Psychologists refer to the practice of speaking aloud to oneself as external self-talk. You are not alone if you occasionally chat with yourself. In fact, you might be benefitting yourself.
According to some research, talking to yourself may have many psychological advantages. This kind of self-talk is linked to a variety of different brain processes, such as motivation, problem-solving, thinking, and planning.
What You Say to Yourself Matters
You might communicate with yourself in a variety of ways. Self-talk is often either good or negative, but it can also vary depending on what it’s trying to accomplish. Three types of self-talk are outlined below.
- General self-talk: General self-talk can take two paths. One is positive, and the other is negative. Talking positively to yourself might include self-affirmations or a mantra to keep you inspired. Negative self-talk tends to focus on thoughts that are self-critical or blaming.
- Informational self-talk: Have you ever found yourself talking your way through steps to complete a task, almost like a running to-do list in your head? That type of talk falls into this category.
- Motivational self-talk: This type of speech motivates and encourages you to reach your goals. It’s a step up from the positive general self-talk, falling more into the cheerleading realm.
Interestingly, negative self-talk, to some degree, might not necessarily be a bad thing as it keeps you grounded, realistic, and focused on learning from mistakes and striving to do better. If all your self-talk is negative, though, that is a different issue.
Benefits of Self-Talk
Self-talk is a powerful motivational tool that can be used to achieve goals. By talking to yourself, you can increase your motivation and stay focused on your goals. Additionally, self-talk can help you stay positive and motivated, even when things are tough.
Self-talk is a great way to boost your confidence and keep yourself on track. When you’re feeling down or struggling with a task, self-talk can help you persevere. Additionally, research shows that self-talk can improve performance in athletes and students.
You can also use self-talk to reason with yourself or talk down negative emotions. Allowing yourself to process what you’re feeling through self-talk is a powerful way to decrease impulsive outbursts that may negatively affect you and those around you.
You can try it yourself to see if it works for you. Talk to yourself in a positive and encouraging way, and focus on your goals. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to achieve your goals when you have positive thoughts guiding you along the way.
If you find yourself deep in conversation with… yourself, don’t worry too much. Stay positive and mindful of the messages you’re portraying. Understand that these conversations are simply the way you process things.