Ep. 131 – Expand Your Vocabulary, Expand Your Mind

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Welcome to Episode 131 of The Train Your Brain Podcast with Dr. Michael Trayford. Every Monday we produce a 30-minute episode. Tuesday through Sunday we produce episodes with five-minute tips. Every episode of the Train Your Brain Podcast features a tip, so you can receive pointers 365 days a year that will help enhance the performance of your brain!

Now through the end of February we are having a special contest for Train Your Brain Podcast Listeners to send in their best brain training tip for a chance to win a $25 gift card!

Today Dr. Trayford shares brain training tip 131. Today’s tip will not only make you smarter, but it will make you a better communicator as well. Expanding your vocabulary literally gives you a bigger toolbox to express yourself and get your point across. You’ll also be more able to understand people around you. Dr. Trayford says that he loves to learn new words. He looks up new words when he is reading. He doesn’t do it to throw them around and try to look smart to others, he just has always been curious.

On the other hand, Jason Pyles, the producer uses his writing time as a chance to look up words and he is often surprised at their true meaning. While on a quest for the perfect word, he learns a lot! Try this out. Try to learn a new word each week this year! Thanks for listening!

If you have any concerns regarding the information and applications discussed in this podcast, please consult your physician and a doctor who is experienced in functional neurology. Michael Trayford DC, DACNB is available for consultation by calling (828) 708-5274. Thanks for listening.

This tip is really important to me. I’ve made it a habit to learn new words and to continuously expand my understanding of the English language. It’s not so I can walk around impressing others with my big long words, it’s so I can understand things better.

I have always been inquisitive by nature and I keep a dictionary close by when I’m reading. Now my kids do the same thing. When they come across a word, rather than ignoring it, they take a moment to look it up.

Doing this enhances your understanding of the story or the non-fiction work you’re reading.

Jason: I’ve noticed when you’re writing, that I’ve found myself using words that didn’t quite mean what I thought it did. So when I come to a word, even if it’s not complex, I’ll look it up. I’m surprised at how often I’m incorrect, and end up using a different word.

Picking the right words, helps you get your message across in a shorter period of time and more accurately. Rather than taking 10 words, or a paragraph to get your meaning across, choosing the right word can often help you get your meaning across with greater precision.

Also, taking the time to look up a word you feel you know, but maybe aren’t 100% clear on, can help you communicate more effectively in the future. Words and language are critical for quality communication, and miscommunication between two people can often be a significant source of stress.

We also know that people with a large vocabulary has everything to do with success in the workplace. Generally senior management people have a more advanced vocabulary than say someone that is working on an assembly line.

This is not to be derogatory. However, if you want to move ahead in your vocation, particularly if you want to move up into a management position, it will be much easier to do so if you actively work to improve your vocabulary and communication skills. Because management is all about communication.

Also, learning new words helps you understand what other people are saying to you. The more words you know, the more likely you are to be empathetic towards them. You can better understand their terminology and respond in a positive and productive manner.

In recent years, vocabulary development has taken a significant hit because of the abbreviated nature of our communication style through communication technology. We’re designing things in ways that force people to communicate what they want to say in a shorter amount of words. This can be both a good and bad thing.

For the younger generation, not being taught the extent of vocabulary that previous generations were, and not using comprehensive vocabulary words in their daily lives, can have a serious impact on their ability to communicate effectively throughout the course of their lives.

These things haven’t all panned out yet. We don’t know what the repercussions are here. We do that from a communication and employability standpoint, that opening your vocabulary is absolutely critical.

It’s a good habit to read voraciously, keep a dictionary close at hand to look up any words you don’t know, or a word you might not be completely clear on. It could also help to take the time and look up a new word each week from the dictionary and try to use it during your regular communications.

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