According To Science, Constantly Talking To Yourself Is A Good Thing
“You look good, you look great, and you are totally going to kill it today. You always do, don’t you!? You’ve got this. So what if you feel totally overwhelmed and have way too many things going on in your life. Who cares about that?! Today is your day and nobody is going to get in your way! Hey that rhymed! You are amazing and you are….” OH! Hi! Sorry we didn’t see you there.
We were just talking to ourselves. It’s how we always start off each day and frankly, we’d be an exhausted mush ball without doing so. And you must be thinking, “Only crazy people talk to themselves”. And while you are somewhat correct, some crazy people do talk to themselves, according to science, talking to yourself is actually a good thing. No, we aren’t just telling ourselves that, we are talking to YOU now. Hello!? Listen up!
Talking To Yourself
Do you find that you like to talk to yourself throughout the day, whether it is out loud or just mentally?
Whether it is chatting with yourself to help yourself work out an issue at work, or telling yourself that you shouldn’t eat that ooey gooey brownie for breakfast, you may find that you are constantly checking in with yourself and sometimes having full blown conversations with you and yourself only.
Just us? Hey, who needs friends when you’ve got yourself to talk to, right?
Loud And Proud
And maybe you are one of those people who unashamedly just talk to themselves out loud for all the world to hear? Loud and proud!
Well, if this is something that you tend to do, we have some good news for you. According to science, you could be one of the smartest people around town.
So, next time you catch yourself talking out loud to you and only you, don’t sweat it. You may look crazy, but you may also may be the smartest person in the room.
Your Therapist Approves
According to Lisa Ferentz, a clinical social worker and psychotherapist, expressing your inner thoughts out loud can help you better conquer the present and future and is something everyone should start doing.
Ferentz is also the author of the book Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons From the Therapist’s Couch.
Well, according to her, this is a life lesson well worth listening to, so if you are not a talker, you better start yapping!
Turn Your Day Around
But Ferentz explains that you can use those little talks to yourself as a way to turn your day around.
She explains that she encourages her clients to talk out loud to themselves to develop a positive outlook about themselves and the day ahead.
“There’s nothing more important than the way we talk to ourselves because that inner monologue informs in subtle and not-so-subtle ways all our subsequent thoughts, emotional states, and behavioral choices,” she says.
You Aren't Crazy
See, we were onto something when you caught us talking to ourselves earlier. We aren’t that crazy!
She goes on to explain that if you’re constantly critical and judgmental, or facing the day with a negative attitude, you make it impossible to embrace positivity down the line.
So, if you find yourself having a bad day, just look in the mirror and tell yourself how great you are and how everything is going to be okay and you can turn it all around.
We Aren't Joking
So, really. We aren’t joking and neither is she. Ferentz encourages her clients to write down what they’re grateful for, their own strengths, and positive affirmations.
She then tells them to stand in front of a mirror and read themselves out loud. Don’t knock it until you try it!
“Like anything else, once you practice and approach it from a positive place, you discover it’s quite easy to do. It guides our life whether we’re conscious of it or not,” says Ferentz.
A study from the University of Lethbridge found that students who were taught how to engage in these exercises were able to change their perspectives, attitudes, and reactions.
See, science! You have heard that phrase “turn that frown upside down.” Well, we are giving you the tools to do just that.
Special bonus is that you don’t have to hire a therapist to help put you in a better mood. All you need is yourself.
Whisper Pep Talks
Ferentz also encourages clients to whisper pep talks or explore thoughts and feelings when heading into an overwhelming situation.
Next time you find yourself swimming in negativity and feeling like your head is about to explode, try this little trick. A little whisper to yourself may be just the thing you need.
“When we whisper positively to ourselves it gives us a little more strength and courage so we can meet a challenging scenario head on,” she says.
Just Try It
We can just imagine it now. You are in the store and you start to think about all the things you have to do that day and you decide to try the whisper technique.
“Pssssst. Hey girl. You are going to be okay. Just take a deep breath and trust me. You’ve got this. You can do anything. You are amazing!”
Sure, it can feel super creepy, but what is the harm in just trying it out?
A Pro Tip
But here is a little pro tip: If you do decide to lightly whisper sweet nothings into your own ear, just be careful doing this in public.
You don’t want someone to call security on you because of your weird and totally bizarre behavior.
That will just end badly for everyone and ruin the day that you are already trying to save. Maybe it is best to only do this when you are absolutely sure no one is around. Just a thought.
Popular With Athletes
And you know who is guilty of talking to themselves often in order to see results and push themselves? Athletes.
Athletes are among those who often talk to themselves ahead of competitions in order to motivate themselves.
“There’s definitely a value to understanding what you’re feeling whether it’s positive or negative. Saying negative thoughts out loud can be very validating,” says Ferentz. “Bringing the negative stuff you’re thinking and feeling to the surface then gives you the opportunity to reevaluate it.”
Don't Be Negative
So, if you find yourself talking negatively to yourself, don’t beat yourself up about it. At least you are looking within and reflecting.
Maybe you can find a way to spin these thoughts around and learn from this negative self-talk.
Process your thoughts, then reevaluate what you are thinking and ask yourself why you are thinking them and flip it! Just remember that It is all in your hands or in your head. You know what we mean.
Here's A Tip
Here is a tip if you find yourself doing negative self-talk and don’t know how to spin it into a positive. Try to turn your thoughts it into something more neutral.
“If we’re talking to ourselves negatively, research suggests that we’ll more likely guide ourselves to a negative outcome,” says Dr. Julia Harper, an occupational therapist and life coach.
“However, when self-talk is neutral — as in a statement like ‘What do I need to do?’ — or positive, such as ‘I can get this done, ‘then the outcome is much more effective.”
Own It, Baby!
So we now know that we should feel confident talking to ourselves, and we should just focus on what we say and how we say it.
“What we say to ourselves, when we say [it], and how, has a tremendous impact on our self-esteem, beliefs about self-efficacy and overall sense of worth,” says Dr. Jessica Nicolosi, a clinical psychologist based in New York.
“When working with my patients, the focus is less on whether they talk to themselves, and more about the content of those conversations.”
Here's Your Homework
So, here is your homework. From this moment forward today, monitor yourself for the rest of the day and see what you are doing behind closed doors.
Do you talk to yourself out loud? How about mentally? Do you find that your mind is always going? What are you saying to yourself when you do talk to yourself?
You may be talking to yourself and not even know it! Well, keep talking but make sure you are being kind to yourself. Treat yourself as you would treat others, you hear?