- Steff Booth
Talking to yourself - it's not a bad thing...
If you worry that talking to yourself is a sign of mental illness, think again.
Since the start of the pandemic, many people have found themselves isolated with no-one to talk to, so it should come as no surprise that the instances of talking to ourselves is increasing big time. But that's not a bad thing...
Talking to yourself actually has many positive effects:
Helps you stay focused
Talking through what you're doing, helps to maintain focus on the task at hand. Just as it would if you were talking through a process or step by step task with a friend or colleague, talking through the details with yourself will help keep you on track.
Practice makes perfect
If you're preparing to have a difficult conversation with someone, taking yourself through the conversation out loud can help you to get your words straight and also to prepare for a multitude of reactions from the other party. This will help to give you more confidence when the actual conversation takes place.
Hearing something out loud can help to reinforce it. Telling yourself that you are going to achieve your goals, is far more effective then just thinking this. And research shows that this type of self-motivation is much stronger if you speak in the second or third person (use your name or 'you' / 'you're')
Saying something out loud is much more likely to stick in your mind than something that you just think about. The addition of sound to sight makes for a much stronger ability to remember what is was you were looking for.
Helps digest difficult issues
Any difficult situation or feeling can be made far easier to deal with by talking to yourself about what is troubling you. Some things are too difficult to discuss with another person but by simply talking to yourself, you can bring the problem to the forefront (in private) and start to deal with it head-on.
There are some key things to remember when chatting away to yourself and putting the world to rights:
Only use positive terminology - your words strengthen your thoughts just by saying them out loud so don't speak about anything negative
Avoid using the first person - if you speak as if you're talking about someone else, you're more likely to believe what they're saying
If it's not feasible to have a good old chat with yourself, write your thoughts down - it's more time consuming but you will be able to refer back to your paper thoughts whenever you choose