Is your use of vocabulary clouding your view?

Have you considered that perhaps your use of vocabulary is hindering your experience of life? How often do you use the same words to describe a feeling?

Our use of vocabulary can become a habit and habits will determine our experience of life and how we interact in the world at large.

When we come to using vocabulary to describe emotions this becomes even more important.

Is your use of vocabulary clouding your view?

You see the words we use when describing an experience then become that experience.  So our words are incredibly important to the memory.  If we have had an experience when we felt distraught then years later when we are reminded of the event we will remember being distraught.  If we then hang on to that emotional word we will experience a strong biochemical response to it.

Our words trigger responses within our bodies.  Let’s test this right now.

I would like you to remember a really pleasurable experience.  Make a note of the words you use in your head to describe that experience.  Notice how you feel when you remember this experience.

Now think of an experience which left you feeling resentful.  (I don’t want you to use a terrifying or really bad experience.  I am not here to make you relive those if you have had any. )

Again make a note of the vocabulary you use to describe that experience.  Notice how you feel.  Notice your posture.  Now change each of the words you have used to describe to yourself this experience and improve some of them. So instead maybe of ‘resentful’ use ‘hurt’.  Maybe you were angry, so instead of angry use peeved or miffed.  I am not asking you to change the experience just the words you use for that experience.

Changing your vocabulary will change your view

We don’t take time to find out how others viewed the same experience and hear the words they used for themselves.  We can easily create a memory and a view based purely on our own thoughts at the time.  Our thoughts and focus at the time will cloud or colour that experience which, quite naturally, we will now believe to be true.

How we respond is our choice but is very dependant on how we were feeling at the time.  If we are habitually on the ‘look-out’ for hurtful experiences and we use negative language to help us find those moments – we will find them!  If we choose to look out for positive experiences and use positive language to help us find those moments – we will find those too!  We are also much more likely to laugh off some of the hurtful ones.

How we talk to ourselves (and we all do) and the vocabulary we use has a massive impact on our well-being. Your views on life become habits.  Habits make our experiences and our life.

If you want a positive life then it is important to train yourself to use positive language.  The hurtful stuff will still happen and experiences will crop up that challenge you but if you have trained yourself in the use of positive vocabulary then you will be better equipped to take on the challenges that all of us have to face at various points in our lives.

Give yourself a challenge

For a start you can study your own use of words.  The vocabulary you use.  The internet is a great place to help you find new words and so expand your vocabulary!  Find new words and use them.  Always use words which are kinder on the experience and so kinder on you

Also give yourself a challenge to transform your experience – day-to-day – by using new words. By this I mean more positive words than you used in the past.  I know this sounds odd.  But make yourself use better, more positive words to describe your experiences.

For example:

  • Rather than be angry – why not decide to be miffed.
  • Rather than be furious – decide to be peeved.
  • Rather than accuse someone of lying – ask them if they’re being economical with the truth
  • Instead of accusing someone of being wrong.  Tell them you feel they might be incorrect
  • The examples can go on and on.  It is for you to give yourself your own emotional shift

Set yourself an initial time frame to do this. Say over the next two weeks. At the end of the two weeks notice if you are beginning to change your patterns of word choice and how you feel.  This is challenging, however the more you do it the more it will become a habit.  As I have said before our habits become our experiences and our experiences become our life.

By changing your vocabulary you give yourself more choice on how you react to experiences. By giving yourself more choices you can give yourself new, improved emotions.