Positive Words is a simple tool to improve your outlook. Prime your mind each morning with an inspiring thought and a positive word.

Positive Words was created to expand your vocabulary for beauty, joy, and happiness. Here’s why:

Through the word you express your creative power. It is through the word that you manifest everything. Regardless of what language you speak, your intent manifests through the word. What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are will all be manifested through the word.

The word is not just a sound or a written symbol, but a word is a force. It is the power you have to express and communicate, and think, and thereby to create the events in your life. You can speak. What other animal on the planet can speak? The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human. It is the tool of magic.”

– Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

 

Okay, very poetic…but will learning a bunch of words really affect me?

The conscious part of our minds likes to believe that it has complete control over ourselves, and that we are only affected by what we directly perceive. But a New York University study on priming with different types of words shows quite different results.

A group of undergraduate students at New York University enrolled in an introductory psychology course were asked to participate in a study on language abilities. However, as any introductory psychology student has learned, these experiments never test quite what they claim to the participants.

The 34 students in the study were given a group of 30 “random” words which they were told to unscramble in order to build sentences. This would supposedly test their language abilities. However, each student was given one of three types of word groups. The first one was sprinkled with 15 words synonymous or related to rudeness, such as “brazen, bold, audaciously, annoyingly, interrupt, infringe, obnoxious” and so on. The second group was given words that related to politeness and courtesy, such as “respect, honor, graciously, courteous, cautiously, sensitively, behaved“, and so on. The third group was given words that were neither particularly descriptive of rudeness nor politeness.

So what did the study show? After each student finished the “language test”, he or she was told to meet with the experimenter. However, in every case, the experimenter intentionally carried on a conversation with a cohort while continuing to ignore the participant for up to 10 minutes.

This was all part of the experiment, although the participant did not know. The experimenter continued to talk with his cohort for up to 10 minutes, or until he was interrupted by the participant. The designers of the experiment suspected that those primed with the rude words would be more likely to interrupt than those with the polite words or the control subjects with neutral words.

Were they right? Most definitely. The group who had received the rude words to work with had interrupted the experimenter during his conversation about 65% of the time. Only about 40% of the group that received neutral words had chosen to interrupt him. And the group that received the polite words? Less than 20% made any interruption.

This shows that we are affected much more by the words that pass through our heads than we may realize. If we do not have the vocabulary to describe the many shades of positive emotions and behavior, will we be as likely to experience them?