5 Ways to Speak Your Way to a More Beautiful Day, Every Day!

For a more positive life, start with the words you use.

Feb 10, 2020

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Looking for a fast track to a life upgrade, one that’s simpler than healthy eating and cheaper than following a new yoga trend? Think words. You read right! We actually think in words, and by those words we live our lives, as they shape how we act and feel. Pressing restart on your everyday vocabulary, and adopting more positive speaking habits can boost your outlook on life and how others treat you when they encounter your upbeat, glass half-full orbit. This applies to brands and their consumers as much as it does to our everyday interactions.

Turns out, the words you use hold immense power. They have the ability to fuel your confidence, help you make a strong first impression, and can aid you in creating opportunities. And the choice is yours alone! Start by monitoring your language for a day. Ask a friend to monitor it too. Then simply decide to replace language that is vague and negative with positive and more specific words.

But don’t take our word for it! Research from psychologists has found that your subconscious interprets what it hears very literally. Your mind and body will follow the direction your words lead with. So if you want more confidence, connections and opportunities to come your way, begin with what you’re projecting into the world each time you speak.

In their book, Words Can Change Your Brain, neuroscientists Mark Robert Waldman and Dr. Andrew Newberg argue that using negative language can raise levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. On the other hand, using positive words can boost our reasoning abilities, and transform even a difficult discussion into a deeply satisfying one.

Practice in the mirror!

Look at yourself in the mirror, repeat “I think I can, I think I can” like a mantra, and benefit from this positive pep talk to yourself. Start here to familiarize how it feels to naturally integrate positivity and kindness into your routine.

If you need inspirational resources, social media and the internet offer a wealth of ideas on motivational words and phrases that will help you realign your take on life. Making a habit of using words like accomplish, believe, commitment, joy, confidence, believe, imagination, challenge, courage, fulfilment, clarity and honesty will help kickstart this process.

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In conversation

“The words you speak become the house you live in” is a wise saying. Words are the building blocks of the reality that we are constantly co-creating. The world mirrors yourself back to you. If you use positive language about yourself and your ability to meet challenges and achieve your goals, then you are on the way to actualizing them. Just listen to any successful, and content person.

Reframe your language in terms of what you can do looking ahead. Express commitment. Using words like “I love”, “I can”, “I will”, “I choose” and “I enjoy” conveys optimism and agency. Avoid absolutes. Replacing a phrase like “Nobody here listens to a word I say” with “some people aren’t listening to me. How can I speak in a way that will help others to pay more attention?” can work wonders.

There are words language experts advise us to sidestep like the word “should”.  In Make Your Mark: A Guidebook for the Brave Hearted, author Margie Warrell emphasizes that underlying this word are unconscious social expectations that are unhelpful and judgmental. The word “could” works a lot better.

The best negotiators know that choosing to use positive words when listening to someone else can lead to a more positive outcome. Researchers Waldman and Newberg mentioned above, suggest using at least three positive words or phrases to fight back against the effect of any single negative word used.

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Making words work at work

A really doable tip sees employees advised to rephrase problems as opportunities. This way, a “nightmare” can instead become a riveting chance for a rethink, for instance. Limit labeling people or groups, as this can end up reinforcing an undesired state.

As you become more aware of the power of words, try deliberately using kinder, more affirmative words, even when sharing constructive feedback. Encouraging phrases like “you’re doing great” (and there’s always something positive to observe) as long as you’re being authentic, can help the people around you.

This applies to emails too. When you replace a blunt sign-off with a more friendly one, the recipient will feel that you’re building a more genuine relationship with them.

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Speaking of love

Don’t forget how the positive energy of words can enhance your relationship. Affirmations are important in enduring relationships, not just new romances: 

"Something sad, but too often true is how couples who have been together in long-term relationships tend to forget the importance of compliments," says Tina Konkin, founder of intensive couples retreat Relationship Lifeline. "They not only forget how it feels to receive a kind word; they also forget how it feels to give one. The ability to offer their spouse a healing salve in the form of a gentle, positive affirmation is the power we all possess."

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Words with your kids!

Parents have the chance to set an example at home, and to teach the value of consciously choosing to speak more positively just when the importance of doing so is being flagged worldwide. Washington, DC, will soon be home to Planet Word, a museum whose mission seeks to “inspire a love of words and language.” This joins other global examples like Mundolingua in Paris, which examines word power through interactive displays.

A UK Mom battling mental health issues due to childhood bullying, has drawn upon her experience to create affirmation cards for kids to help them feel more positive. Amel El Achkar from Berkshire, launched “Kind Words for Kids” to help youngsters develop a positive attitude. She realized that using phrases such as “I am strong” or “I am adventurous” can create a positive difference mentally, which has in turn helped her own kids feel happier about themselves.

"I developed these affirmation cards to equip children with the language and structure to talk about their experiences in a positive way. I found this gives them the confidence to better deal with day-to-day situations, “ she explains. Her cards launched in December 2019 and the first production run of 250 packs sold out within three weeks!

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DAPHNE KASRIEL ALEXANDER, EDITOR IN CHIEF
Daphne has a background in editing, writing and global trends. She is inspired by trends seeing more people care about sharing and protecting resources, enjoying experiences over products and celebrating their unique selves. Making the world a better place has been a constant motivation in her work.