It seems like words surround us wherever we go. They are what compiles our thoughts, and what makes up every book and article that we read online. Words make up the blog post that you are reading right now.
Despite the fact that words are a wonderful and beautiful thing, they can also be harmful.
But, you know the old saying. Sticks and stones may break my bones, while names will never hurt me.
Whoever said that didn’t live in the age of social media. I don’t know about you, but words have a bigger impact on me than any physical blow can. If you break your leg, you get a cast, and over time it heals. However, what’s different about words is that they have the ability to stay with you for almost an eternity.
With that being said, the words that we speak to each other — and to ourselves — are crucial to our mental health. This dialogue — both inner and what we speak to each other — can have a much bigger impact than any of us can imagine.
Let’s talk about our thoughts for a second. Now, our thoughts are something that can frame our perception on the world and the events around us. And, sometimes we have negative ones. Those thoughts ring to the tone of self doubt, and self consciousness. You know those thoughts where you feel like you can’t do anything, simply because you’re not good enough. Or even awfulizing every situation that you’re faced with. With those thoughts swirling in your head, it can be hard to stand up to all of the positive ones.
Imagine this — you erase all of your thoughts into positive ones. Easier said than done, right? But, you can somewhat make it happen, step by step. It can start by saying to yourself I’m awesome and I can do anything. Furthermore, it can even turn into a repeated version of saying nice things about yourself.
Furthermore, thoughts have the power to spiral. You know those anxious thoughts
In addition, I also would like to point out that we need to work on the things that we say to others, for those also have an impact. It can be the minor things, such as backhanded compliments (you know, someone saying that dress is nice, however it’s not my taste. But on you it’s nice!) social media comments, or flat out insults. Furthermore, this also includes saying something to someone out of anger. You know, calling someone a bitch or a loser. You never know what that can come off as sometimes. Therefore, it’s important to watch your words — no matter what the situation may be.
In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Month, I’m asking that we take a moment to press edit. Whether that may be that moment when you’re trying on a dress and thinking that you’re ugly because you’re not a size zero. Or, that moment when you’re having an argument and might say something in anger that you normally wouldn’t say. Those words might just have a bigger impact that you can imagine. And, once they are out, sometimes you just can’t take them back.
In those moments, let’s try to reframe ourselves. For example, if you’re feeling anxious and the thoughts spiral, try to press pause and take a breath and reframe the thought. Or, if you’re arguing with your boyfriend for whatever reason, instead of saying something mean, take a moment and say ‘do I really feel this way?’ Chances are, you don’t.
So, let’s work on our inner and outer dialogue. And, let’s work on making them positive ones.