10 Surprising Benefits of Talking to Yourself (Yes, It’s Good for You!)
Go ahead, talk to yourself. You’re not crazy—we promise!
Talking to yourself could help diminish loneliness, says Aniesa M. Schneberger, MA, LMHC at Tampa Life Change. “It can be a comforting reaction to help fill a quiet place with the noise of your own voice when you’re alone,” she explains. When to worry? When you start having debates with yourself. Schneberger says this could be indicative of abnormal behavior that warrants speaking with a professional.
Helps your child learn
If you have young children, lifehack.org explains that talking to yourself in their presence can help them learn about language. It’s simple: Since they tend to absorb information like a sponge and often repeat what they overhear, children pick up on your vocal inflection, syntax, and even vocabulary. In turn, this becomes a learning experience. So go ahead and keep a running dialogue of what you’re doing, be it emptying the dishwasher or putting on makeup. Just watch your language. Little ones are known for repeating what parents say, so hold back when it comes to swear words or dark jokes.
Keeps you organized
“All right. Today we’ll go to the vet, grocery store, and visit Betty. Vet, store, Betty…” Talking to yourself about an agenda allows you to stay on track. “The mind can only process one task at a time even though we think we are multitasking,” says Julia Breur, PhD, a licensed clinical psychotherapist in Boca Raton, Florida. Enter talking to yourself. “We can be walking, driving, or preparing a meal when all of a sudden we are verbally responding to our thoughts, also known as ‘talking to ourselves.’” Doing this, she explains, helps your mind to sort through the day’s clutter so you can better prioritize. Is one of your errands re-organizing your fridge? Here are some tips.
Helps you find objects faster
A study conducted by researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Pennsylvania found that talking to yourself helps you find items quicker. They learned that when people uttered the very word they were looking for while they were in the midst of searching for it, their ability to locate it faster increased compared to those who didn’t repeat the particular word. There’s a reason you may walk around the house saying, “phone, where are you, phone?” as you search every room for the missing device—it works.
Allows you to realize goals
Goals, no matter how small, may be achieved with the power of talking to yourself. From finding something in the grocery store to remembering various tasks at work, psychologists maintain that talking to yourself lets you visualize a specific scenario unfolding. Psychologist Linda Sapadin says on lifehack.org that saying your goals aloud can help them come to fruition. Doing so, she says, allows you to properly focus your attention and prevent distractions so you can become more successful. It’s worth trying, from weight loss success to career goals.
The next time you’re feeling stressed about something, considering talking to yourself. It’s a normal way to cope with stress and anxiety, and helps alleviate pressures in life, says Dr. Breur. Doing so serves as a kind of pep talk; the sound of your own voice essentially acts as a reaffirming behavior, reinforcing that something is indeed doable. As a result, you’re less likely to hold thoughts in (because you’re speaking them to yourself) and more apt to voice concerns and feel more confident during stressful times. Don’t miss these strategies on stopping negative self-talk.
Helps you solve problems independently
Compared to people who don’t talk to themselves, people who do have been found to solve problems on their own with greater ease. Lifehack.org maintains that this is because when a problem arises, it’s common to run the issue by a friend or family member. However, when you talk to yourself about a problem rather than rely on others for solutions, you’re more likely to become more independent. Listening to your own voice can boost your confidence and make you more effective at problem-solving.
You gain insight about yourself
You may find you have certain thoughts about how you’d like to interact with a colleague. However, what you say when you talk to yourself about this person likely differs from what you might actually say in their presence. For example, when you talk to yourself while preparing for an upcoming meeting between the two of you, you may find your words drastically differ than what you say face-to-face. Sometimes, what comes out of your mouth during your alone-time moments can reveal a lot about your inner desires. You’d be surprised what you learn about yourself!
Boosts your self-esteem
Linda Sapadin, PhD, a psychologist and success coach says on psychcentral.com that talking aloud can do wonders for self-esteem. “Why wait to get compliments from another? If you deserve them, give them to yourself,” she says. “Like the time you were tempted but decided to bypass the ice cream shop because you honored your commitment to yourself to lose five pounds. Doesn’t that deserve a shout-out compliment such as, ‘I’m proud of you?’” Positive words of praise said aloud can help reinforce everything from a job well done to pride over a new hairstyle. Rather than rely on others to offer words of praise or being hard on yourself, compliment yourself out loud. Your self-esteem will thank you.
Talking to yourself, Dr. Sapadin says, can help bolster your intelligence by organizing your thoughts and honing in on important tasks. However, it’s essential that you speak respectfully to yourself. She explains that negative phrases such as “You idiot!” should be eliminated because it’s worse than not talking to yourself at all. “Begin talking to yourself like you are your own best friend,” she says. “Which you are. Right?”