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What Your Language is Really Saying

Changing the words you say to yourself and others is a long process that requires time and practice. It also requires you to be focused on the present moment so that you are choosing your words with intention.

Language can also be a barometer – if you learn how to read it. For example, whenever we use the phrase, "I'll try to . . ." what we're really doing is giving ourselves permission to not do something. In other situations we may slip into polarized thinking and use words such as good/bad, right/wrong, all/nothing, always/never, success/failure, either/or. Noticing these words provides the opportunity to change your perspective and choose thoughts and words that grow your recovery and build your self-esteem.

Body language is another important tool for communicating with others. If you can become more aware of the messages your body is sending, it can help you to ensure that you're delivering what you're intending.

The Center for Nonverbal Studies has an online dictionary where you can look up gestures, postures or body parts to learn what studies have shown about what unintentional language you might be using.

Changing your language requires you to tune in and notice your words and gestures, to make sure they're sending out the right messages.