‘-Talk may be cheap, but you certainly do a lot of it. You mostly talk to others, but you also speak to yourself regularly. According to researchers, your self-talk is an integral part of your mental health. Here are ten reasons why talking to yourself is healthy for you.
Self-talk ranges from reminders to boost your memory or to pep you up for a long day ahead. So you might be telling yourself it’s time to get up, or wondering whether your package is coming today. You may remind yourself to lock the back door before you leave. This telling, wondering, and reminding are all parts of self-talk. Talking to yourself is natural. You weren’t taught how to do it. Some people experience these internal musings more than others.
Studies show that self-talk connects to your reasoning, planning, problem-solving, and motivational side of your thinking.
Positive thoughts can motivate you, but sometimes you can drift into self-talk that’s negative. This type of self-talk demotivates. It is self-defeating, telling you that you’re not good enough. Negative self-talk can happen when you’ve had an upsetting event or situation. As you rehearse it, you may feel regret or anger towards yourself.
Benefits of healthy self-talk
It’s easy to underestimate the power of healthy self-talk. It can be a powerful resource in your life. Here are some valid reasons why talking to yourself is healthy.
1. Motivates you
Positive self-talk can motivate you. It helps you not give up. Self-talk can be the pep talk you give yourself. It’s the inner talk that no one else knows about. You are reviewing your weakness and strengths, weighing whether you want to keep going. Your inner dialogue could sound like this
I need to exercise more, but I’m not sure how I will do it right now. I wonder if there’s an app I could use? Hey, that’s a great idea! And it’s doable right now.
Self-talk helps you find it within yourself to get motivated when otherwise you’d give up.
2. Lowers your stress
Talking to yourself can lower your stress. It helps you step back and evaluate situations. You can ask yourself questions such as
- Am I overreacting?
- Why am I feeling so upset or angry right now?
- Is there anything I need to do right now?
- What’s my biggest fear related to this situation?
Talking through things is helpful because it can reduce the pressure you’re feeling and help you be more objective about a situation. Self-talk is a positive tool to help your mind and body calm down and find a sense of peace.
3. Talking to yourself helps to clarify things
Self-talk can pinpoint problems and help you get to the root cause. You can ask yourself the right questions, think about things from different angles, or talk yourself through difficulties. Self-talk is a constructive way to clear up your misconceptions of a conversation. As you rehearse what was said, you may remember things you said or did. It can motivate you to go back and work out problems with people or get clarity on something that came to your mind when you were talking to yourself.
4. Improves your focus
When you work through each problem, you’re focusing on an issue. You look at it from all angles, wondering about the how, when, and why of the matter. Staying focused not only helps you finish what you’re doing, but you gain self-confidence at your ability to finish something.
5. Encourages your will power
Internalizing this dialogue gives you motivation, and the will power to do things. It encourages you that you’re able to do the job. You may say something like
- I really want this!
- I can do this!
- This goal is worth the effort.
- I want to push myself to do this.
- I’ve done great so far. I’m not giving up.
6. Understand yourself
Speaking to yourself teaches you things about yourself. You know your temptations, your weakness, and your strengths. You are aware of all things you feel and think. It teaches you how to encourage yourself, to correct yourself, or ask yourself the right questions. Positive self talk build you up but keeps you humble.
7. Process things better
When you self- talk, you can work out things in your mind. Wondering, comparing, evaluating are all part of helping you process. Self-talk helps you problem solve.
8. Enhances your gratitude
Self-talk can motivate you to count your blessings. Positive self-talk is aware of others, not just yourself. You can see the many ways you’ve been blessed and can rehearse them to yourself. You may say something like
- I am a blessed person to surround myself with such good friends
- My job isn’t the greatest, but I’m grateful I have a job
- I’m thankful I have a supportive partner
- My family is a mess sometimes, but I love them, and they love me
- I’m so grateful for my church community’s support right now
Gratitude enhances your positivity. It builds you up and helps you build up other people.
9. Focus on your ambitions
If you’re pondering your interests and ambitions, look no farther than your innermost musings. You think and mull over what interests you. Perhaps you’re always looking at decorating blogs or knitting patterns. Are you talking to yourself about them? “I love that look,” you may say to yourself. This introspection is a sign– it may be a field of study or a hobby you should pursue. Self-talk reveals your desires. If you really like the look of a knitted blanket, why not learn to knit it? Don’t doubt your self-talk. It’s guiding you, so listen to your self-talk.
10. Improves your self-confidence
Knowing yourself boosts your self-confidence. You know where you’re healthy and where you’re weak. Self-talk can help you not compare yourself to others. You feel secure in yourself because you’re well aware of what you feel and think. You have a healthy view of who you are, and you’re not afraid to be yourself.
Ten types of negative self- talk
As much as positive self-talk helps you, negative self-talk can harm you. Here are ten types of negative self-talk you want to avoid.
1. I’m not worthy.
This negative dialogue devalues your sense of worth. It tells you that you’re not worthy enough to receive love or help.
2. I don’t care.
This attitude steals your motivation to do anything. It leaves you feeling helpless. Negative self-talk robs your ambitions and makes you feel hopeless about yourself and your future. Pretending like you don’t care is not being honest with yourself. When you lie to yourself, it causes you to feel like a fake.
3. I’m a failure.
Every person fails at one point or another in their life. Beating yourself up over a failure isn’t healthy. It drags you down and demotivates you to try again. Stop each negative thought in its tracks. It leads to discouragement and depression.
4. I’ll probably mess it up
You may feel disappointed, and instead of admitting your disappointment, you lie to yourself by saying you’ll mess up again. It’s important to speak truthfully to yourself, but not go into negative self-talk. You could say something like
I’m disappointed and discouraged. I’m tempted to feel like I’ll mess up again.
You value being honest with others, why not be honest with yourself? Admit your discouragement without belittling yourself. Honesty is critical for a healthy mentality.
5. People won’t like me.
This is a form of self-rejection. If you feel like people don’t like you, you’ll act differently. You withhold from them, so you don’t come across as who you are. So, people will feel like you’re disingenuous. When people get a negative vibe from you, they may back off, so in a weird way, your self prophecy that people won like you comes true.
6. Everyone is better than me.
It’s normal to compare yourself to others. It’s easy to be harsher on your accomplishments than you should when you compare. If you always come up short in comparisons, this is negative self-talk. Step back from this thinking. Of course, there are almost always others who are better at things than you, but you have items that you can do better than others. Don’t belittle who you are by making these false comparisons.
7. I’m a terrible person
Every individual has areas in their life where they need to change. Don’t focus on all the bad or weak things about your personality. Instead, look for ways to improve yourself. Turn the negative into a positive.
- Negative: I talk too much
- Positive: I’m want to learn to be a better listener.
- Negative: I’m stingy.
- Positive: I want to be more generous.
Turning the negative areas into positive ones gives you hope for change. Negative statements can become positives ones when you use them to motivate instead of discouraging yourself.
8. I made another mistake
Everyone makes mistakes. Remember, you’re not perfect, but no one else is either. Striving for perfection isn’t realistic. Avoid negative talk that tells you that you must always get it right.
9. What I have to say isn’t important
Self-talk that tells you that you don’t have anything to contributes is defeating. Your thoughts are essential and to withhold them is false. Share your thoughts. They are worth it.
10. I’ll never change
Change isn’t easy, but self-defeating talk won’t help. Negative self-talk demotivates you. It makes you feel hopeless and helpless. Don’t buy this lie. Everyone can change if they want to.
Everyone talks to themselves. Your inner dialogue can be a positive or negative force in your life. If you notice a habit of negative self-talk, find ways to turn your negativity around. Be honest with yourself and allow your positive self talk to motivate you to enjoy your life.