“I will never finish this project in time.”

“I’m such a failure. I never get it right.”

“I’m definitely going to be late again.”

“I don’t know if I can do this.”

Do these phrases sound familiar? Most of us speak negatively about our abilities and circumstances without even realizing it. We hear so much about the impact that negative thinking can have on both our mental and physical wellbeing — but what about the impact of negative speech?

The spoken word has far more power than we attribute to it, and this power cannot be overlooked. Feelings of anxiety, stress, and discontent can all stem from our words, just as feelings of calmness, tranquility, and contentment have the opposite positive effect. In fact, our speech has the potential to impact not only ourselves and the people we speak to, but the environment around us. Words produce millions of vibrations, either negative or positive all depending on how you shape your speech. Speaking negatively encourages chaotic vibrations, facilitating fear, pessimism, and hopelessness. Conversely, speaking positively sets the vibrations forward in a positive motion, allowing us and those around us to experience joy, hope, and fulfillment. How do you feel when someone speaks in anger and frustration? How do you feel when someone laughs joyously? We can all agree that hearing uplifting words and sounds like laughter helps to set the tone of the environment, encouraging positivity and detracting from negativity. In fact, scientists have found that words not only have a profound impact on our mental and physical health – they can actually change our brain circuitry, and therefore improve our thinking!

As part of our journey to seek deeper, more profound relationships with our Higher Selves, it’s important that we remain steadfastly conscious of what we say. It is within our lower nature, our natural tendency, to gravitate towards negative and critical speech, and the first step in making a change towards positivity is to foster awareness from the beginning, starting with our thoughts and emotions. As you work with your Higher Self, you will become more aware of your Ego, which is where negative, chaotic, and self-serving thoughts stem from. Your Higher Self will help you to become more conscious of these patterns, enabling you to consciously change them and not act on them. Naturally and over time, you will start to speak rationally, calmly, pleasantly, and positively no matter the situation you face.

While learning to speak with increased self-awareness may seem difficult at first, it is not impossible. With time and practice, we can reach a place where positive speech becomes second nature. Working on our speech patterns will simultaneously work on our patience, a skill that we often lack, especially when it comes to positive change within ourselves. 

Below are three meditative exercises adapted from Higher Self Yoga, Book I by author and Higher Self Yoga founder Nanette V. Hucknall. Take your time learning these exercises; as mentioned above, patience will be necessary to change our behaviors as we often don’t think twice before we speak. These exercises can be performed as a standalone practice or can be a pleasant addition if you currently participate in meditation, breathing exercises, visualization, or guided imagery. 

Exercise One:

Link with your Higher Self by connecting to your heart and ask:

  • What in my language needs to change?
  • Do I use words that are unclear and misleading?
  • How can I become more direct and loving in speaking?
  • Is there a practice that I can do to learn to speak from the heart?
  • Give me the process that will help me do all of the above.

Exercise Two:

Ask your Higher Self to let you feel the vibration of the following words one at a time:

  1. Love
  2. Compassion
  3. Education
  4. Joy
  5. Striving
  6. Encouragement
  7. Helping
  8. Accomplishment
  9. Giving
  10. Achieving

Exercise Three:

Ask your Higher Self: Give me a particular chant or affirmation that would be helpful to me at this time.

  • Then ask: Tell me about the vibration and what its effect on me will be.
  • Does the answer feel right in your mind and your heart? If not, repeat the process.

As you connect further with your Higher Self and dive deeper into your practice, you will notice true change, choosing to speak in ways that bring out the best in you and impart positivity in the environment. Attracting the things, people, and experiences we want and value begins with what we speak into the world, and the types of vibrations we produce. We cannot expect positivity if we only put forth negativity. By learning how to speak consciously, we will find the joy, inner peace, and tranquility we’ve been searching for — and it all starts with our words.