It seems that we’ve all “snapped’ and said things that we later regret! Maybe the unkind words to a family member or co-worker were the result of thoughtlessness, frustration, or stress. One way to maintain good relations at home and at work, is to keep guard over one’s thought and tongue - to think and speak gently. Doing this fosters harmony, and it’s good for your health.
WATCH WHAT YOU SAY
When I was growing up, my Mother’s favourite words of wisdom were, “It’s not what you say, but the way you say it” and “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all”. Her sound instruction taught me the value of thinking before I speak, and to use kind and encouraging words in conversation. The tongue may be a small thing, but it can cause a fire-storm of damage!
TIP: Before “opening your mouth”, consider the impact of your words. “Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body”. - The Bible, Proverbs 16:24
DON’T CRITICIZE RASHLY
Giving unmerited criticism, or expressing an unfavourable opinion of someone or something out of anger or spite, is damaging to health and harmony. If it’s necessary to correct a youngster or a fellow worker, speak gently - use “a spoonful of sugar” it “helps the medicine go down”. Experience shows that it’s more productive to begin a conversation with words of praise or appreciation before giving your hopefully ‘constructive’ advice.
TIP: Be careful about using critical words. “A soft word turns away anger” . The Bible Proverbs 15:1
Each day conversations take place at home, work, school, at the café or supermarket. Some are short-and-sweet, others long or intense. Engaging with others in positive ways by using words prompted by kindness, calmness, and thoughtfulness, enhances contacts and is beneficial to everyone’s health and peace of mind.
TIP: Remember “…the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms.” So, “… go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience.” - Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings p. 224
- Put into practice the message of this poem by David Bates. “Speak gently! It is better far to rule by love, than fear. Speak gently, let not harsh words mar the good we might do here.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Health writer, Beverly Goldsmith, is a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science healing. Twitter: @GoldsmithBev
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