Known for being the first sign of madness, talking to yourself doesn’t exactly have a good reputation. But if you find that you’re often nattering away to yourself, don’t panic you may actually be smarter than you think.
In fact, according to a study featured in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology those who talk to themselves are actually benefiting and may even be the cleverest of us all. Don’t believe it? Well here’s why…
TALKING TO YOURSELF MAKES YOUR BRAIN WORK MORE EFFICIENTLY AND HELPS MEMORY
In one experiment, Swigley and Lupya gave 20 people the name of an object (like a loaf of bread or an apple), which they were told to find in the supermarket. During the first set of trials, the participants were bound to silence. In the second set, they repeated the object’s name out loud as they looked for it in the store.
Test subjects found the object with greater ease when they spoke to themselves while searching. Saying things out loud sparks memory. It solidifies the end game and makes it tangible. But talking out loud to yourself helps you only when you know what you need. In this case, speaking the object’s name out loud is helpful only when you’re familiar with its appearance.
According to Lupyan: Speaking to yourself isn’t always helpful — if you don’t really know what an object looks like, saying its name can have no effect or actually slow you down. If, on the other hand, you know that bananas are yellow and have a particular shape, by saying banana, you’re activating these visual properties in the brain to help you find them.
TALKING TO YOURSELF HELPS REGULATE EMOTIONS
Talking to yourself also gives you genius points for being able to better manage your emotions. Rather than getting furious when something doesn’t go your way, you can rationalize the reasons that it didn’t work out and talk through possible solutions as well. You might say “OK well that didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but that’s alright because I can try this instead.”
People who talk to themselves are able to maintain a positive outlook more easily than those who do not talk to themselves. Negative attitudes are programmed into us sometimes in childhood and we can lose faith in ourselves as a result. Positive people use self-talk to overcome that negative outlook and coach themselves to a positive frame of mind.
You might be a genius if you are able to talk to yourself and re-training your brain to take negative self-talk and turn it into positive self-talk. Positive self-talkers enjoy a more productive and enjoyable life.
When you learn to rely on yourself for help, you develop your sense of self-esteem. Rather than having a friend there to assist you, you act as your own best friend, guiding your thoughts and encouraging yourself along the way. Giving yourself positive feedback helps you to feel good about your accomplishments.
TALKING TO YOURSELF HELPS CONCENTRATION
Speaking to yourself can assists you to concentrate and concentrate on things more clearly. Just like how self-talk can help you multi-task, speaking to yourself can likewise aid with preserving focus on a job for a continual amount of time.
When you speak to yourself, you are able to focus your attention on exactly what requires to be done. Your goals end up being clear as you talk to yourself while carrying out a task. By concentrating on the sound of your own voice, you have the ability to mentally remove the diversions around you.
THE BEST WAYS TO START TALKING TO YOURSELF
- Ask yourself questions. Ask yourself about what you’re doing right now. Attempt “Will I succeed?” then address yourself, favorably with a “Yes, of course I will achieve success.” This sort of favorable self-talk will end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your self-confidence in yourself is infectious.
- Provide yourself guidelines. Tell yourself what the initial step is in the task that you are working on, then the next and so on.
- Provide yourself encouragement. Attempt stating “Yes, you have actually got this,” or “That looks terrific. I understood you could do it!”
- Block negative self-talk. If you discover yourself stating discouraging things like “I’ll never have the ability to do this right,” state “Stop” back to yourself. This is a method to obstruct unfavorable language before it impacts your mood.
- Concentrate on positives. Rather than stating “Do not mess this up” which focuses on exactly what might go wrong, say “You’ll do simply great” which is more favorable language.
- Forgive yourself. Making errors is human and when you do, forgive yourself by stating “It’s okay, you didn’t do that purposefully.”