The Power of Words ~ Douglas Fullington, MD

The ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus wrote, “Words are the physicians of a diseased mind.”

I use spoken words every day to help my patients learn how to improve their health and their lives. Have you ever paid attention to how words impact you? What do the words you speak and hear mean to you? More importantly, how do the words you say to yourself affect you?

Words have power to heal, the power to destroy, and the power to change the world. Consider the following famous words and how they changed history.

“I have a dream…”

“We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.”

“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

“If you tell a big enough lie, and you tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

The most powerful words of all are the ones you say to yourself everyday. Specifically, I mean the self talk or conversation that you have with yourself throughout the day. Have you ever stopped to listen to how you talk to yourself? I have noticed that people say things to themselves that they would never say to someone else. Things like “I’m fat,” or “I’m not smart enough to do that.” It’s rare for people to give themselves compliments-we are our own harshest critic.

Words have power and they have a tremendous impact on your health. Do you ever hear yourself say, “I don’t have time to exercise,” or “Just one more won’t hurt”? Do you frequently say “I’m tired” or “I’m stressed”? Words like these create the emotion or feeling that you would have if the words were true. These emotions lead to the actions reflected by your feelings, which then reinforce the feelings.

If you say you are tired, then you will begin to feel tired. Feeling tired leads to sluggish behavior which generates fatigue rather than vibrant energy. What you focus on grows. If you focus on feeling unhealthy then you will tend to have unhealthy behaviors that follow.

The words you use are like computer code that becomes the software of your mind. You program your behavior with your words. If you don’t like the results that you are getting in your life, you simply need to change the software by reprogramming your mind. It takes time to work out the bugs in a program, but the goal is consciously to decide what you want, use words and thoughts consistent with that desire, and then began acting on the thought.

For example, if you want to be thin, you first need to change the words you use. Stop saying and stop thinking “I’m fat.” Replace that thought with “I enjoy being a healthy weight” or “I am enjoying the process of becoming thin.” Expand on this by changing the conversations in your head about food and exercise.

Cultivate positive self talk that leads to healthier thinking. Think, “Healthy people eat vegetables instead of cake,” and “Thin people exercise most days of the week, so I will go to the gym today.” Squash all thoughts that are contrary to your goal and cultivate those that lead to healthy behaviors. Start thinking of yourself as a healthy person, start speaking healthy words and then take healthy actions.

Words have power…

DO YOU KNOW THE CLAUS LAWS™?

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