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Now and then talk to yourself
Only crazy people talk to themselves? Not at all! More than 90 percent of people talk to themselves in their thoughts. And that's a good thing, because talking to yourself has a big impact on our well-being and satisfaction.
Studies show that it is good for us to speak to ourselves in the third person. Why this is so and how best to do it without attracting unpleasant attention, more on this below.
Talking to yourself in the third person helps us to cope better with our emotions. This is the result of scientific experiments in which the test subjects were exposed to different, critical situations and at the same time the brain waves were measured.
Consider problems with distance
Crisis situations quickly lead to emotional chaos. We are overwhelmed, paralyzed and overwhelmed. At this point we can no longer reflect and are therefore unable to make well-considered decisions.
But whoever speaks aloud to himself - and about himself - automatically sees his own situation with a little more distance.
A team of researchers from Michigan State University recorded subjects' brain activity while viewing highly emotionally charged images. Some of the participants dealt with their own reactions in self-talk, while the rest of the participants processed them silently. The results of the study were published in Scientific Reports.
"We assume that soliloquy in the third person leads to the fact that we can think about ourselves as about another person - we see evidence of this in brain activity," explains psychology professor Jason Moser. If you speak to yourself, you have to change your perspective. From the outside, he can then solve the problems like someone else's, keep control of his feelings and act in a structured manner.
Soliloquies calm us down
When a test subject looks at a photo of a person who has a gun barrel pressed to his temple, his brain reacts to it due to the mirror neurons as if he were experiencing it himself.
If he speaks to himself in the third person, he is more aware of feelings like fear or helplessness and can calm down. It works almost as well as if someone told him that there was no danger here.
The measurements made by the scientists show that brain activity normalizes immediately when talking to oneself.
Talk to yourself like you would a friend
In another experiment, the research team compared the difference between soliloquy in the first and third person.
At first it seems obvious to conduct his monologues in the first person. However, soliloquies in which you talk about and to yourself as if you were a stranger work even better. Brain activity in regions of the brain responsible for pain sensation decreased significantly further when the test subjects spoke to themselves in the third person instead of the first.
So if you say "He doesn't need to be afraid" in a crisis situation, it will calm you more than if you formulate the statement "I don't need to be afraid".
Ethan Kross, co-author of the study, describes these soliloquies as "a particularly uncomplicated way to regulate your own feelings". However, the method needs to be examined in more detail. "If this is actually the case - and we need to investigate this in more detail - then it is of great importance for our understanding of how self-regulation works and how people can better deal with their emotions in their everyday lives," said psychology professor Jason Moser to the study results.
How you can use self-talk for yourself
In order to use the positive power of soliloquy, you do not have to wait for the results of further studies.
While it is not advisable to cope with the frustration of delays or crowds with never-ending nagging on the way to work on public transport, as you prepare for a stressful day in the morning, you can add a few encouraging and reassuring words to yourself give along on the way.
Before your next important meeting, find a quiet place where you can encourage yourself like a coach! Then go to the appointment more relaxed and focused.
If you suffer from a fragile self-confidence, you can convince yourself of your advantages and go through the day strengthened. (fs)