Written by P.Sutton
Scrolling Tik Tok one night an ad popped up on my screen that caught my eye. Pictures of beautiful, shiny bracelets with little words on them. I quickly switched over and typed “little words project” into my google search bar.
“Little Words Project® aims to inspire and encourage people to be kind to themselves and to pay that kindness forward, one bracelet at a time”
With a deeper exploration of their website, I fell in love with their message:
-Kindness. Above all else, always be kind to yourself and to others. Just one kind word can change everything for the better.
-Self-Love. The words you tell yourself matter. Love yourself first, and then pass it on to keep it going.
-Collaboration. The real magic happens when people come together. Collaboration wins over competition—always.
-Authenticity. Being yourself brings out your best self. Don’t be afraid to own your unique story and share it with the world.
-Inclusivity. Every single one of us deserves to be treated with kindness, no matter what.
As a speech-language pathologist, communication and understanding emotions is something I am passionate about and have built my career around. Nesse (1990) suggested there are three components to emotions: physiological, psychological, and behavioral. We know there are two main parts of the brain that engage in regulating and managing emotions, the amygdala, and orbitofrontal cortex. However, research also notes many physiologic chemical activities regulating emotional responses, including adrenalin, testosterone, and cortisol (i.e., hormones). Memories related to being happy, in love, calm, and experiencing positive surprises are more easily recalled than negative emotions (i.e., sad, afraid, angry, etc.) (Talarico, Berntsen, & Rubin, 2009). As a speech-language pathologist, I evaluate and treat both the verbal and non-verbal information conveyed in emotions, including figurative language used (i.e., trembling like a leaf), pitch, volume, and rate of speech. Further, making sure there is agreement and integration of speech, facial expressions, and body language when expressing emotions. It is critical to address emotional wellness comprehensively to improve our client’s personal and social effectiveness.
Emotions can impact cognitive function, including:
Mental flexibility-black & white thinking
Paranoid thinking-when we feel vulnerable, we’re more likely to become paranoid
Irrational thinking-overreacting, ignoring reason
Emotive judgment-making decision based on feelings v. facts
I ordered “GRATEFUL” because being grateful and practicing gratitude is something I do every day. Gratitude helps us magnify positive emotions and appreciate the value and benefits of things we may otherwise take for granted. It can help improve our mental health and help boost our relationships with others. By mindfully practicing gratitude, we improve our attention to the little things in life, and reorient our thinking from negativity to optimism and happiness.
There are many different ways to express gratitude-thanking someone, helping another person, and trying to be conscious of the small things. To improve practicing gratitude daily, leave small reminders (e.g., sticky notes, motivational quotes, etc.) in various places of your home, encouraging you to stop and take a mindful moment to observe your surroundings. As for me, I wear my memory aid around my wrist!
The Little Words Project's mission is to keep paying kindness forward, one bracelet at a time. They believe that one kind word can change everything! Their bracelets are made to be worn and passed on to others. Each bracelet is donned with a special code you register when you receive it. After you feel you no longer need the bracelet as a reminder, you identify another special person in your life you can then pass it along to. The code helps trace where the bracelet ends up and how many people you’ve impacted with one “little word.”
Here are some of our favorite strategies to improve the ability to process and understand emotions:
Music: listening or playing
Talk to someone
Words matter. Emotional Health Matters. Mental Health Matters.
Enjoyment, delight, acceptance, adoration, love, kindness, thrill, joy, wonder, trust, adoration
My Hidden Chimp- Dr. Steve Peters
Master Your Emotions-Thibaut Meurisse
Nesse, R. M. (1990). Evolutionary explanations of emotions. Human Nature, 1(3), 261–289
Talarico, J. M., Berntsen, D., & Rubin, D. C. (2009). Positive emotions enhance recall of peripheral details. Cognition & Emotion, 23(2), 380–398.