Words become our experience, our recollection of a situation. The words we choose to describe a situation will become the picture we create in our mind. It will become the weight on our emotional scale, deciding whether we move toward or away from a similar situation in the future.
Let me give you a quick example:
I attended a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado. Shortly before the concert began, it began to pour (an unusual occurrence in our dry climate.)
To me, the rain was a little annoying but the concert was absolutely fabulous. To my friend, who attended the same concert, the weather was miserable and the concert was OK.
I attached pleasure to the experience and therefore eagerly seek additional opportunities to attend concerts at Red Rocks (by the way, it is one of the most breathtaking amphitheaters in the country. I highly recommend that you visit,) while my friend refuses to attend another concert there.
What’s the difference?
The words we used to describe the same experience and the emotional intensity of those words.
We can increase or decrease the emotional intensity of a situation with the words we use to describe it. We can consciously choose the words we use to record our emotional states. We can also choose words that will intensify or diffuse the emotions we attach to any situation and therefore control how we behave toward similar situations in the future.
Since our goal is to live a more positive life, the first thing we must learn is to turn down the emotional intensity of negative situations. We need to envision negative events in shades of gray rather than vivid color.
To do this, we use diffusing words:
Tiny bit, mildly, little, wee, are all words we can use to make our negative reactions smaller in our minds.
“I was a wee bit disappointed when my order was late” is much less emotionally intense than “I was fuming when the order was late.”
Both sentences describe the same negative situation, but the first is much less intense and will bring about little if any reaction, while the second could very well end in violence.
To turn intensity down on negative thoughts, simply tone down the negative words:
- I’d prefer not to… instead of I hate…
- It was a bit disappointing… instead of It sucked…
- A bit miffed..instead of seething mad…
- We had a slight difference of opinion, instead of a massive argument.
Likewise, we must also learn to turn up the intensity of our positive experiences. Picture the good things that happen to us in vivid color complete with upbeat music and perfume.
This is accomplished in the same way, but this time turn the intensity way up – expand your positive vocabulary:
Make a list of old words that you habitually use and replace them with new words. Practice your new words until they become habits.
Take control of your words and turn your experiences into a lifetime of positive experiences.
What new words are you going to use?
Don’t forget to visit Taquila today for more positive insight.