Phrases like “words are like feathers carried away by the wind” or “they’re just words” were created by those people and passed down by those who do not know the full development of language theory that took place in the 20th century . Today we know that words are acts of communication. And each individual is basically its own discourse.
People are made of words that are nothing other than the materialization of ideas. And these ideas make their culture a reality. We relate to ourselves, to others and to the whole world thanks to this culture, these ideas and these words. That is why the word lies in the essence of people and has a decisive influence on their well-being and behavior.
“A single word has the power to affect the expression of the genes that regulate stress, both physically and emotionally.”
The only words the wind carries are those that don’t touch us. On the other hand, those words that agree with us and our ideas remain deep within us. You will not be carried away. They stay there and shape our feelings and emotions, as well as our consciousness. Today we could say that the verbal expression is often more important than the concrete facts.
Language and its effects on the brain
One of the most interesting facts about this is that every expression spoken produces different responses in the brain. Both positive and negative words produce observable modifications. One of the most comprehensive studies in this regard was by psychiatrists Mark Waldman and Andrew Newberg, scientists and authors , performed.
Her work showed, among other things, that the words “yes” and “no” provoke very interesting reactions in the brain: when a sentence starts with the word “no”, the brain immediately starts to stimulate the release of cortisol, a stress hormone . If a sentence begins again with a “yes”, dopamine, the hormone of wellbeing, is released.
An experiment conducted at Friedrich Schiller University (Germany) also showed that affectionate and empowering expressions activate the brain’s dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. This area relates to self-image and emotional decision-making. In other words , pleasant and loving words improve our perception of ourselves and make our emotional decisions easier.
Positive and negative words
As “negative words” we refer to those who send a violent or aggressive message and which are destructive in one way or another. These types of words seem to have a stronger and more lasting effect on people than any positive statement. So much so, in fact, that just reading a few negative words for a few seconds is enough to increase our level of anxiety. Words like “death”, “illness”, “sadness”, “pain”, “misery” etc. create this effect.
There are other studies that suggest that the effect of a negative word is not the same as that of a positive word. This is especially true when the negative word is openly addressed to a person and their characteristics. It is believed that five positive expressions are required to reduce the effect of a negative word. So a simple apology is not enough. You have to do more than that.
On the other hand, it has been shown that if an employee receives words of appreciation and appreciation for his work relatively often, he is more likely to be more committed to his tasks. Likewise, this person tends to be more cooperative and productive.
Be careful what you say
On average, a person speaks about 70,000 words a day. Since speaking is a common and common occurrence, these pronounced words are often not given too much value. And yet they are the essence of our being and the basis of our relationship with ourselves and with others. The correct use of the words has great potential to make our lives more pleasant or even more difficult.
It is therefore important to always pay attention to what we are saying. Especially in problematic situations, conflicts or moments of inner tension. In this case , we should not only pay careful attention to what we say to others, but also what we say to ourselves. Sometimes we just need a moment of silence to find the words that best express what we are thinking or feeling right now. And then we should take the time we need to do it.
The potential of our words is enormous. Colombian psychiatrist Carlos Cuellar recommends starting and ending each day like this by saying thank you for being alive. He points out that this process greatly improves physical and mental health.
Let us make the words we pronounce an ally for our welfare and not a trap to step into.