Change our words, change our brains, change our inner and outer world

June 9, 2016

I found this easy to read article about brain chemistry and the power of words:

Speak with kindness: How (our) words literally restructure (our) brains. (The image is from this article, from

A few salient quotes from the article:

 “A single word has the power to influence... physical and emotional stress.

(Side note: This is why mediation using one soothing or positive word works to relax, rejuvenate, uplift us. This is why continually calling ourselves an "idiot" [or your word of choice] produces stress, demotivation, depression, anger, poor choices, and even, over time, ill health.)

"A study done by Positive Psychology... elaborates on the effects of using positive words. A group of adults aged 35-54 were given a nightly task of writing down three things that went well for them that day, including an explanation of why.

The following three months showed their degrees of happiness continued to rise, and their feelings of depression continued to decline.

By focusing and reflecting on positive ideas and emotions, we can improve our overall wellbeing..."

(Emphasis mine.)

When we improve our own overall wellbeing, we lift up and improve the wellbeing of others purely by the energy we bring into the room.

How do you talk to yourself? I have been the poster child for negative self-talk at times, and after much diligent, loving work, I am able to catch it and change it now pretty quickly when it shows up. Not always. It's not always easy. But it always works to shift my mood and energy and outlook. 

Self-compassion is everything. Think about all the yous inside you. Your 3-year-old self. Your 6-year-old self. Your teen self. Your 20s self. Your single self or your married or partnered self. Your work self.Your parent or non-parent self. Your creative self...

Imagine for a moment your 10-year-old self, sitting there beside you. And that Little You is feeling bad about a choice, a mistake, something they "lack" or aren't yet, no one likes them, and on and on.  

You hear Little Self say she's so dumb, and ugly, and can't do anything right.

What would you say to Little Self? "Yeah, you're an idiot for sure! You screw up all the time! I don't even know why you keep trying! Why would anyone want to be your friend, look at you!"

What, you would never say that? Why not? I have the hunch that those words or similar hurtful things are what many of us say to our current self some (or all) of the time?  

Why is it not okay to say those things to a 10-year-old (and for the record, it is NOT), and it IS okay to say it to yourself? 

There's no difference. That 10-year-old is still in there hearing every word. As are all the other selves.  

Let's do an experiment:  

  • What would you say to soothe and encourage and be compassionate to that 10-year-old? Get a pencil and paper and write it down, please, or use the notes function on your phone, use a chalkboard, whatever. I'll wait.
  • Next, I want you to find a mirror, and say out loud to yourself what you wrote, looking yourself in the eye as much as possible.
  • Then, imagine putting your arm around that 10-year-old as you're speaking; stroke your forearm even - touch, even imagined, is powerful.

When I've done this I find myself weeping sometimes. To give that kind of love and compassion, when I say kind, soothing, positive words, to my younger self, to realize how she soaks it up like a sponge, to understand I am her right now... whew. Deep breath. Stress goes down. The air feels better. Sometimes solutions come in where they were blocked before. Energy comes through to allow me to try and try again. Many, many positive things flow from a change in words, heartfelt words of kindness.

Be well, My Dear One.

You are safe, My Darling.

You are more than enough, Sweetheart.

You deserve to live in joy and peace, Lovely One.

Say this or your own version of comfort and love to yourself and to others.

Repeat and repeat and repeat. Your brain will start to feel this is the norm, your chemistry will change, your inner and outer world will feel infinitely better.


For those of you who have been coached by me, or believe in my ability to help others through my coaching, I am deeply grateful when you recommend me to friends, family, and colleagues. Due to confidentiality, I can't disclose when they do join me in a coaching relationship, so please know I appreciate the trust my community puts in me and your recommendations. My dream is to coach full time, and I am truly filled with gratitude and honor to do this work. You are helping me get there, for which I can't thank you enough.

-- With gratitude, love, and light to you always,


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