In the 70’s there was a TV programme called ‘mind your language’ which was written as a comedy show to highlight the challenges of learning English as a second language. This blog is similar to that, in as much as your learnt way of using language will be very familiar to you and you won’t see that anything could be improved with changes. However, once you’ve read this, you will see just how much better you could communicate, with just a few little adjustments.
Firstly, did you know that the brain is unable to process negatives? Every time you tell someone, ‘don’t drop that’ or ‘stop talking’ or ‘don’t be annoying’, what you’re unwittingly saying is, ‘drop that’, ‘talking’, ‘be annoying’. If I say to you now, don’t thing about a purple elephant, what are you thinking about? A purple elephant. See what I mean?
Put this into the context of the current situation, ‘don’t go out’, would be better said as ‘stay at home’. ‘Don’t go within 2 metres of another person’ would be better said as ‘maintain a 2-metre distance between people’. ‘Don’t go to the park’ would be better said as ‘Go to the park when the restrictions are lifted’. This simple change in language will go a long way to supporting a peaceful household.
Secondly, language is like a beacon to our neural pathways for what to look for. How many times have you said, ‘I don’t want to catch your cold’, and then had cold symptoms? Or ‘my bad knee is playing up’, ‘I’ve got a bad back’ and then the symptoms have been prolonged or worsened? It’s not very nice to call your back ‘bad, or your knee for that matter. If you truly want to be healthy and bright, look for the good healthy and strong things in your life. Speak of the good and ignore anything that may be troubling you. Imagine what is happening to your immune system every time you talk of Covid 19! This is sending out signals to say, ‘come and get me’, ‘I’m ready and waiting’. How about looking at the world and say, ‘it’s healing’, ‘this is a great opportunity to get the odd jobs done’, ‘this is fantastic time to be with my family’. All of these will help your neural pathways to find the good in the moment and encourage health and wellbeing.
It doesn’t mean that bad things don’t or won’t happen, it simply means that by talking of the good things in life, you are building strong neural pathways to be healthier should any of the bad stuff come knocking.
Stay healthy. Stay safe. Stay home.