Remember the last time you talked to yourself? I do. Whenever I feel like there’s a lesson to be learned from my past mistake, I tell myself that I’d better not repeat that same mistake again. I also get in the self-conversation mode whenever I’m not able to understand things happening around me.
Luckily for me, there’s research out there that tells me this approach of self-talk provides more than a few benefits. Apart from keeping our minds fit, it helps us organize our thoughts, plan our plan of action, regulate our emotions, and keep a check on ourselves.
Here are three more reasons why you should talk to yourselves more often:
#1: It Makes You Less Anxious
According to a study, people who regularly engage in motivational self-talk in the second or third person – for instance, “You can achieve this” or “Jack can achieve this” instead of “I can achieve this” – feel less anxious while performing the activity than those who self-talk in the first person.
That, the study tells us, happens because we’re engaging in a phenomenon known as ‘self-distancing.’ We’re focusing on ourselves from the perspective of a third person, even though we subconsciously know that person is nobody but us.
Why does that happen? Because as human beings, we’re very good at giving advice. Since we’re detached from the problem, we can see the solution more clearly than the person who is facing that predicament. That distance, in turn, helps us feel less anxious when we advise ourselves in the third person.
#2: It improves our visual search performance
Ever thought why you always manage to find the keys after asking yourself ‘’where are my keys” before going to office in the morning? Researchers have come up with an answer.
A study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology draws a direct line between self-directed speech and an improvement in visual search performance.
There’s a reason as to why that happens. When we’re trying to find an object (let’s say, portable photo booth), repeating their words aloud would recall the memory of how the object looks in our mind. That, in turn, makes the object more tangible and easy to locate for our eyes.
#3: It lets you organize your thoughts
In today’s multi-tasking world, millions of thoughts are running through our minds all the time. We might have one eye on the impending deadline, another on the errand we’ve to run when we’re back home in the evening, might be marveling at the beauty of the photo booth for rent that we just passed on the street, and can be checking our Facebook feed at the same time.
In such situations, talking through your thoughts helps us in prioritizing them. In other words, we can sort out the stuff which can wait until tomorrow from the one which needs our urgent attention. That way, we could be able to make much more sense of the things happening around us.