“Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Or so they say. It’s common in our culture to toss around casual phrases without really noticing their underlying meaning. But could you be harming your health without knowing it? Here are just a few examples – how often do you hear people talk like this?
I’m dying to get that. It’s to die for. I hate it. That drives me crazy. I’m sick and tired of that. I nearly died. I’m sick to death of it. I’ve got to stop eating. I can’t take it anymore. It’s a pain in the neck. It breaks my heart. My feet are killing me. It’s just my luck. I never ______(fill in the blank). I always _____(fill in the blank). I’m starving. Cross your heart and hope to die. I’m no good at that.
Words both reflect and affect your experiences. You may think it’s harmless to use these cliché’s, but repeated over time, their impact has a cumulative, physiological effect on your health. Your words are the expression of your thoughts. They may strengthen or weaken you, help you or hurt you, and they can influence your relationships positively or negatively.
Chronic thoughts of worry, doubt, fear and negativity trigger stress hormones like cortisol to seep into your system. Having a steady drip of cortisol in the blood stream is linked with conditions like extra weight gain around the mid-section, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune and anxiety disorders. The good news is that repeated thoughts of hope, optimism and care trigger healthy hormones like DHEA and oxytocin to flow through your blood stream, helping to repair your cells and tissues, boosting your immune system and balancing your hormone levels.
How much influence do your words have on your health? Perhaps more than you know. This is very important to understand: Your subconscious mind doesn’t screen out negative images. For example, if I say, “don’t think of a big, shiny red apple right now. Really – don’t think about that shiny red apple. Don’t do it – whatever you do, don’t imagine a big red apple.” What happens? Of course your mind conjures up an image of a red apple.
What happens when you say to yourself, “I’ve got to stop eating junk food?” Your mind conjures up images of — you guessed it, eating junk food. If you think, “I have to stop smoking,” your mind gives you an image of — what else? Smoking. Remember that talking about what you DON’T want only elicits more thoughts of what you don’t want. When you want to create healthier habits, start using words that conjure images of what you DO want.
As a Hypnotherapist, words are my primary tool for helping my clients rearrange and reorganize their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. Under hypnosis, we can bypass the literal, rational conscious part of the mind and access the sensory, creative subconscious part of the mind. A simple change of mind can change everything.
Here’s a word game to play. Think of this as a little mental science experiment. Play with your words for a few days. Whenever you hear yourself utter something like “I can’t,” simply say, “cancel that,” and say “I choose not to.” If you catch yourself saying “it’s to die for,” play with your words and say, “it’s to live for.” Turn “I’m sick and tired” into “it’s time to relax and renew.” Transform “I’ve got to stop (a negative old habit)” into “I’m going to start (a positive new habit).” If you feel silly, find a friend to play the game with so you can hold each other accountable for your statements. Make it fun – you’ll be surprised at how effective this can be in helping you create healthier habits.
Your words are an audible reflection of your thoughts. As you hear yourself speak them out loud, they practically bring your thoughts to life. So from now on, play a new kind of word game – ditch the negative and speak more positive words for better results with your health.
Further information can be found at: http://www.lauren-archer.com/hypnosis-for-health/