- "I'm not as young as I used to be, but I'm alive!"
"I'm too fat/skinny"
Perhaps losing or gaining some weight would make you feel more comfortable and healthy - that's okay. But using blunt statements of self-hate will not help your body to achieve the results you desire.
Instead, practice self-love and making positive statements that focus on your process:
- "I'm not comfortable at my current weight but I'm doing x to change it"
- "My body is in transition while I work towards my fitness goals!"
"I don't have time"
This is a lie that we tell ourselves constantly. Each of us has 24 hours in every day. You do have time, you're just choosing to spend it on other things. The way that you spend the majority of your day reflects what is important to you. if you feel that your daily itinerary and your values are not aligned, you have the power to change this.
Instead, be honest:
- "I choose not to spend the time on x because I prioritize y"
- "I'm not spending as much time on x as i would like to, but I'm working to change this"
Adapted from The Chopra Center.
Claire Casher at 8:56 AM