Philosopher and researcher
"Learning is what we do every day to deal with what we do not know".
The power of words; how positive language can help make life better
Positive language is how we use the power of words to be able to find and recognize the best way to address a situation. Language can help us uphold the life we may lead in the future. It also accompanies us throughout our entire lives. It helps us to understand our own history, as we use words every day to build our narrative. Words shape our personality, memories and ability to see the world. What positive words do is enable us to see the world at its best.
We shape our personality one word at a time. We build our memories one word at a time. We develop our dreams one word at a time. This means we can shape our personalities using words that might be helpful to us. Language enables the brain to function more quickly and be more attentive and focused. It provides energy and creativity.
For me, one word is really important, as it enables us to be creative. That word is "yes". Everyone always focuses on the word "no". However, "yes" is the word that empowers you. When your brain receives this word, it opens up. If you always say no straight away, what you're doing is training your brain to act in a certain way that prevents you from being creative. "Yes" is the first approach you should take.
Positive language helps you to realize that a certain response is not appropriate before you give it and then have to take palliative measures, such as saying sorry. That's what positive language does. It's not about being overly tolerant. It's just about time. We are time and attention. We are born, grow up and die, during which time we give our attention to certain things in life. What we have to do is rethink how to use words and language. This means oral and written language, as well as the language of gestures. Language can help us build the positive life story we want.
A sense of humor is essential. There's no point being too dramatic. You don't have to be taught how to do this, it's just a simple learning process. It's a question of learning together. I learn to be brave as a teacher and parent, and I can also learn to be brave as a student.
Children are taught mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and new technology; however, they're not taught how to use language. That's because we don't recognize how important language is, as we already know how to use it.
Find out more about Luis Castellanos
- Luis Castellanos has a PhD in Philosophy and is a researcher and leading authority on 'positive language'. He wrote the books “La Ciencia del Lenguaje positivo” ("The science of positive language") and “Educar en el Lenguaje positivo” ("Teaching positive language"). and has worked on cognitive neuroscience studies at the Complutense University and Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid. Mr. Castellanos has used the clinical results obtained from studies of magnetic resonance and electroencephalography to demonstrate the huge influence positive language has on education.
- How can I explain what positive language is to a child?
If you use positive language, are aware of the words you say and choose words as tools to help with dialogue, you can help children understand what positive language is. Just ask them to tell you about a day when they were happy, or describe why they're feeling sad. Get them not just to talk about these emotions, but to reflect on, feel and really see them for what they are. When you do this, you can pick up on a word and then build on it. All you need is one word. You can have a dialogue with one word. Night time is the best time to chat to your children, as you will learn more at this time of day. Adults also learn. Adults can learn alongside their children, as when you talk to your child in a specific way, you're also learning something. You should recalibrate your senses every day, because this means that you're ready and willing to listen. If you do this, one day you will start to recalibrate the way you use language.