Power of the Tongue

“Life and death are in the power of the tongue, he that loves it would eat the fruit thereof” – Solomon

The tongue has no bone but it has broken men’s bones. History is replete with examples of great wars ignited by the words of a tongue. So also battles that could have been annihilating to thousands of people have been prevented by the tongues of some others. From time immemorial and as long as the earth remains, the tongue has and will continue to wield its power on those who belittle its vast abilities.

Does this tongue only wield its power on the outside, that is, does it only affect others or does it have influence on the life and times of its owner?
Neurology has some answers for anyone wanting to know.

One of the greatest gifts humanity has received from GOD is the human mind. No computer has as delicate intricacies as the human mind. Fertile, dynamic, automatic and diverse are some of the words that have been used to describe this human faculty. Another gift of great benefit to humanity is that of intelligible language or basically the gift of speech. This two gifts are connected in many diverse ways. The working dynamics of the mind I have discussed in an earlier blog titled: “Subterra: The Realm of Neo-possibilities.” The specific dynamics of the speaking ability would be the topic for another blog, the purpose of this blog is to highlight the relationship between the mind and speech and focus on the power of the tongue.

The speech centres of the brain are situated on the side of the brain just about the location of the ears on the head. They are responsible for all forms of articulated speech from the thought processing, choosing the right words, which language, pitch, tone up till the eventual release of the words. The speech centre also has some neural connections to the part of the brain that is responsible for body image, that is the part of the brain that modulates an individual’s  feeling of self-worth, fulfilment etc. This part of the brain then sends neural input to almost every part of brain to modulate the performance of that centre.
An example would suffice: if an individual says “I forget things easily”, and truly believes it, the speech centre sends that information to the ‘feel-good’ centre as a negative message which is then forwarded to the memory centre as modulator of the performance of the memory. By so doing, the abilities of the memory centre get constantly negatively inhibited and if the individual says it many times enough, he forgets more and more things.
It is as simple as that.

The ‘feel-good’ hormone secreted by many parts of the body but specifically in the brain for this purpose is called ‘serotonin’. The more serotonin is released into the body systems, the better the individual feels. That is why medications that are given for depression are also called mood-enhancers because their basic function is to make serotonin available in the body and particularly in the brain. The speech centre can increase or decrease the levels of serotonin available in the brain.

So if one says, “I am a confident, productive person.” And believes it very much, that message goes in much the same way as earlier outlined but this time it is sent as a positive message to other parts of the brain responsible for making that assertion ‘real’. A brief analysis will elucidate the matter better. A message is sent to the brain centre responsible for gait and balance: medulla oblongata and this centre fires neural inputs to the muscles of the lower limbs for more balance and walking support; from the same medulla, another message is sent to the muscles around the shoulder that squares up the shoulders obliterating the need to fold the arms across the chest (a posture indicating some form of tension). A different message is sent to the muscles of facial expression that removes the forehead wrinkles, widens the smile and relaxes the eyes. An altogether different positive message is sent to the logic centre of the brain which causes it to function faster (much in a way similar to increasing the RAM speed of a computer) thereby allowing the individual to process information coming from the five senses in a newer and more creative way such that he arrives at better conclusions. All these (and many more processes that will be too laborious to outline here) work together to make that individual a more confident and more productive person.

The obvious conclusion herein is that the tongue rules the life of its owner. If an individual believes something strong enough about himself, and proceeds to process that thought to the point of verbalisation, it is just a matter of time before the massive effects of the words spoken would be evident in the life of the individual.

Is the tongue responsible for ALL of an individual’s woes or successes? A thousand times No! Many processes also require additional but basic inputs from other parts of the body. For example, saying “I am not hungry” would not exactly work as simply as outlined above. There are two possible reasons: either that one may not be able to BELIEVE it strongly enough (hunger pangs can be terrible sometimes, especially with food all over the place) or that the ‘hunger’ centre in the brain requires overriding neural and chemical inputs from the stomach indicating that food has entered. I think both reasons play a role in that.
Hence it is safe to say that believing and saying it is sometimes NOT enough, one must do some work as well.

The question then is: What are YOU saying?

(C) November 2011
Follow on Twitter: @holamiju

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