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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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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on November 4, 2020

15 Simple Ways To Make Self Improvement That Will Change Your Life

15 Simple Ways To Make Self Improvement That Will Change Your Life

Self-improvement doesn’t have to be big mind-blowing changes; it can actually be simple steps to improve upon what you already have to get you where you want to be.  However, what you will need is consistency, determination and wiliness to try some things that will stretch and challenge you.

Rather than setting your sights way off into the future, which leaves you feeling like you’ll never make it, you can start following these simple and effective self-improvement steps today.  So if you want to make an immediate impact on your life and are willing to take action, then keep reading— you’ll going to love these!

1. Be willing to work hard.

As with anything in life, if you want something, you’ve got to work hard to get it.  This doesn’t mean you burn the candle at both ends, leaving you exhausted and leaving your personal life in ruins.  It merely means that when you want something badly enough, you’ll put in the time to get there.  Action is what’s important here and the more ‘inspired’ the action is, the better the results in the end.

2. Make sure you have friends who you can talk to.

Sharing the load is important as with any self-improvement. If you can communicate with others and get feedback on how you are doing then that’s great.  We all need ‘cheerleaders’ in our corner to keep us going when times get hard, but you also need to have people who will tell you how it is even when you don’t want to hear it.  So make sure you have a good support network around you, especially those people whose opinions you respect.

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3. Adapt to your circumstances rather than over-thinking them.

Sometimes, we can hit a hard period. Perhaps you’ve lost your job or your partner has left you.  Instead of over analyzing the situation, learn to adapt to your circumstances and accept them as they are.  It’s not about making your circumstances into some kind of a drama; remember, what you focus on expands which means you’ll get more of it.  You then don’t become your problems and you’ll feel a lot less burdened by them.

4. Ensure that you use your time wisely.

Time is of the essence, some might say; whilst others will say that time is an illusion.  One thing we do know is that you have one life on this planet, so how you use that time is of the utmost importance.  So how can you use your time wisely? Only you know how to do that, but look at how you currently spend your days: do you sit working all day, get home, eat and then sit slumped in front of the TV for the rest of the evening?  Your time on this earth is precious, so isn’t it time to make use of the time you have left? Try something new, go for a walk, learn a new language or meditate but make sure it’s something you absolutely love.

5. Always be consistent.

A wonderful way to self-improvement is to make changes to how you do things.  For example, with your friends, are you always the unreliable one who bows out of an arrangement just before it happens? Or are you someone who starts a new exercise routine and then stops doing it 3 weeks into it?  Whatever it is and whatever you do, always be consistent. When you make a commitment, stick to it. It will improve your life immeasurably you’ll feel more confident and happier with yourself, especially because you’ll know that whatever you tackle, you’ll be able to consistently do it!

6. Go and find your happy place.

No, I’m not saying “place” as in popping to your local bar or restaurant and gorging yourself on your favorite drinks or food. What I’m saying is to find out what you love to do, what makes you happy and go there.  Your happy place is a place where you find peace, where you lose yourself and feel contented.  Meditation is a great way to find your happy place; it brings you back to you and ensures that you are always living in the present moment.

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7. Make sure you embrace all your emotions.

In life you are going to find that it throws you some difficult challenges, sometimes it will bring out your fears and lead you into uncertainty, and other times it will be joyful.  It’s important to embrace all emotions that come up in your life, embrace them wholeheartedly and understand why they are there and then let them go.  Try not to dismiss or resist them because remember “what you resist, persists,” so embrace them each and every time.

8. Always be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.

The idea of stepping out of your comfort zone for some people can leave you paralyzed with fear; however for any changing in your life, your comfort zone will always have to be stepped out of.  It doesn’t have to be something big, like doing a sky-dive or something just as crazy. However, it’s worthwhile to change something that you’d once have feared, like going to the cinema on your own or eating at a sushi restaurant when the thought of trying raw fish which would normally mean you running for the hills.

So try something new—it doesn’t have to be wacky, but it has to challenge you!

9. Be on hand to help others.

Whether it’s helping a stranger on the street or a family member or a friend helping someone else either in their time of need, lending a helping hand is a wonderful and simple self-improvement to make.  Giving to others is not only beneficial to those you are helping but also to yourself; it can give you a sense of purpose, of contribution and also takes your mind of your own troubles and worries.

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10. Live in the present moment.

A wonderful self-improvement tool is to live in the present moment, to live in the now.  It is within this moment that you’ll appreciate all that you have and see the beauty in the simplest of things.  Being mindful of your current circumstances and bringing your mind back to where it belongs will bring about a happier way of life instead of constant worry or stressing about the past or future—both of which do not exist. Only the present moment exists. When you get used to living that way, you’ll never want to go back!

11. Learn something new.

There is nothing so liberating as learning something new; it can lift both your confidence and self-esteem and give you a great reason to meet new people.  If you continually top up your brain activity by learning something new all the time, you’ll feel on top of your game and want to share the knowledge you have learned. There is nothing quite so empowering as learning a new tool in life that can either improve your circle of friends or raise confidence levels—or both!

Reading is also a great way to help you learn something new:

12. Exercise daily.

This seems an obvious one, but exercise is so important not only to your health but also to your spirit.  We all know that after exercise, the world can feel a brighter and more positive place, so why don’t we do it more often?  Exercise isn’t about getting the perfect body or losing weight; it’s more about feeling good inside and out!  With a healthy body comes a healthy mind—so start something today. Even if it’s just a daily walk, it’s better than staying on that couch, again.

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13. Go to new places, travel a bit.

I’m not saying go fly off to some far away distant forgotten land—although you can if you so wish. It’s more about going to new places and experiencing life outside of your own back yard.  Too many of us stay in one place too often. We only see the same people, the same streets and do the same things each and every day.  If you want to improve your life, get out there and see the world and what it can offer.  You can start by going to a town or city you’ve never been to in your own country and checking out the architecture, the landscapes and the people.  Anything new is good, so get out there!

14. Listen to uplifting music and dance.

If there’s one thing that can really improve your life and get you excited about it, it’s listening to great uplifting music and dancing.  When was the last time you really let go?  Let it all hang loose and got into a piece of music and let yourself go?  Dancing, like exercise, makes you feel great. It releases all kinds of emotions and can make you feel unbelievably good.  Self-improvement isn’t all about the serious stuff; it can be something as simple as finding new music, music that inspires you and makes you dance and have fun!

15. Get up earlier than normal.

This is the last one, and it’s last because it’s one of those self-improvement tips that we all know is a good thing, yet we seem to avoid it at all costs!  If you think about it, the earliest part of the day is when your brain is most active because it’s been turned off for the last 7 hours or so.  So don’t you think it’s best to get all those things above done in the morning?  Things like exercise, meditation and dancing, which can all be done in the first part of the day.  Take it from me: this early morning stuff can really get your day started with a bang!

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Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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