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6 Benefits of Talking to Yourself (No, You’re Not Crazy)

6 Benefits of Talking to Yourself (No, You’re Not Crazy)

My mother always says if she didn’t talk to herself, no one would listen to her. While her sentiment is comically cynical, there is some truth to it. Talking through your thoughts can be incredibly beneficial to your memory and cognitive functioning, as well as your mental and physical health. While you may catch some odd looks from people if you get caught talking to yourself at length in public, just take comfort in knowing that doing so is keeping you well-adjusted to the hectic day and age we live in. Talking to yourself helps:

1. Your brain work more efficiently

I hate grocery shopping, mostly because I can never find what I’m looking for. I find myself muttering “cilantro, cilantro, cilantro…” as I sort through various herbs and spices in search of the only one I’ll ever be able to recognize without a label. I’m glad to find I’m not the only one. A study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology showed that people who repeat the name of an item they’re looking for were able to find it much quicker than those who silently lurched through the store. The hypothesis is that repeating words aloud sparks memory recall of known objects, making them more tangible and likely to stick out to an observer.

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2. Children learn

If you have or work with children, you know they almost never shut up! But that’s a good thing. As children grow, they use their voice to mimic adult conversation (okay, that’s not always good). But they learn vocal inflection, vocabulary, and syntax by listening to and repeating what their parents say. It also helps them work through problems and processes, as they put operations in sequential order. If you’ve ever sung the Peanut Butter and Jelly song with a kid, you’ve seen how well this works first-hand.

3. Organize thoughts

In today’s busy world, we have a million thoughts running through our heads at all times. Our thoughts get jumbled up in our minds and can become incredibly overwhelming if left unchecked. Talking through your thoughts, much like children do, helps you prioritize the “big things” affecting you. It also helps us realize the “small stuff” is fairly insignificant, and we had been making mountains out of molehills. By talking out our thoughts, we’re able to make much more sense of the world around us.

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4. Achieve goals

Making a to-do list sounds like a great idea, but if the list gets too long it can be overwhelming. Not only does talking through your list of obligations help prioritize them, but it also makes your goals seem attainable. Much like repeating “corn flakes” over and over at the store subconsciously jogs your recall and makes “corn flakes” a tangible item in your mind, talking through your to-do list allows you to visualize yourself completing the tasks you’ve written down. Psychologist Linda Sapadin reports that saying your goals out loud “focuses your attention, reinforces the message, controls your runaway emotions and screens out distractions.”

5. Relieve stress

Since talking to yourself allows you to organize your thoughts and prioritize your obligations, your mind isn’t constantly racing, wondering when you’re going to have enough time to get it all done. In turn, you’ll become more relaxed and able to go with the flow. Furthermore, talking to yourself helps you prepare for difficult times in life, such as a conversation with a loved one, colleague, or boss. Whether giving yourself a simple pep talk or rehearsing what you’re going to say, hearing the words come out of your mouth make the action doable, and allowing you to face tough situations with courage and confidence.

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6. Foster self-reliance

Those that talk to themselves look inward when they need help solving a problem. While others may automatically go to a colleague or supervisor when in need of assistance, people who talk to themselves are able to analyze situations and come to conclusions independently without any outside guidance. Also, by talking to ourselves, we listen to our inner voice, and discover what it is we truly want to get out an experience. Simply put, those that spend the time talking and listening to themselves, know themselves best.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm7.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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