The Power of Words

The Power of Words


One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies is “Do or do not; there is no try.”  A powerful quote that denotes the power of words.  The words that we say to ourselves are glimpses of our subconscious minds.  Since the subconscious controls the majority of our behavior, our words are super powerful. 


Positive Thinking


If you begin the day with positive thoughts, or even a prayer, your mind will be filled with positive energy. Whether you can feel it or not, your subconscious will be fed with the building blocks it needs to have a good day.  Continue this positive energy throughout the day and your positive days will turn into positive weeks.  That’s not to say that negative events will happen to you.  They always do.  However, how you react to those negative events is what makes all the difference.  React in a negative manner to a negative situation, and you may start spiraling down a dark road of poor performance and unhappiness.


Negative Thinking: The Power of Toxic Thoughts  


Negative thinking not only affects your subconscious, but negative thoughts manifest themselves into negative emotions that affect others around you.  Toxic thoughts can also affect your physiology, specifically your immune system and gut response.  Thinking in a negative manner can activate your autonomic nervous system with an elevated stress response.  Too much negative or toxic thinking will suppress your immune system, making you vulnerable to infections and disease.  


Watching your Language


Negativity comes in many forms, including swearing.  After spending 20 years in the Navy and growing up in Fall River, Massachusetts, many people reading this may say that I am a hypocrite.  I will admit that my language needs polish, but I just want to say that negative words can come in many forms, including swearing.  It may feel good in the immediate moment, but swearing is something that should be avoided because it not only brings others down around you, but also brings you down as well.  Try objectively to describe what exactly is making you angry instead of lashing out with a swear word.  If you think like a scientist trying to describe or record the anger producing phenomenon, you will not be using an expletive.




Try this sequence of events this week to increase your positive words and decrease your negative words. The first thing you should do when you wake up is to think grateful thoughts and even write them down on paper.  Throughout the day, pay attention to the negative words that you say, as well as the negative thoughts that you have.  Whenever that happens, read the list that you came up with in the morning.  Conduct a quick after action review on why you had the thoughts in the first place.  Is it something that you can correct in the future?  If not, then replace the negative thought with a positive one from your grateful list.  This takes both self-awareness and work, but stick with it because the pay off is huge.  Above all, remember that negative thoughts spiral more negative thoughts and words, both in yourself and in others.  In contrast, positive thoughts and words boost your immune system, boost others around you, and make you happy.


“Lean into it!”


Dr. N