الأعزاء جميعا : سعيا منا الى وصول المواد التي تنشر بالمجلة عربياً وانكليزياً ، الى أكبر قدر من القراء، سننشر تباعاً ويوميا مواد المجلة وفي حقولها المتعددة عربياً وانكليزياً
I am brilliant. What about you?
Words have the power to shape our own thoughts and emotions
Written by Kinda Assayegh
If you ask about the highlights of FIFA World Cup 2022 beside Argentina’s win, many would definitely say: Ghanim Al-Muftah!
People around the world were mesmerised watching Ghanim present the opening ceremony with famous Hollywood actor, Morgan Freeman. Ghanim is a 20-year-old Qatari YouTuber and philanthropist born with caudal regression syndrome, a disease that affects the development of the lower spine. Despite his condition, the words uttered by Ghanem were full of grace, positivity, gratefulness, thanksgiving and determination. I was even more astonished to know that he wrote a book entitled: ‘Ghanim; Always the Winner’. No wonder he’s been called the ‘miracle’ if he describes himself as the ‘winner’ while he has every reason to quit, despair and call life and himself otherwise!
An honesty exercise for you and me: How many times did you catch yourself saying negative words about you or your situation?
My answer would be: guilty as charged your honour!
The power of our words
Words have the power to shape our own thoughts and emotions. Our self-talk or inner dialogue can have a significant impact on our mental and emotional well-being. If we constantly say negative things, such as “I’m not good enough,” it can lead to feelings of low self-esteem and self-doubt. Alternately, if we use positive affirmations and self-encouragement, it can boost our confidence and motivation.
The other day, as I was listening to a podcast on a 20-year journey of man conquering depression, he shared a simple key that transformed his life. He changed the way he told his story to himself, paying attention to other areas. Instead of ‘I was a victim of’ he said, ‘I survived so’.
Narrative psychology suggests that the stories we tell ourselves and about our experiences can influence how we perceive and remember them and help us heal. For example, if we focus on the negative aspects of a situation, it can lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Conversely, if we emphasis on the positive aspects, feelings of empowerment and optimism surface.
Moreover, according to quantum physics, the physical matter doesn’t exist, and everything is just energy in different states of vibration. This energy vibrates at an infinite number of subtle frequencies that cause it to appear as all the different creations we see in our world. This basically means that if we are mindful of the energy we hold, because of the emotions we feel based on our words, we can make deliberate choices that revise our frequency and create the realities we desire. Do words hurt? Not surprisingly, science comes to back this up. Maria Richter and collaborating scientists carried out a neuroscience experiment on ‘Do Words Hurt?’. They monitored 16 participants’ brain responses to auditory and imagined negative words. In the experiment, they noticed painful or negative words increase Implicit Processing (IMP) within the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex responsible for regulating emotions. In plain words, negative words release stress and anxiety inducing hormones in participants. Likewise, two studies discovered heightened levels of anxiety in children linked to higher rates of negative self-talk. Words can change your brain In their research on ‘Words can change your brain’, Dr. Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman noted that when we hold optimistic or uplifting words in our mind, we stimulate parts of our brain that affect our propensity to take action. When our mind is focused on uplifting words, pleasure chemicals like dopamine are released and the reward center of the brain is stimulated. As a result, our sense of stress and anxiety is reduced, and the body is able to relax and thus focus on maintenance and healing. They also confirmed that concentrating on positive thoughts can shrink the size of the brain’s fear-center, the amygdala. It can also make us smarter by increasing the thickness of the neocortex which is associated with our higher-order thinking.
Your life, your words, your choice
While undertaking my Master’s degree in interpretation, our doctors didn’t cease to emphasis the importance of developing what’s called ‘the tip of the tongue’. Figuratively speaking, having a huge depositary of words and their equivalents in the two languages ready, so a simultaneous interpreter can easily perform under stress and be best prepared. I now believe this could be also true to growing our ‘tip of the tongue’ with words of encouragement and inspiration about ourselves and others as we do this life relying on the best versions of ourselves.
With the many possibilities 2023 has to offer, the resolution remains for us to decide ‘what angle we tell our stories from’ and to consider ‘what title’ we choose if we get the chance to put our life tale in a book one day!