What if you possess the tools you need to reconstruct the way you think and create a positive mindset? Well, actually, you do. It’s all about the words you use to express your experiences. Through conscious speech, you can fuel positive thinking and shift your mindset for the better.
This is because language has an incredible ability to shape the way that we think. It acts as a framework through which we understand the events that take place around us.
As cognitive scientist Lena Boroditsky says, “language guides our reasoning about events and the tiny perceptual decisions that we make.”
In fact, the power of language is so immense that it can completely alter the way we perceive things which we believe to be intrinsic, such as gender or time.
Words are crucially important in building a vocabulary of emotion, and the names we give to things can transform our perceptions. As entrepreneurial writer Tony Robbins says, “the words we attach to our experience become our experience.”
In essence, it feeds our entire outlook on life. Through positive affirmations, we can actively shape a feel-good mentality and shift our entire perspective.
Here are a few ways in which you can question the words you use, and create a positive mindset as a result:
1. Anxiety – or excitement?
What happens when you feel anxious? Your heart beats faster, you become suddenly restless, you start feeling butterflies. These characteristics bear an uncanny resemblance to the experience of feeling excited.
And when you look closer at the phenomenon of excitement, you’ll see that it’s a positive interpretation of the same physiological responses.
What this shows us is that our mindset plays a huge role in selecting the words we use to describe our experiences. And the words we use, in turn, strengthen our perceptions.
When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, writer Antonia Case suggests a simple exercise of “rebranding anxiety”.
Instead of calling it anxiety, call it excitement instead. You’d be amazed at how one simple word can shift your perception and channel your energy in a different, more positive way.
2. The limitations of labels
It’s appealing to categorise ourselves and put ourselves in neat boxes. From psychology tests to Buzzfeed quizzes, humans are driven by an innate curiosity to understand and brand ourselves accordingly. Labels shape our identities and affirm a sense of selfhood.
Yet we should be cautious of falling victim to the psychological power of labels. While sentences such as “I’m an anxious person” or “I’m a shy person” might help us feel like we know who we are, they actually create more harm than good in terms of personal growth.
In fact, this kind of mentality suggests an absolutist view when it comes to our development. It closes us off from the possibilities of growth and potential, hampering positive thinking.
As Naomi Teeter of The Inspired Transformation says, “Labels create our identity. They shape our destiny. They limit what we allow ourselves to become.” By defying our labels, we open ourselves up to a growth-driven mentality where nothing is set in stone and everything is to gain.
So instead of saying “I’m a shy person”, think “how can I push myself to expand my growth?”
Rather than believing that you’re a lazy person because you didn’t meet that deadline in time, ask yourself “how can I organise my time more effectively in the future?
3. Mantras fuel positive thinking
Mantra is a Sanskrit word. It originates from an ancient Vedic practice of repeating sacred utterances to effect psychological powers.
From Hinduism and Buddhism to Pinterest and Instagram, mantras have travelled down the ages and across a multitude of cultures. Why are they so enduringly popular? Because they have the ability to conjure an alternate reality, in a beautifully quotable soundbite.
Through the medium of words, mantras allow us to imagine ourselves as we would like to be – to dwell on multiple possibilities and open up to change. By repeating mantras and absorbing their wisdom, we can effectively rewire our thought patterns, shifting negative habits into positive.
On that note, here are 5 motivational mantras to fuel your positive thinking:
- Don’t wish for it, work for it
- Failure is success in progress
- Great things never came from comfort zones
- Big journeys begin with small steps
- Respond to every call that excites your spirit
Ready to transform your life through the simple power of language? The journey begins right here.
Feeling inspired? Fuel your positive thinking with these 3 great adventures:
Immerse yourself in the coastal charms of Croatia
There’s nothing like a sweeping adventure through Croatia to foment a positive emotional connection with yourself. This trip will see you journey from Split to Dubrovnik, via the gushing rapids of River Cetina.
Experience tropical beauty in Thailand
From Bangkok to the paradise sands of Krabi, discover a land of lush beauty and high adventure in Thailand. This adventure will leave you reeling with feel-good vibes.
Embrace rugged adventure in Sri Lanka
Our epic Sri Lanka itinerary will see you venture into the breathtaking highlands, rappel down a waterfall in the rainforest and unwind on the dreamiest beaches imaginable.