As a classically-trained theoretical linguist and cognitive scientist, I can guarantee you that there has been a lot of research into the link between language and thought. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (that thought is so closely related to language that constructs of the mind are formed by constructs of language) is integral to most scientific research in the field of linguistics.
This is all very interesting. So what does it have to do with you?
Here’s what’s up. Although it’s my belief that language is not the basis of human thought, it’s clear from the research and from every day life that thought and language are very closely intertwined, and have large effects on one another. This means, change your language- change your thoughts.
It may be a challenge at first to pay attention to your words. They come so naturally because you’ve been practicing all your life, using the same neural pathways to express what you need. The good news is that all you need is a little practice to re-condition yourself. Begin with a few small changes.
For example, to dispel negativity from your life, catch yourself in the act: when you find that you are about to say or have just said something that is negative and does not serve you, say to yourself: “That’s not like me.” Then rephrase what you said in a positive way. Then, rephrase it in another positive way. Then do it again. This blocks the negative thoughts and floods your subconscious mind with the positive message. This will re-wire your brain as you do it more and more, and positivity will become easier and more natural for you every day.
Remember that changing your thoughts is a process. If it doesn’t come right away, keep at it! Get a friend to join you in watching your word choices. Remember that you deserve a clear, positive mind, and you can do it! You have the power. You’re a superstar!
PS. Have you ever had a thought that you just couldn’t express because you didn’t have the right word for it? What do you think about language and thought? Does naming things differently make a difference? Leave a comment!
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