The positive words you choose to use can literally change your brain.
While researching about positive words this article came up: “Speak with kindness: How your words literally restructure your brain“. From this article you can understand the followings:
Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist at Thomas Jefferson University, and Mark Robert Waldman, a communications expert, have written together the book, “Words Can Change Your Brain.” In this book, they write, “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.” When we use positive words like “love”, “peace” and “loving-kindness”, we can modify our brain functions by increasing cognitive reasoning and strengthening areas in our frontal lobes. Using positive words more often than negative words can activate the motivational centers of the brain, propelling them into action.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, when we use negative words, we are preventing certain neurochemicals from being produced which contribute to stress management. So, when we allow negative words and concepts into our thoughts, we are increasing the activity in our brain’s fear center (the amygdala), and causing stress-producing hormones to flood our system. These hormones and neurotransmitters interrupt the logic and reasoning processes in the brain and inhibit normal functionality. Newberg and Waldman write, “Angry words send alarm messages through the brain, and they partially shut down the logic-and-reasoning centers located in the frontal lobes.”
An excerpt from their book tells us how using the positive words can literally change our reality:
“By holding a positive and optimistic [word] in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity. This area includes specific language centers that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action. And as our research has shown, the longer you concentrate on positive words, the more you begin to affect other areas of the brain.
Functions in the parietal lobe start to change, which changes your perception of yourself and the people you interact with. A positive view of yourself will bias you toward seeing the good in others, whereas a negative self-image will include you toward suspicion and doubt. Over time the structure of your thalamus will also change in response to your conscious words, thoughts, and feelings, and we believe that the thalamic changes affect the way in which you perceive reality.”
A study done by Positive Psychology further elaborates on the effects of using positive words. A large group of adults aged 35-54 were asked to write down three things that went well for them that day, including an explanation of why. This exercise is also called “the gratitude and appreciation journal”. Over the next three months, their degrees of happiness continued to increase, and their feelings of depression continued to decrease, even though they had discontinued the writing experiment. By focusing and reflecting on positive language, thoughts, feelings, and emotions, we can improve our overall well-being and increase the functionality of our brain.
What words do you choose to focus your energy on? If you notice your life isn’t exactly “happy,” try carrying a journal with you, for a week, to keep track of how often you use positive words. Then insert your written thoughts in our online free application Positive Words Researcher and check the words you have used in your thinking in the last week. The online tool also gives you a list of positive words not thought of you, so you can learn new ones and improve your positive thinking.
Researching more about positive words the next article came up: Words Can Change Your Brain.
The author of this article start with a funny affirmation: “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can change your brain. That’s right.”.
From this article, you can understand that positive words can “alter the expression of the genes”, “propel the motivational centers of the brain into action” and “build resiliency”.
In comparison with good words, “angry words send alarm messages through the brain, and they partially shut down the logic-and-reasoning centers located in the frontal lobes,” write Newberg and Waldman in the book “Words Can Change Your Brain”.
Researching, even more, another article came up: How Do Words, such as Yes and No, Change Our Brains and Lives?
This author of this article writes about the neuroscience of language, consciousness, and communication. One of the conclusions written in the article is ” to modify Compassionate Communication in a fundamental way: when conversing with others, we should limit ourselves, whenever possible, to speaking for 20 or 30 seconds, for even a single sentence can contain more than 4 chunks of information. When we limit ourselves to this 30-second “rule,” the brain quickly adapts by filtering out irrelevant information. There’s another advantage to speaking briefly: it interrupts our ability to express negative emotions.”
More article to sustain the fact that positive words can change your brain: