The verbal component of a message conveys a literal meaning, but it has little power to change your mind or inspire you to action.
The non-verbal component of communication, on the other hand, conveys the emotional weight and social meaning of a message. It directly influences your feelings and your attitude toward the person delivering the message. And it acts lightning fast.
Your processing speed for non-verbal cues is way faster than the brain calculations that extract the literal meaning of language.
While your brain is still interpreting the sound waves hitting your ear drum, you’ve already decided if the person who is speaking is a trusted friend, potential ally, or threatening rival. You’ve already weighed the value of the message – whether it will spur you to action or merely pass through your brain without leaving a long-term trace.
Since I’m a strong believer in health as an activity (and one of the most important activities we can engage in), the best way to convey that message is by setting a good example.
If I exude good health, act in a friendly, positive way, and project confidence, my patients read that, are relaxed and reassured by it, and are inspired to emulate it. I hope I’m doing my job well. Because your health is worth it.