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Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me. Or will they? I absolutely believe that this old adage is both true and untrue, and that both sides to this story can affect your physical wellbeing.

Why? Let’s start with the truths. Those of us fortunate enough to have full faculty of our brains have the power to decide how we will respond to any given situation. This realization carries enormous life-changing potential and also a huge amount of personal responsibility. It took me quite a while to really *get* that what I think about what happens is so much more important than what actually happens. Here’s an example: A person I’m acquainted with says something critical of me. There are really an infinite number of ways I could respond to this, each resulting in a different outcome for my peace of mind and ultimately, my health. I could, for example, stay up late at night brooding over the remark, tossing and turning and plotting my revenge. I may think something like, “She is so out of line! I can’t believe she had the NERVE to say that to me! This is so UNFAIR! How DARE she?” As a result, I may have sleep disturbance, anxiety, high blood pressure, compulsive eating (or drinking, spending, etc.), loss of focus, wacky hormones, fatigue, stomach pains, and reduced immunity. Eventually, if all of these imbalances go unchecked, disease begins to thrive. However, if I were to choose thoughts such as, “That wasn’t a very nice thing to say, but I am happy with myself and even if what she said is absolutely true, it doesn’t mean I’m any less valuable. I’m not perfect, and that’s ok.” The result of these thoughts would be the opposite of the list above, and my body would be in a much-improved position for immunity and health. Training your brain to respond differently is a process and a skill, which I’ll talk about more in other posts. But I wanted to mention the truths before going into why I think the sticks and stones statement is so very UN-true.

Why your words will hurt me (and you)

One theory of our universe is that everything is made of energy; as in wavelengths of energy. And by everything, I mean everything. That includes your thoughts, your words, your shoes, and the Cheerios you had for breakfast. Words are vibrations and although most of us cannot actually see these vibrations, they can pack a punch as powerful as any stick or stone. So, if we say things like, “I’m going to kill her!” or “I just hate myself for ____,” or “That makes me sick,” a vibration of violence goes out toward others and also yourself. The result? Basically the same as the list above. “But, wait!” you say. “I don’t literally mean those things! I was just kidding/didn’t mean it/was just blowing off steam.” Nevertheless, words and thoughts are made of energy and that energy can be very powerful.

Dr. Masaru Emoto demonstrated this with his water molecule experiments. Dr. Emoto studied the effects of thoughts and words on individual molecules of water and found that positive and negative words affected the individual water molecules very differently. As with much scientific research, his results are controversial, but there are many other studies using plants, animals, and even people that also demonstrate the effect our vibrations can have.

Try this experiment and see for yourself: Make a note of all the times you pay attention to negative words or thoughts throughout the day. You don’t have to write them all down, just count the number of instances and become aware of what you’re taking in and sending out. For example; song lyrics, gossip, hateful or violent words, negative self-talk, name-calling, etc.. Once you’ve tracked this for a few days, set a goal to out-number these negative instances with positive ones. Try turning off the news, listening to songs with positive messages, writing in a gratitude journal, sending random words of kindness to friends, resisting the urge to join in negative conversations about others, etc.. Throughout the experiment, pay attention to how your body responds to the negative or positive thoughts and words. Pay particular attention to your sleep and dreams. If possible, write your findings down and if you’re up for it, share with us below in the comments section!

Peace, Positive Wavelengths and Good Health to you!