“Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.” – Benjamin Lee Whorf
Words are labels to stimuli and our language is like an ocean of words capable of giving meaning to every feeling. Yet, an average person’s habitual vocabulary uses only 1-2% of the entire language! This limitation results in skewed expression of feelings. A skewed expression thus, results in confusing messages reaching the brain. Let’s say Rohan, an IT professional has a busy day today and every time someone asks him how he is. He answers “I am so overwhelmed, my life is like a never-ending stack of files.”
Our Body obeys our Brain…
We physiologically start demonstrating the words we frequently use and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the words of George Orwell
“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
A few days ago, my niece, came up to me and said that she is a narcissist. I was shocked and appalled as to how does a 14 year old know that such a word exists, let alone use it or relate to it. When asked, she said that one of her friends used that word on her and she searched its meaning online. This is very common now. With the world of internet giving us bountiful of information, the child will not only search the meaning of the word but its symptoms as well and will eventually start identifying with it.
Habitual words…. habits in life…
One must be wary of the words they use because they shape our habits and outlook towards life. Frequent use of unpleasant words in difficult situations will not aid us in dealing with the problem, instead it will add fuel to fire and heighten the emotion.
Develop the habit of NEW (New Empowering Word)
- Think of an undesirable word / sentence which you often use when emotions run high.
- Replace them with a NEW word.
- Keep practicing until it becomes a part of your unconscious competence.
- Continue replacing undesirable habitual words from your linguistics with productive and positive ones.
Renovate your lives by renovating your Linguistics…
Be creative! You can even think of funny words and give yourself a chuckle. Like the other day I was in a car and suddenly an erratic driver came extremely close and wanted to overtake us from the left. The driver of my car instead of getting agitated, slowed down his own vehicle, allowed him to pass and jokingly said “ja simran ja…je le apni zindagi” like Amrish Puri of DDLJ. It made everyone in the car tickle with laughter. (Psst…it wasn’t heard by the other driver)
“A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words…the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual and electrically prompt.” – Mark Twain
- Image Source: https://brewminate.com/the-importance-of-language-it-matters/
- Robbins Anthony, Awaken the Giant Within