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If you have a tendency to talk to yourself, you’re actually one smart cookie. Contrary to what you might think, your brain isn’t going on the blink. Engaging in monologue doesn’t mean you’re daft. It signifies you’re brilliant. Below are 11 reasons why self-talk gives you genius standing.
BENEFITS OF SELF-TALK
Chatting with yourself yields the following benefits:
1. Spurs Motivation
When there’s a task you’re dreading, do you coach yourself through? Kudos to you! It makes procrastination bite the dust. Motivational self-talk gets the job done. Just be sure to speak to yourself respectfully. Don’t brandish whipping words to get yourself going. You might say something like:
- “Good morning, sweetie! Let’s get the laundry out of the way.”
- “Hello, slugger! Let’s knock this task out of the park.”
2. Clarifies Decision-Making
Speaking your thoughts aloud helps you see them objectively. You can more effectively weigh the pros and cons. When thoughts keep swimming in your mind, it’s hard to sort them out. Give voice to your musings. Examples are:
- “I’m ambivalent about this job offer. On the one hand, it’s a chance to be more creative. However, it involves a pay cut. I need to mull this over.”
- “Should I buy this souped-up coupe? Perhaps that SUV is more practical. I need to assess the perks and drawbacks.”
3. Calms Emotions
Consoling yourself out loud dissolves unpleasant feelings. It’s like a verbal massage. Self-comforting words soothe away stress. Here are examples of therapeutic self-talk:
- “Hey, it’s okay. Just let that rejection roll off your back.”
- “Everything’s fine. I know you’re upset, but you’re strong. You’re going to make it!”
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4. Facilitates Finding Items
Self-talk helps you locate things faster. This was proven by research performed at the University of Wisconsin and University of Pennsylvania. Study subjects were asked to find pictures of familiar objects, such as a balloon, purse, or guitar. First, they were given written instructions to locate an object. Then they were told to repeat the name of the item aloud while searching. When they recited an object’s name, they tracked it down faster.
They also sent two groups to the supermarket to purchase groceries. One recited the items’ names while shopping. The other group shopped silently. The shoppers that spoke the items’ names completed the errand quicker.
The researchers concluded that hearing an object’s name prompts the brain to work more efficiently. So don’t feel foolish if you call out to yourself, “Keys, keys. Where did I put my keys?” You’re actually helping yourself find them faster.
5. Fine-Tunes Attention
Thinking aloud is like tuning your radio. It eliminates the static of distraction. When you talk yourself through activities, it keeps you on track. Monologues lengthen your attention span. They help you concentrate. By staying focused, you breeze through a To Do list in short order. Keep a running discourse to remain on course.
6. Aids Problem-Solving
Talking to yourself helps resolve dilemmas. It’s especially effective if you pose questions. Voicing an inquiry primes your mind to find an answer. It unites the conscious and unconscious brain to work for you. Examples are:
- “How do I get this prescription bottle open?”
- “What’s making that strange noise?”
Asking questions is like:
- focusing a spotlight on a dim stage
- shining a flashlight into a dark corner
- flipping on a light switch at night
- “Aha!” you exclaim. “I found the solution!” Now tell yourself, “Bravo!”
7. Helps You Learn
Children instinctively talk their way through learning a new skill. In this way, they connect words with actions. This develops coordination and fine motor skills. Similarly, when you narrate a new task, you understand it better. You also perform it with greater precision.
8. Improves Memory
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology proves that thinking out loud sharpens memory. Researchers evaluated subjects’ ability to memorize a list of words. When the participants spoke the words while memorizing, they had better recall.
Studying words out loud creates a stronger impression on the brain. It makes words more distinctive. It also forms a memory of hearing them.
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9. Helps You Achieve Goals
The type of oration involved in achieving goals is termed “instructional self-talk.” This is when you outline each step you’re taking to complete a process. You cue yourself along the way. Examples of goal-oriented coaching are:
- “Now I’m going to spell-check this document. Then I’m going to proofread it.”
- “To shabby chic this chair, I first need to apply varnish remover. Then I’ll sand the wood.”
10. Increases Energy
There’s a form of self-talk that enhances physical performance. It’s called a “pep talk.” It’s a verbal nudge, such as:
- “It will be good for you to work out.”
- “You’ll feel better after you exercise.”
A pep talk sparks the energy to follow through on your aspirations.
A study conducted at the University of Utah makes this point. College football players were divided into two teams. One team viewed a video clip of a coach giving a pre-game pep talk. The other didn’t have this advantage prior to playing. Those that heard the coach’s words had more energy and endurance.
Sports studies also show that pep talks improve reaction time and execution of athletic activities such as jumps and balance.
So if you have to jump through hoops in the course of your day, just give yourself a pep talk.
11. Instills Confidence
Positive self-talk builds confidence. Professional golfers use this strategy to stay cool as a cucumber. It also keeps them at the top of their game. Self-assurance paves the way to success.
NOTE: You need to be careful what you say to yourself. Use cheerful, upbeat language. If you hear self-criticism coming from your mouth, you need to revise your script. Replace the harsh words with encouraging terms. Say things that make you feel good.
TALKING TO YOURSELF IS NORMAL
Self-talk is a natural feature of your mind. This narrative function arises from the left hemisphere of your brain. Your inner voice is ever-present. When you’re conscious, it’s speaking. While you sleep, it documents your dreams.
Don’t think you’re off the beam if you engage in some self-banter. The more you do it, the smarter you become. The world at large isn’t aware of what you now realize. For the sake of propriety, you’ll often need to keep your musings private. Even while being appropriate, listen to your inner voice. It merits much worth saying. Self-talk:
2. Clarifies decision-making
3. Calms emotions
4. Facilitates finding items
5. Fine-tunes attention
6. Aids problem-solving
7. Helps you learn
8. Improves memory
9. Helps you achieve goals
10. Increases energy
11. Instills confidence
Keep up the conversation!