Be Careful With Your Words

Be careful with your words
graphic © eminentlyquotable.com

“Be careful with your words, once they are said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.”

Scientific findings have long established the effects of hurtful words to the human body. The fear center of the brain, also known as the amygdala, releases stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters that wreck one’s logic, reasoning, and language. Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman provided supporting data in their book “Words Can Change Your Brain.” They write: “A single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.”

In another study, even seeing a list of negative words for few seconds has been reported to leave negative effects on one’s memory, feelings, and emotions. Prolonged exposure to hurtful words may disrupt sleeping pattern, appetite, and ability to experience long term happiness and satisfaction. Moreover, the negative effect on the listener’s brain undermines cooperation and trust. Interestingly, the mere act of hanging around negative people has been found to increase one’s prejudice toward others.

The multitudes of old and recent studies that support the damaging effects of hurtful words prompts researchers to conclude that emotional pain hurts more than physical pain. The pain caused by emotional distress hurts deeper and lasts longer than that caused by physical injuries. Moreover, people with emotional pain condition tend to perform worse in cognitive tasks than those who suffered from physical injury.

Words don’t just reflect your thoughts but also your character. In the words of John Maxwell: “People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” Actions may speak louder than words, but they certainly leave psychological scars.

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