Talking to Yourself: It’s Actually Really Therapeutic

April 10, 2018 in Psychology 7 Shared

Talking to yourself out loud doesn’t make you crazy. In fact, few things are as therapeutic, because after all, you live with yourself, don’t you? So communicating with yourself is vital, cathartic, and emotionally necessary to take care of yourself like you deserve.

Aldous Huxley said that there is only a small part of the universe that we can know in depth and have the power to improve. That part is ourselves. However, for some reason we don’t always give ourselves the attention we deserve. We neglect ourselves.

In fact, psychologists say we all use internal dialogue. But we use it very badly. Ethan Kross, well-known scientist of emotional psychology at the University of Michigan came to the realization that human beings are irremediably prone to negative self-talk.

He saw it in himself when he crossed a cross walk when the light was red, distracted by his cell phone. After barely dodging a car that was about to run him over, he surprised himself by berating himself and calling himself stupid.

And really, most of us do the same thing. When something doesn’t go as expected or we make a mistake, our conscience comes out and tells us how dumb or useless we are. It is this persistent negative internal dialogue that makes us feel helpless and moves us dangerously close to depression. Let’s make a change.

Talking to yourself: a woman riding a flying fish.

Talking to yourself is healthy

Professor Ethan Kross, mentioned above, did an experiment and came to an interesting, useful conclusion. People who talked to themselves and started their dialogues by saying their name were more successful in their lives, were more secure, and were happier.

It may seem overly simple at first glance. But talking to yourself has power: your brain works much better, your perception is heightened, and you handle your emotions better. We’re not making it up: internal dialogue is good for us and science says so.

Talking to yourself makes you smarter

Talking to yourself won’t make you smarter overnight. But what will happen is that your intellectual capacity will improve: your concentration and thinking will improve and you’ll be able to make better decisions.

Something as simple as telling yourself, “Let’s see Maria, focus and think about what you’re going to do about this problem …” or “Mark, you’re wasting time, calm down and think about what’s happening,” can do a lot.

A person looking in a mirror and painting their own face.

Talking to yourself will improve your self-esteem

Remember that the only person with you your entire life is YOU. So why exclude yourself from the conversation about who you are and what you’re worth? Why not sit down and have coffee with yourself and talk about how you’re doing?

You’re no crazy if you do. In fact, if you don’t, you’ll be missing out on one of the best self-help and personal growth techniques out there. Here are just a few benefits…

  • Talking to yourself helps you focus on the present and what you’re feeling right now. To recognize, understand, and manage your current feelings.
  • Internal dialogue is also a powerful source of motivation, the most sincere and reliable motivation you could ever get. So when you’re going through tough times, tell yourself, “Come on Angela, you’re having a hard time but you can’t give up now, let’s get going!”
  • The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology said that speaking out loud “switches” something on in your cerebral cortex, where consciousness of the self lives. You think more clearly.
  • Likewise, when you listen to the voice you have inside,  you get perspective and see negative thoughts more realistically.

A woman walking in the sunset.

To conclude, let’s clarify that talking to yourself is wonderful and healthy only if you get your negative dialogue under control. Stop telling yourself, “You can’t do anything right, you’re never going to be able, you’re a failure.”

Why be your own worst enemy? Remember how Socrates defined thoughts: the conversation the soul has with itself. So don’t mistreat yourself. Let’s take care of ourselves as the precious creatures we are and talk to ourselves kindly, lovingly, and constructively.

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