Unfortunately chemicals aren't the only things in life that are toxic. Words can also be toxic.
Recognizing toxic words that others speak to us is usually not too hard. We can tell when someone's words are healthy or unhealthy.
I think it's often harder for us to recognize the toxic words we speak to ourselves.
It's true that our brains listen to the words our mouths speak. How often do you say things like,
- I'm so tired
- I'm no good at this
- I'm such a wimp
These words are actually toxic to your mind, body and spirit.
I know what it's like to live with these kinds of words frequently on my tongue. They can easily become a habit. Thankfully, it is possible to retrain our tongues to speak healthy, life-giving words.
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. -Proverbs 16:24
The best way to get rid of toxic words is to consciously replace them with healthy, life-giving words.
I remember when someone first recommended I use daily positive affirmations. I wasn't interested. It seemed insincere, even silly to me. But gradually I've realized what an amazing tool this is!
Sometimes we know in our mind and heart that something is true, but we have a hard time really believing it because it hasn't quite penetrated through our brain patterns yet. As we speak that truth out loud to ourselves every day, it changes the physical pathways in our brain. This in turn changes the physiology of our bodies. It's incredible!
So if you struggle with saying toxic things to yourself, try this exercise:
1) Write down at least 3 positive, affirming statements about yourself.
Ex: I am full of joy and peace.
My body is healing every day.
I can do everything through Jesus who gives me strength. (I especially love to use statements of what God's Word says about me.)
2) Write these statements every day - in a journal, on a poster, or wherever you'll enjoy writing them.
3) Say or sing these statements to yourself every day (more than once a day if you can).
4) Anytime you catch yourself saying something toxic, immediately stop and then repeat your statements instead.
I think you'll be surprised at how beneficial this is. Our words really can bring "healing to the bones." And as we learn to speak healing words to ourselves, hopefully it will help us speak healing words to others also.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Please share one of your affirming statements in the comments so we can all be encouraged. =)Thanks!