The Indian text, The Bhagavad Gita talks about this in Ch 17 as “Tapas of Speech”. Tapas is a Sanskrit word for that which builds and nourishes the heat, energy, and prana in us. We drain our vital life energy a lot through our thinking, our speech, and our actions, so there’s tapas of the mind, speech, and body.
We should think about what we are about to say. Sage Swami Kripalu used to ask, is what you’re about to say an improvement upon silence? Does it make something better? Enhance things? Add to something? As I have practiced this over the years I’ve found I’ve become a lot quieter, haha. So much speech is useless.
What is the intention behind our speech? Why are we saying what we are about to say? Is it necessary to say it? Does it really need to be said? Really really? And if so, say it with kindness. Be kind. Always be kind. This one is the hardest in practice and yet so simple. Say it with love. From love. From alignment. Don’t break the vow of non-violence. Don’t attack yourself or others with your speech. Don’t judge. Don’t isolate and separate and tear down.
My teacher used to say that to be loving and kind and say only what’s necessary… That’s a tall order. It is. So, is it an improvement over silence? Is it worth it? Because it’s an investment of your precious energy. Choose wisely, grasshopper.