I was working on a project side by side with my sister. At the end of the day, she asked if I knew I consistently talked to myself. I really didn’t. Since then, I’ve found there’s benefits of talking to yourself. See if you’ve noticed any of these benefits when talking to yourself, or if you want to start!
Improved Performance of Tasks
Studies show that talking out loud to yourself can improve your concentration and performance on a task. I know that sometimes, when I’m working on something, it feels good to talk myself through it, out loud! I say things like, “What’s the solution here?” “Good job, Linda” or “That turned out great!” or “You can do this!” I wasn’t aware that it helped my performance of the task.
Behaviorists say that talking to yourself is a sign of high cognitive functioning. I’m going to let my sister know this the next time she good-heartedly teases me about it. But seriously, sometimes your brain is holding so much, or trying to figure out a complex issue, that talking to yourself out loud can help you solve it or at least let some emotional steam of the issue out.
Get Yourself Back on Track
When I find my thinking is going in the wrong direction toward negativity, I’ve tried picturing stepping outside of me, and giving me a serious talking to. This allows a small amount of distance from the experience to regulate emotions. It’s truly worked when I’m putting myself down, exaggerating my weaknesses, or being downright negative about myself. A good ole’ lecture from yours truly to yours truly can get you back on track!
Encourage yourself. You can talk out loud to yourself to encourage yourself. In fact, I’m reminded of something a pastor once said. David, in the Bible, encouraged himself after facing a major disaster. You know the opposite works, don’t you? After any mistake discouraging yourself with negative self-talk sends you spiraling downhill. We can be our own worst enemy.
What Psychologists Say
Dipping my big toe into the pool of neuropsychology for a second, I loved this article, “How does Thinking Positive Thoughts Affect Neuro-plasticity?” It states, Every thought releases some type of chemical. When you have the positive thoughts of being happy, or optimistic, cortisol decrease and the brain produces serotonin to create a feeling of well being. When serotonin levels are normal, one feels happy, calmer, less anxious, focused and more emotionally stable. Positive thoughts could be a life changer.
Best Friend Talk
Here’s a great quote: “Talk to yourself as you would your own best friend.” When a friend says kind words to you about you, it can make your day. What if, being your own best friend, you practiced this? Try it right now. What would you say to give yourself encouragement? Would it be, “I can do this,” or “You have courage to face the day,” “Don’t give up,” or “I love me.” Would you tell your best friend that she’s a loser, she can’t do anything right, or use the words idiot, crazy, dumb, or worthless? Be your own best friend!
If you talk to yourself today, be sure the words lift you up. Remember that you are expressing high cognitive functioning, encouraging yourself, and being an outstanding best friend.