The Sunday News
Living life to the fullest with Selusweyinkosi Mhlanga
Words are the main medium of communication among humans and whether one builds friendships or makes enemies depends on how words are used. Where there is a fight, you can be sure there was an exchange of words that led to that scuffle and to end it words must be used.
“Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble.” — Yehuda Berg
We all have words that we use to describe ourselves. On good days when one is in a good mood, very kind vocabulary is used but it is when things go sour that most of us lose our cool. We blame ourselves and ponder upon our mistakes with others even going as far as calling them stupid or failures for one thing or another.
Words stick and tomorrow when we are trying to progress those nasty words we used to describe ourselves in private may manifest in public, leading to embarrassment.
Be kind to yourself in every situation. Surely, we all have times that we act poorly but we should give ourselves a break and move on from there. We learn from mistakes. We should learn to use kind words to ourselves as that will assist us to be kind and tolerant to others.
On bad days even the toughest adults need to hear soothing words from their loved ones. That is why when we are going through tough times we need support. It may be that you are bereaved or you have suffered a loss. People around you may not bring a solution to the tragedy that has befallen you but what they say makes all the difference.
To a broke person, a friend simply saying that all will be well makes the situation less terrible even though it won’t add a dollar to your pocket. It’s about the assurance, the fact that someone took their time to say something nice that gives you hope.
To a patient lying in a hospital bed, visitors are what they look forward to in order to exchange words. By simply telling the person about what goes on outside the walls they are confined to you are giving the patient the energy to want to get well and experience the outside world for themselves once again. That is why medical personnel discourage people from sympathising with the ill because it makes their situation look grim and they may lose all hope of getting back to good health.
The effect of words to a curious mind
Children ask a lot of questions as they are keen to learn and adults have to choose the words they use to shape the minds of the little ones. If you expose harsh words to young children the words may have a negative effect on them for a lifetime as the human brain records every experience for future use.
Even in disciplining children adults have to employ methods that do not involve shouting at them or using a tone laden with anger. That emotional response will never fade in the child’s memory. The child may never repeat the mistake he was being punished for, but the memory will forever traumatise them and they may pass it on in future.
Everyone likes to be acknowledged for doing something good and words of gratitude are a simple way of showing appreciation to another person.
It will not only leave the person eager to do more, it will also make them feel good about themselves. It’s alright to label someone a hero if they get you out of a sticky situation, it doesn’t take anything away from you.
Joel Osteen in his book The Power of I Am writes, “Words are like seeds. When you speak something out, you give life to what you’re saying.”
He, alongside many other life coaches encourage the use of positive affirmations to keep a positive mindset even amid chaos and tough situations. It would be for one’s benefit to have positive intra personal communication with oneself to keep one motivated and fired up to face the day.
Simple affirmations like I am healthy, I am strong, I am successful, I am confident may seem like a joke when starting out but when one gets to believe those then they can help kickstart the day.
So instead of starting the day with yesterday’s regrets or tomorrow’s worries, why don’t you try a positive affirmation addressing the biggest problem that you are facing to make it less scary.
With time you will realise that the things that you believe actually do come true.
There is a Ndebele saying that goes ‘umlomo uyaloya’ which translates to what is said actually happens. Imagine the effects of the bad affirmations you have said to yourself before.
You might want to practice a little kindness to yourself and everyone around you now that you know that the words you speak have that much power.