Watch Your Language!

1st April 2024

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the words and language that we use. Over a few decades of practice now, I have had the privilege of seeing tens of thousands of patients and I often come across individuals who are very cautious about what they say and how they say it. This may seem trivial, but when you layer on top of this the fact that many of these people also tend to perform at a very high level – both personally and professionally, it makes you wonder if how you communicate has a impact on your life, both in good or bad ways. It has long been believed (and recent scientific evidence is backing up the theory) that words can influence you at a subconscious level. What you say ultimately frames your thoughts and how you feel, this mindset then drives your behaviour, and your behaviour ultimately affects your outcomes. Maybe we should be paying much more attention then to the language that we are using day to day. Should we, for example, replace the word difficult with challenging? How about saying we are blessed rather than stressed? I am not suggesting we lie to ourselves or others but I do feel that there is merit in accentuating the positives and minimising the negatives when we talk to others. I’ve been playing around with this idea myself and it can have a profound impact on how I see any given situation and how I feel at the end of the day. It also seems to positively affect my colleagues and my patients and I have noticed that I can often lift the spirits of people around me just by the way I talk. Try it – you may be surprised!

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