Negative Words Impede Recovery

Robert F Mullen, PhD

Subscriber numbers generate contributions that support scholarships for workshops.

The distinction between social anxiety disorder and social anxiety is a matter of severity; reference to one includes the other. The recovery tools and techniques provided apply to most emotional malfunctions, including depression, substance abuse, ADHD, PTSD, generalized anxiety, and self-esteem and motivation issues. These malfunctions originate homogeneously, their trajectories differentiated by environment, experience, and the diversity of human thought and behavior.  

“Dr. Mullen is doing impressive work helping the world. He is the pioneer of proactive neuroplasticity utilizing DRNI – deliberate, repetitive, neural information.” – WeVoice (Madrid, Málaga)   

Negative Words Impede Recovery

“I believe that a negative statement is poison.
I’m convinced that the negative has power. It lives.
And if you allow it to perch in your house,
in your mind, in your life, it can take you over.”
— Maya Angelou

Words have enormous power; they influence, encourage, and destroy. They are a source of compassion, creativity, courage, and intimacy. They evoke desire, emotion, fear, and joy. They lift our spirits, inspire our imaginations, and plunge us into the depths of despair. 

Recovery Objectives

The primary goal of recovery from social anxiety is the moderation of our irrational fears and anxieties.

We execute this through a three-pronged approach. We:

  1. Replace or overwhelm our negative thoughts and behaviors with healthy, productive ones.
  2. Produce rapid neurological stimulation to change the polarity of our neural network.
  3. Regenerate our self-esteem.

These comprise our overall strategy.

Negativity Trajectory

Childhood disturbance prompts our negative core and intermediate beliefs, which establish the attitudes, rules, and assumptions that produce our maladaptive understandings of the self and the world. Attitudes refer to our emotions, convictions, and behaviors. Rules are the principles or regulations that influence our behaviors, and our assumptions are what we believe to be authentic.

Simply put, our neural network is replete with toxic information manifest by the negative words that convey our conditioning and disrupt our strategy.

Space is Limited
Register Early

Negative Overabundance

We are consumed and conditioned by negative words. Some of us use the same unfortunate words over and over again. The more we hear, read, or speak a word or phrase, the more power it has over us. By the age of sixteen, for example, we have heard the word no from our parents roughly 135,000 times. 

Our SAD-induced adverse self-appraisal compels automatic negative thoughts of incompetency, undesirability, and other forms of negative self-labeling. The illusory truth effect describes how repeatedly hearing the same false information compels us to accept its veracity.

Our brain accelerates and consolidates learning through repetition.

Neural Negativity

Our neural network has structured itself around emotionally hostile information. It is not just the words we say out loud in criticism and conversations. The self-annihilating words we silently call ourselves are even more destructive. They support our automatic negative thoughts (ANTs).

Negative words cause our neural network to transmit chemical hormones that impair our logic, reasoning, and communication, impacting the parts of our brain that regulate our memory, concentration, and emotions.

Our recovery objective is to replace this information with positive, productive neural input. Additionally, positive reframing helps replace our negative thoughts and behaviors.

Negative Word Categories

Three categories or types of negative words concern us. Negative absolutes like no one, nobody, nothing, and nowhere substantiate our isolation and avoidance of relationships. Qualifiers such as barely, maybe, and perhaps devalue our commitment, while our self-appraisal, expressed by can’t, shouldn’t, and won’t, provokes our sense of incompetence and inferiority.

It is prudent to become mindful of and eliminate these types of words from our thoughts and vocabulary: 

Pressure Words

Pressure Words like should and would equivocate our commitment. “I should start my diet” means perhaps I will and maybe I won’t. Pressure words permit us to change our minds, procrastinate, and fail. (We are either on a diet or will be on a diet.) The pressure comes from the guilt of potentially doing nothing (I should’ve done that).

Negative Absolute Words

The impact of won’t, can’t, and the like is obvious. Consider the two statements: “I won’t learn much from that lecture” and “I will gain something from that lecture.” Which one offers the probability we will attend? Negative absolute words also include never, impossible, and every time. “Every time I try …”

Conditional Words 

Conditional words like possibly, maybe, and might weaken our commitment. They originate in doubt and manifest in avoidance and procrastination. “Maybe I will start my diet” is not a firm commitment. Qualifying and conditional words or statements provide an excuse to deviate and obfuscate. “I will not drink at the office party” is a more robust commitment than “I will not drink at the party unless I get nervous.” Qualifying or conditional words or statements are also pre-justifications for our failures. (I might have won if only …)  Other conditional words include ought, must, and have to.


Hate is a highly destructive sentiment to describe something we dislike. “I hate doing the dishes.” Do we really, or do we just dislike doing the dishes? Hate is an emotion; dislike is a feeling. Feelings quickly dissipate, while emotions can metastasize. Some experts argue the word or sense of hate has value in healing. Notwithstanding, the words correlate to rage, resentment, and fear, feelings we seek to moderate in recovery.

It is essential to remain mindful of the harmful nature of these words and eliminate them from our self-referencing thoughts and usage. They adversely impact the integrity and efficacy of our neural information as well as the replacement of negative thoughts and behaviors. 

Proactive Neuroplasticity YouTube Series

*          *          *

WHY IS YOUR SUPPORT SO IMPORTANT?  ReChanneling develops and implements programs to (1) moderate symptoms of emotional malfunction and (2) pursue personal goals and objectives – harnessing our intrinsic aptitude for extraordinary living. Our paradigmatic approach targets the personality through empathy, collaboration, and program integration utilizing neuroscience and psychology including proactive neuroplasticity, cognitive-behavioral modification, positive psychology, and techniques designed to regenerate self-esteem. All donations support scholarships for groups, workshops, and practicums.

Leave a Reply