A couple in ancient history was unable to bear children, even though they were expected to be the source of an entire nation. The women’s name, Sarai, meant contentious. For 75 years, when her parents, family, servants and neighbors called out her name, she heard quarrelsome, testy, antagonistic, disagreeable, argumentative. If you or I were called that for 75 years, we would likely become it. She probably did too. At the age of 75, God gave her a new name — Sarah, meaning Princess. Every time she heard her husband call her Sarah, she heard Mother of Kings. Not just Mother, but Mother of Kings. A year later, she gave birth to a son. In his lineage were several kings. Yes, this was a miracle and it also demonstrates the power of what we speak.
Current neuroscience tells us a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress. What? Are you hearing that? What we say or think can impact our genetic makeup. The changing of Sarai’s name to Sarah was strategic.
When we use positive words, we can improve cognitive reasoning and kick-start the motivational centers of the brain. Using negative words prevents the release of chemicals needed for stress management. Negative words also increase activity in the fear center of our brain. Do you see a connection to your fears and the negative words that have been spoken about you or to you?
Depending on the words used, functions in the parietal lobe of our brain start to change, changing your perception of both yourself and others. Over time the structure of your thalamus changes in response to your conscious words, thoughts, and feelings, affecting the way in which you perceive reality. Certainly, we still need miracles and we also need to pay attention to the words we speak to ourselves and others.
What shift can you make in the words you say daily that will change your perception?