"Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues."
Learning to think before we speak is important in life and relationships. But it's also important for our health. The words we speak actually affect our physical state.
Today I wanted to share something I wrote several years ago, but it's a timely reminder for me today, and I hope these words will benefit you as well. =)
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 often tell whether someone's words are healthy or unhealthy.
I think it can be 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 can be!
Sometimes even we know something is true in our mind and heart, we may 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 brings changes in 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 true, positive, affirming statements about yourself that are meaningful to you right now.
Ex: My body has the ability to heal and repair itself.
I am loved, valued and uniquely designed by God.
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 out your 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 realize you're saying something toxic, immediately stop and then repeat your true and affirming statements instead.
I think you'll be surprised at how beneficial this is! True and life-giving words really can bring "healing to the bones."
And as we learn to speak healing words to ourselves, hopefully we will speak healing words to others as well, bringing benefit to many people. =)
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.
You are loved. You are unique. You have purpose. (Just wanted to speak some true and beneficial words to you today.) =)