The power of words is not a metaphor; it’s in our brain wiring…Other people’s words have a direct effect on your brain activity and your bodily systems, and your words have that same effect on other people. Whether you intend that effect is irrelevant. It’s how we’re wired.Lisa Feldman Barrett PhD
Words matter. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. Inescapable unless of course you’ve mastered meditation. Even then, daily practice is needed to rid the brain of chatter.
Words shape meaning, enable communication among people, across cultures, and between humans and other species. Just look at people and how they talk to their pets.
In her article “People’s words and actions can actually shape your brain” Lisa Feldman Barrett discusses “how the power of words over your biology can span great distances” and that “the power of words is not a metaphor; it’s in our brain wiring.”
Words shape us, our thoughts and how we view the world. Regardless if they are communicated through poetry, prose, spoken, or visualized, they impact bodily functions and they always have.
Words impact the body and mind directly. We might find ways to avoid negative words that impact how we think or feel but we can’t otherwise avoid how our bodies function and respond to words. It’s in our wiring.
In her article “What Are the Benefits of Self-Talk?” Susan York Morris suggests how Brené Brown playfully “refers to the negative voices in her head as her gremlins. By giving her negative thoughts a name, she’s both stepping away from them and poking fun at them.”
The wide and deep impact of words collectively and individually suggests the importance of playing with words. Especially now. Words, like play, should not harm or come from a malicious place. And great words, really great words, are endless fun in games, crossword puzzles, and banter.
Lighthearted humor is a basis for playful word banter. When it involves the entire community it’s especially fun. The recent Canadian Sign Wars “take the cake.” See how we did it right there with “take the cake?” It’s easier than you might think.
Truly playful words do no harm. Playful words can change our thoughts, change our bodies, change the world. Choose your words wisely and playfully.