Why Language Matters It Comes To Mental Health…

The language we use matter when it comes to our mental health!

“This is a CATASTROPHE / DISASTER / NIGHTMARE!”

“That makes me so DEPRESSED / ANXIOUS / SAD…”

“I can’t COPE!”

“This is IMPOSSIBLE / I CAN’T do this…”

“I’m so ILL / SICK / KNACKERED / TIRED…”

“This is RIDICULOUS / OUTRAGEOUS!”

“I don’t BELIEVE it…”

“I SHOULD be able to do this…”

Let’s play a game. Over the course of the next few days or weeks, listen out for the above language or phrases (or variations) and see how many of the your friends, family and colleagues actively use versions of them in their daily lives. I bet that it’ll be more than you imagined, a lot more.

Everyday use of language like this is so common, but incredibly unhelpful when it comes to managing mental health. They make every day occurrences, things that are just normal events or minor problems, seem far worse than they actually are.

And, like water seeping into the ground, this slowly infests our mindset and attitudes with negative thoughts, thinking styles, emotions and views of our lives. You will, if you hear it often enough, believe that it really is a disaster, a real living nightmare or a serious illness.

But let’s be honest, when you heard your colleague, parent or friend say something is a “disaster” or a “catastrophe”, it’s usually not. Losing your home to an earthquake, catching ebola or personal bankruptcy would be a big disaster or a nightmare… a bad day at work, catching a cold, forgetting a birthday or spilling a drink is not. They are just part of everyday life – something that everyone experiences around the world, regardless of who they are.

The everyday language we choose to use reflects our mental health

The everyday language we choose to use reflects our mental health – but we can change this very easily, especially by doing The Thrive Programme…

The above phrases and words are examples of a catastrophising or black and white thinking style, which promote a very critical, all-or-nothing view of ourselves and the world. There are 30 or more further thinking styles in this vein – often learnt at an early age from parents, family, colleagues and friends – but adopting most, inevitably, lead to a downturn in our mental health because they make us feel powerless and negatively alter our view of our lives.

You are in control of the language you use!

But, rather than being powerless in this regard, even though someone may feel like this, we have a very real control over the language we use and, thus, a large proportion of what makes up our mental health. Consider the fact that we have roughly 40,000 thoughts a day, and the language we choose to use is a direct expression of these thoughts. The important word here is ‘choose’. We have the choice, when it comes to the language we use, to catastrophise and exaggerate events and occurrences in our life beyond their real impact, just as we have the choice to not do this. It’s all about how you process the events around you.

But, when you change your mindset and language to to be more positive, those 40,000 thoughts begin to change too. Thoughts and beliefs affect our language, and our language affects our thoughts and beliefs. Don’t believe me? Look up Pennebaker and King (1999) or Wolf, Sedway, Bulik and Kordy (2007) – all cited in the The Thrive Programme book. These and many other studies concluded that the language, words and phrases we choose to use and our personality traits and attitudes to life are closely linked.

A very negative person might have 10,000 unhelpful, catastrophising thoughts a day, but when you change your daily use of language (both spoken and the things we silently say to ourselves) to leave no room for the sorts of words and phrases used at the top of this article, those thoughts will start to disappear as well.

So when the language we use is a real, more positive reflection of our everyday life – not a catastrophised or black and white version of it – we can very easily make a big step towards a more thriving attitude to life.

Christmas or any big occasion is a great time to start practicing this because it’s a time of heightened emotion when we’ve all heard a raft of the above phrases used in relation to an unlikeable relative coming to stay, burning the turkey, forgetting to get a gift for someone or finding out that the kid’s toys don’t have batteries included. So, take those phrases at the top of this article and turn them around: I CAN deal with this, this is NOT a nightmare, this is just a SMALL problem, I can OVERCOME this etc.

Teaching this change in attitude is one of the key pillars of The Thrive Programme, and something that, as the research cited above suggests, is a key barometer of how someone is doing in life before, after and during the course. For example, often during a first consultation, we hear very negative phrases like those at the top of the page – the person most likely feels helpless in the face of severe depression, anxiety or similar.

However, as they begin to learn how their mental health is a thing that they create – rather than it happening to them – then their language changes dramatically. They feel in control of their emotions, feelings and mental state and their language reflects this.

You’ll be shocked at how much anxiety, stress and broodiness you and others are causing themselves to experience just by allowing negative phrasing and thoughts. But, you’ll also be surprised at how much more enjoyable Christmas, and life in general, can be if you adopt more positive language around your experiences – it really is up to you…

After discovering a terrible, traumatic family secret, Marilyn struggled for years…then she found this programme

12th December 2017

Marilyn is a truly inspirational person. She’s CEO and founder of a brilliant charity called Enough Abuse UK – they work to prevent child abuse and family trauma – and she recently completed The Thrive Programme.

Marilyn had a tough few years following on from discovering that her children were being abused by a family friend. For 12 years Marilyn has been searching for a treatment or therapy that would help her to deal with the trauma of this event and she tried everything… after eight courses of treatment or therapy she was still struggling with feelings of guilt, anger and anxiety.

Thankfully, Marilyn met James – a Thrive Consultant – and she completed The Thrive Programme in just six weeks. During this time, she experienced a remarkable transformation, gaining confidence and self-esteem as well as defeating the demons that had blighted her life since the abuse took place.

Actually, within two weeks she noticed a big change in herself as she completed the exercises and absorbed the straight-forward lessons during her sessions with James.

Her husband says she’s a different person compared to before the programme and she deals with any tricky situations easily now she’s got a positive outlook and mindset. Her outstanding charity work is just one way this has changed her life.

An incredible transformation by a very brave lady, who recently won an award at the Inspirational Women 2017 ceremony, saying: “It was an awesome night and thank you all for voting for me but special thanks goes to James Woodworth and the Thrive Programme – James is THE person who helped me overcome so much and in just 6 weeks! The Thrive Programme is amazing and THIS AWARD is THRIVING in action. Thank you!”

Check out Marilyn’s video below for her verdict on how The Thrive Programme has helped her overcome family trauma and more on her story.

Emetophobia: My Story of Recovery

Unsure if it is possible to recover from Emetophobia?
I understand how you feel, I felt the same but I found the answer for me was YES!
In this story I share how I recovered Emetophobia, with access to my thoughts, feelings, behaviours and actions I took.
The intention of sharing this is to inspire and motivate you to take action for yourself or that someone Emetophobic you know.

Click Here For More Information

‘Depression lost me my job’

Learn How to Thrive in your life. Contact us now.

From the BBC: Hayley Smith says her manager encouraged her to apply for other jobs when she told her she had depression.
The news about her illness spread across the office. “It was horrible – I felt really exposed,” she says. After a few anxious, unhappy months, she left.
Hayley is one of up to 300,000 people with mental health problems who leave their jobs each year, a report says.
The report by mental health experts also says poor mental health costs the UK economy up to £99bn each year.
Paul Farmer, co-author of the Thriving At Work report, said mental health was a taboo subject in many workplaces.

Full article

Mastering Emotional Intelligence with the Thrive Programme

Emotional Intelligence Can Improve Your Productivity

“Effective Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills drive deeper engagement across the enterprise, including both employee and customer engagement, leading to greater commercial success,” Accessing the Triple Bottom Line through Emotional Intelligence.

“With 70 per cent of customer interactions grounded in emotional factors, it’s imperative that frontline staff are measured and developed in areas of EI allowing them to exceed customer expectations and boost company sales”.

“The ability to connect emotionally with customers is the key to enhanced performance and engaged employees on the frontline”

Most businesses tend to think of intelligence (IQ) as knowledge or cognitive ability, the more intelligent the work force, particularly in leaders, the better the business will perform. However, this is not the case. There is another kind of intelligence, as important or even more important than IQ, actively operating and impacting on businesses.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is an ability to be aware, to feel and to respond to emotions, both within oneself and in relation to others. This is a phenomenal quality which can be learnt. Emotional intelligence of the management and the staff has been proven to greatly increase productivity.

There can exist a big gap between how a business perceives the quality of its customer care and the actual experience of how the customer experiences it.

“Organisations that are socially and emotionally intelligent focused on relationships internally and externally will be the market leaders.”

The new currency of effective leaders is their emotional fitness.

In terms of leadership, Emotional Intelligence is associated with the ability to handle complex relationships, manage stress and to make better decisions, Rode et al, 2017 observed. EI is particularly important for individuals as they ascend the managerial ranks when these more advanced skills are required.

Leaders and managers are expected to have good leadership skills. Yet, we have all encountered leaders who don’t have these skills, who lack emotional intelligence.

It is never too late to acquire EI. It can be learnt in a relatively short space of time, be it one to one or in small group sessions. It is not only large companies that are now focusing on corporate wellbeing; SMEs also are now reaping the rewards of an emotionally intelligent workforce.

Come and find out more at Mastering Emotional Intelligence @EdinChamber  8th November 2017

Andrew Farquharson:

Thrive Programme Consultant and Trainer:

Thrive in Scotland

andrew@thriveinscotland.co.uk

@thrivescotland