Why Bad Language Is Bad For Us

20 Jan 17

The title may be a little misleading. I refer to bad language in terms of the language of our thoughts and speaking negatively. This is far worse for our health than the odd expletive! The well known phrase introduced in 1949 by Donald Hebb is the direction I’m leading towards.

“Neurons that fire together, wire together”.

Bear this phrase in mind when complaining, when responding negatively, when thinking in a less than positive way.

You’d like to be more positive, less anxious, happier, more in control? Well focussing on this phrase can lead you to live a life you may find more satisfying. This phrase refers to how thousands of neurons are formed through our thought processes, our experiences and our sensations. These neurons form neural pathways in our brains, and those pathways are easy to keep reinforcing with our behaviours.

The most exciting recent discovery in neuroscience must surely be the discovery the brain remains malleable throughout our lives, so we now know we can create new neurons and new neural pathways no matter how ingrained old habits may be. We know the saying “old habits die hard’, but they can die! And new habits formed. The longer we have held particular beliefs around something, the harder it is to dismantle that neural pathway, but the important thing here is that we can! We simply have to want it badly enough, put the energy into refocusing our thoughts and remain persistent!

The more negative our thoughts, the more neurons the brain creates to support those thoughts.

So if we want to fire up more positive neurons, we need to think happier thoughts. When those negative thoughts come, simply refocus onto a more positive mind set and fire together those neurons and create a more positive neural pathway. Which would you prefer your brain to be full of, positive neural pathways or negative ones…?

Imagine a field of corn with a pathway trodden through it, easier to just keep walking that same old path isn’t it? Even if that path is filled with negativity, it’s there and it’s easy to just keep that path open. But with a few changes, imagine that new, more positive pathway appearing in the corn. It’s hard at first, we have to persist in treading in a new pathway, but the more effort we put in, the more we use that new pathway, the sooner that old negative pathway can start growing over and become less easy to simply wander aimlessly down. So in time, the new positive pathway becomes a habit, becomes easier to take and keeps those positive neurons firing together.

When seeing clients at Midland Therapy Services, I use a variety of interventions to encourage clients to consciously create these new neural pathways. Hypnotherapy is also a great way to support changing old thinking habits and make it easier to subconsciously create new, more positive ways of thinking.

There is no room for ‘I can’t’ or ‘it’ll never happen’, ‘nothing good happens to me’ and so on, all these thought patterns do is reinforce those negative pathways. So let’s build a new, more positive outlook. Let’s start recognising ‘I can’, ‘good things do happen to me’, ‘I deserve good things to happen to me’ and feel those new positive pathways begin to strengthen as the old ones diminish. It’s never too late, always remember – neurons that fire together wire together.