It’s nice to know that even in stressful times words — free and abundant– have the power to turn our thoughts to happier ones.
Words will change your attitude about yourself! Yes, it’s true.
No, this isn’t about going to get a dessert and having a happy sugar high. (Unless you want to do that and come back and read. I’ll wait!)
This post isn’t about sugar, it’s about the power of thought. An overarching concept if I’ve ever heard one.
Quotes abound about the power of our minds, thoughts, attitudes, and perceptions. I like this one.
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” — John Milton
Milton’s quote is so literary that it makes me feel smart. The power of the mind, coming in to play. Am I tricking myself? Who cares!
This quote is great, too.
“I found that when you start thinking and saying what you really want then your mind automatically shifts and pulls you in that direction. And sometimes it can be that simple, just a little twist in vocabulary that illustrates your attitude and philosophy.” — Jim Rohn
I don’t know who Jim Rohn is but that quote makes perfect sense. (Okay…. I just looked him up. He was a motivational speaker, author, and entrepreneur) Here’s a link to a few of his books.
I’d venture to say that most of us know who Sigmund Freud was. He said, “Words have magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair.”
So much for sticks and stones may break our bones but names will never hurt us. (Such a dumb, old timey saying!) Of course words hurt.
So let’s flip that and find some words that help our mindset. Twisting of words, so to speak.
If you’re skeptical, don’t be! Studies have shown that tiny, simple words can drastically alter our thinking, behavior, and mood.
Skeptical? A negative word if I’ve ever heard one. Let’s not go there…let’s stay positive!
Small positive words result in more energy, enthusiasm, and productivity. Small negative words do just the opposite.
University of Pennsylvania has a Positive Psychology Center. (This link goes to Penn’s research page. Click around in there. Their website has a plethora of information) Twenty-five years of research has proven that positive attitudes improve self esteem, well-being, optimism, and success.
We can wield the power of positive words unto ourselves!
It won’t take much work! Really.
Even reading a list of words before we start our day or a task can shift how we behave.
All right, don’t kill me, but I want you to grab a piece of paper. I’m not much for exercises either but this is easy. Written words are key to success here!
STEP ONE: Set a timer for five minutes. Make a list of short, simple words that make you feel happy. (phrases are okay, too) Keep at it. Try to list a lot of words, so you have a selection.
One of my words may surprise you. Trees! I love trees. Just breeze through those gorgeous tree pictures below.
Another word I’d choose is puppies! (or maybe you like kittens.) Baby elephants? Bear cubs?
More words on my list? Sunsets! (check out my Instagram account. People there must think that I’m obsessed with sunsets.)
Sparkle, oceans, beaches, coffee, mountains, family, wind, sunshine, sailboats, music, color, Louie (our dog!), fireflies, moonlight, stars, birds, the woods, chocolate.
(I am getting out of control here.) Back to the point.
Step one is complete. You’ve got your words.
STEP TWO: Read through your words. Choose half a dozen you like most. Write those on a post-it or separate piece of paper.
STEP THREE: Read these six words several times.
STEP FOUR: Put this piece of paper with your six words on the fridge or tape it to your laptop, so you can see them every day.
STEP FIVE: (okay, not quite done….) Read your word list daily for two months for the happiness to settle into your brain.
Studies say it takes that long for a new habit to form. A long time = two months. (Believe me, I know. It took a long time for me to stop eating gluten.) If you want to read a study for yourself, here’s one that is often cited. (450 times, actually)
If your word list is accidentally lost, you can always come back here for a refresher, or to peruse the photos. I’d be happy if you did!
Hm…maybe I better add ‘subscribers’ to my list!
What are your six happy words?
Remember, optimists are happier, healthier, and more successful. Let’s turn ourselves into optimists!