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Words are powerful. We are introduced to the power of language at a very young age. We are taught to express our wants, needs, and emotions through the use of words. Although we are used to communicating through language, we rarely acknowledge the power behind the words we speak. 

Whether they are spoken, written, or merely thought- words have a powerful force on our lives. It is important to understand the impact that language and words have on the world around us so that we can be more aware of how our vocabulary affects our lives. 

If we recognize words to be the powerful tool that they are, we can use them to uplift our energy and spirit and to live more positive lives. This is especially important if you are in recovery. 

Understanding The Power Of Negative Words

Now and then we may find ourselves speaking negatively about ourselves and others. Sometimes we do so because of feelings of guilt, shame, lack of self-confidence, or lack of self-esteem. Although it is unrealistic to think that we will not experience low confidence or sadness from time to time, are there benefits that come from using self-critiquing language? 

We all have that one friend that uses negative self-talk in a joking manner. Self-deprecating language in and of itself can seem humorous, but over time it can cause significant damage to an individual’s self-image and sense of self. This is because repeated language sticks in the brain. Even when you make a joke about yourself regarding something you don’t believe to be true, if you say it enough times, you will start to identify with your self-deprecating words. 

Reflect on your everyday conversations. Do you tend to speak ill of others? Do you speak illy of yourself? Do you judge others for the choices they are making in life? 

Negative self-talk can play a direct role in the development of mental illness in adulthood, such as depression and anxiety. Remember that when it comes to your use of language, your words will not resonate in anyone else’s mind and body but your own.

Understanding The Power of Positive Words

Oppositely, positive words create and shape the value of our lives. Words can create an incredible healing effect in life. What words come to mind when you think of healing, comfort, love, and encouragement? What people come to mind? 

If you are someone that believes in karma, you might already recognize the power of positive words. Karma is believed to be the fate that you earn as a result of your actions and behaviors. With language, karma would be using positive (or negative) language and expecting the same positive (or negative) result in return. 

Affirmations are another crucial example of the power of positive words. Affirmations are inherently positive statements that are designed to foster an optimistic mindset. Affirmations have the power to motivate action, facilitate change, encourage personal growth, and challenge negative thinking patterns in your life. 

Self-affirmations help activate self-related processing and feelings of reward. The power of positive language and words is not merely mental- it facilities healing of your subconscious mind and fosters greater self-esteem. 

You can also consider gratitude as a valuable example of the power of positive language. Gratitude reduces toxic emotions, helping us to focus on the positives in life. Gratitude not only increases our self-esteem, but it improves our interpersonal relationships, positively enhances our life experiences, and directly contributes to our feelings of wellbeing. 

Understanding Language In Recovery

There are often negative connotations used when referring to addiction, mental illness, treatment, and recovery. These negative associations come from society and continue to harm people’s ability to get the treatment that they need and deserve. 

Not only does society place a negative light on the individuals that suffer from substance use, addiction, and mental illness, but these individuals will also place a negative light on themselves regardless. If you are in recovery, you are no stranger to self-critiquing language as a result of your addiction experience. Although this is a step in the right direction, you must work through these negative feelings to ensure a long-lasting recovery.

It is essential to recognize that the cycle of substance use and addiction is perpetuated by the stereotypes and stigmas that surround drug use, drug users, and recovery in general. People wonder why others struggle with addiction without realizing that the very topics of conversation are framed so negatively. If treatment and recovery were discussed more positively in society, we would likely see positive changes being made in the recovery community. 

You are essentially responsible for the connotation of language (positive, negative, or neutral) that you are putting in your body. The connotation you choose is what is paving your path for your present-day, week ahead, and future to come. 

Recognize that not only does general language hold power, but the words we choose to use have significant power in our lives. Bring awareness to how often you are using negative language in your own life and work to consciously change it every day. 

Language and words are powerful. It is important to recognize the power behind the use of both negative and positive words. Negative words can have long-lasting detrimental effects on mood as well as self-esteem. Positive words can build your life and future, encouraging personal growth and greater self-esteem. In recovery, the use of language becomes even more powerful. The cycle of substance use and addiction is perpetuated by the negative stigmas that surround drug use. It is essential to understand the power of words, especially regarding their impact on recovery. West Coast Recovery Centers believes that positive language can make a long-lasting impact on mental wellness and recovery. Our compassionate staff understands that the process of recovery can be overwhelming. We will help to foster an optimistic, although realistic, mindset for you during your treatment journey. For more information about our treatment facility, give us a call today at (760) 492-6509