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…

Overcoming Health Anxiety: A Books on Prescription Title (Overcoming Books)

A Books on Prescription title
How you can stop worrying about your health and enjoy life
Many of us have a tendency to worry unnecessarily about our health. For some the anxiety becomes chronic, and they may spend many hours checking for symptoms, seeking reassurance from others, surfing the internet for information about different diseases, or repeatedly visiting the doctor. It is distressing for them and for everyone around them.
In fact, health anxiety can be very successfully treated with cognitive behavioural therapy – the approach taken in this self-help guide. Using a structured, step-by-step approach the authors explain how the problem develops, how to recognize what feeds it and how to develop effective methods of dealing with it.
Includes questionnaires, case studies and exercises.
Based on proven CBT techniques.
Includes a chapter on fear of death and fear of vomiting.

A Books on Prescription title
How you can stop worrying about your health and enjoy life
Many of us have a tendency to worry unnecessarily about our health. For some the anxiety becomes chronic, and they may spend many hours checking for symptoms, seeking reassurance from others, surfing the internet for information about different diseases, or repeatedly visiting the doctor. It is distressing for them and for everyone around them.
In fact, health anxiety can be very successfully treated with cognitive behavioural therapy – the approach taken in this self-help guide. Using a structured, step-by-step approach the authors explain how the problem develops, how to recognize what feeds it and how to develop effective methods of dealing with it.
Includes questionnaires, case studies and exercises.
Based on proven CBT techniques.
Includes a chapter on fear of death and fear of vomiting.

Click Here For More Information

30% of Scots have experienced mental health problems.

BBC: New research has indicated nearly 30% of Scots say they have experienced mental health problems.
Commissioned by the mental health campaign See Me, the YouGov poll of 1,004 adults found 29% reported having had problems themselves.
It also suggested 39% said a family member had been affected.
The research found 35% of respondents believed they or a family member had experienced stigma or discrimination because of their mental health.

If you are one of the 30% contact a Thrive Programme Consultant to see how the Thrive Programme will help you.

Full article: BBC

See Me

Cure your emetophobia and Thrive (Thrive: Health, Happiness and Success)

Regardless of what you might read or hear elsewhere, you CAN be cured of emetophobia – a fear of being sick – and you can do it yourself, in the comfort and safety of your own home. Rob Kelly has helped hundreds of emetophobics over the last twenty five years, and supervised the helping of many hundreds of others. This book is based on his Thrive Programme, but it has been re-written and re-researched especially for people with a specific fear of vomiting/fear of being sick.

We have just finished a research survey (download it here: http://www.thriveprogramme.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Emetophobia-Research-Project.pdf) following up 34 emetophobes going through Thrive to help overcome their phobia. All of them overcame their fear. At the same time, they all significantly raised their self-esteem, significantly lowered their social anxiety, reduced their obsessing, calmed down their ‘desire for control’ and felt much more powerful! These changes are ESSENTIAL if you want to completely overcome your phobia.

Where does emeto come from? Why are 90% of the sufferers women? Why is it such a huge phobia to have (probably the worst of all of the phobias)? Why do so many women suffer from it (about 5-8% of all women – to a greater or lesser extent) and yet they mostly keep it secret from their family and friends? Why does exposure therapy generally not work for emetophobes? What are the shortfalls of CBT? Why is the Thrive Programme so effective in helping emetophobes? All these questions, and much more, are thoroughly explored and answered. Childhood, parenting, anxiety, social phobia, depression, agorophobia, OCD, obsessive brooding, hyper vigilance, black and white thinking are all described in detail.

More importantly, the book details a step by step programme (online support available) that you can follow at home, which will enable you to finally overcome your fear/phobia, get on with your life, and positively THRIVE. See also www.emetophobia.co.uk and www.thriveprogramme.org

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