We describe our experiences with language. Language is the way we communicate both with others (externally) and with ourselves (internally). The language we use to describe an experience creates that experience.
One of the main things our brain does is to work out what things mean. The language that we use, internally, to describe what something is and means will affect the way that we feel.
Language affects us mostly on the subconscious level. Most of the time we are not even aware of our inner dialogue, let alone the way it affects us.
Think of the impact your internal dialogue must have on you, operating 24 hours a day, every day of your life.
What are the typical things that you say to yourself that you may not even have been aware of? Do you say empowering things that cause you to feel happy and enjoy life or do you beat yourself up and tell yourself that you are stupid, not good enough or worthless. If you fall into the latter category, stop and think what effect that this must have on your life.
There are two things you can do to change the impact language has on your life. The first is to change the associations you have to language. The second is to actually change the language you use.
To change the associations that you have to language, you need to become aware of what you say, the phrases you use most often and the things you say automatically in response to other people.
For example when I was at school, every time we had a science class my friend and I would have the same conversation on the way to the class. We would complain about how boring science was and how much we hated it. By the time we arrived at the class, it wouldn’t matter what happened in the lesson, we’d already convinced ourselves that the class would be useless and unbearably boring simply by the conditioned language that we used.
Often – times our automatic responses are not useful ones. The easiest thing to do when someone complains is to agree with him or her. The effect this has however is to cause you, the listener, to believe that statement they are making is true. (On a subconscious level). If a friend says “I hate doing this” and you unthinkingly say, “yeah, me too” even if you don’t really agree, you are creating a reference in your subconscious that will effect your reaction to the experience in the future.
Becoming aware of the language that you use is the starting point for changing the effect it has on your life. Different words or phrases can intensify or lessen an emotional state. For example if something bad happens and you say, either out loud or to yourself “That’s f#! *^D”, it has a much more severe effect on your emotional state than if you were to say, “Oh bother”. You will feel very differently about something you describe as “a problem” than something you describe as “a challenge”.
You can also use words to increase the positive effect of different phrases. When people meet they usually ask, “How are you?” and the automatic response of many people is to say “fine” or “good”. No thought goes into this response at all. What would happen if you changed your response to something more enthusiastic like “Awesome” or “Great!”? What effect would that have, not only on you but also the people around you?
The words you use to describe your experiences define your experience. If you constantly describe your experience in an enjoyable way you will constantly have an enjoyable experience.