How Training Yourself To Speak Positively Can Improve Your Mental Health

There is no doubt that words have power over your life. This is why many people receive love from their partner through words of affirmation or find a handwritten note to be extremely meaningful. A pep talk before a big game or speeches at a wedding all symbolize the influence words can have in your life.

Similarly, some of the most influential people like Oprah Winfrey swear by the concept of a vision board, where your dreams and goals are pasted together in a collage and act as a daily reminder of your aspirations. Typically, these manifestation boards contain powerful quotes, motivational phrases, or even just single words in large letters. Many believe these positive messages actually have the ability to improve your life.

Of course, if filling your mind with positive words has the power to make your life better, it's not surprising that negative self-talk can be detrimental to your mental health. While it can be extremely easy to fall into a self-degrading mindset, actively choosing to avoid putting yourself down, even in your own head, can make a huge difference in your overall wellness.

Be intentional with your words

It can be easy for your brain to become a highlight reel of your undesirable traits. Whether you said something weird, wore an outfit you no longer like, or regret the way you acted, it's much harder for you to extend love and grace to yourself than to your friends or family members. Instead, you may think things like, "I'm such an idiot," and unconsciously sit with your self-loathing for hours, if not days.

Oftentimes, these unconscious thoughts can simply become a part of your vocabulary and before you know it, criticizing yourself under the guise of humor is a common occurrence with those around you. However, psychotherapist Justin Paulsen explained to Bustle the importance of intentionality with your words and how it can literally affect your brain.

According to Paulsen, your brain actually receives signals when you have certain thoughts or speak certain words. Therefore, your brain will continuously be filling these neuropathways with negative beliefs about yourself if that's the language you frequently use. Before you know it, that negativity will be what you notice about your everyday life. On the other hand, when you think positive thoughts and choose to have an optimistic mindset, you will likely start to notice the good things happening in your life. This is one of the ways to care for your mental health if you can't afford therapy.

Choose to see the positive in life

Many influencers on social media who swear by the concepts behind the law of attraction or manifestation touch on the power of a positive mindset as well. Social media star Renee Amberg grew her YouTube channel by sharing videos on manifestation and discussing the mindset shifts that lead to success with the law of attraction. Specifically, Amberg explained the importance of a gratitude journal and how documenting the simple things you are grateful for can set the tone for your entire day. Plus, you'll be amazed at what happens to your body if you write in a gratitude journal every day.

Ultimately, the mindset behind manifestation is rooted in positive thoughts but paired with actions that align with the life you're hoping to build. Similarly, making gratitude a daily practice and training your mind to speak positively about yourself and your life can drastically improve your mental health.

According to BetterUp, there are various theories that attempt to explain why positive self-talk can be so beneficial. While it could be that addressing the positive aspects of your life helps you manage your stress levels, it's also possible that speaking nicely to yourself actually motivates you to make lifestyle choices that are good for you. At the end of the day, words have power and while it can be difficult to speak kindly to yourself, it's one of the most impactful shifts you can make.