I know we have all been there before. Have you ever been in that moment when you are overwhelmed? Have you ever felt in need of alone time to well, gather your thoughts? During those moments some reflect, but if you are like others, many take the time to just talk to themselves. Is it normal to talk to yourself?
Now, before you begin to judge think about it like this. We are being influenced by our everyday surroundings and are often rushed with propaganda. One could imply that media has a way of curving our perception and how we react to daily situations. That’s why one could find comfort in talking to themselves. The question is, do you?
Science Says It Can Be Actually Beneficial to Us
Although, there is no clinical definition, or word for talking to yourself there are many surprising benefits to the practice. There have also been studies that have shown this could be a great cognitive boost.
One study in particular  found that a group of multiple volunteers was presented multiple pictures of objects and then told to pick the one with a banana. The other half did the task in silent and the other group repeatedly constantly spoke the word “banana” out loud for the entire session. During the session the self-talkers found the picture of the banana much quicker.
It’s also known that children tend to be more responsive when they talked their way through something new while learning with a natural instinct. We only lose this great habit as we age and fear that talking outwardly among ourselves may be seen as a sign of a breakdown, or being crazy.
Now, this is not to take away from the fact that various mental illnesses like schizophrenia have talking to themselves as an associated symptom. However, we can at least conclude that things are not always as they seem.
Talking to Yourself Is a Two-edge Sword
This concept can sometimes be a two-way street depending upon your individual outlook. So how can this habit help or hurt you in the long run?
When talking to yourself during certain situations it can be very beneficial. Talking to yourself can actually be a stress reliever. Just think about it, sometimes you are your number one therapist and motivator. Talking through life’s problems can be a great way to work through your issues. Just by the mere way our ideals are shaped by the media, family and surroundings we can come to positive solutions through this practice.
There have also been studies that suggest this practice is relegated to individuals with a genius level IQ. By talking yourself during your tasks, you are making the decision to focus on your task extensively. It’s difficult to lose focus, or become distracted when you are speaking.
Verbalizing your actions outwardly helps you to stay on track and think logically about your next steps. Although this practice has it’s up there are downs to it as well. At times you can be so critical of yourself that you can overthink.
Sometimes overthinking through this practice has led many to suicide, mental-breakdowns and substance abuse. In the event you find yourself in this space call a friend, or see a therapist immediately to help you. Below you will find a list of reputable sources to help, if you ever find yourself going into a negative space:
- Spiritual Leader
- Family Member
No matter where you find yourself on the spectrum, you must always figure out what works best for you. Although the presented information may be suggestive, or opinionated there is tons of great information to help you. No one has all the answers. In the end though the choice and power lies within every individual to know what works for them.
|||^||The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: Self-directed speech affects visual performance|