Most likely, you happened to talk to yourself – mentally or even aloud. Some regularly do this and find a resource in it, while others have a question of how normal this is. Could this be beneficial? Or vice versa – do harm?
Should talking with oneself be considered a sign of mental illness? Absolutely not. “This is absolutely normal,” said psychotherapist Laura Dabney. “In fact, we all talk to ourselves,” says psychologist Veronika Tugaleva, author of The Art of Talking with Us, echoes her. “Yes, when we speak out loud, it looks a little strange, but each of us happened to conduct complex multi-level thought dialogues, trying to realize what is happening in life.”
Remember the everyday situations in which you are talking to yourself. For example, when leaving home, you list out loud things you could forget: keys, a wallet, an umbrella, a phone … Or, returning home from work, remember an unpleasant conversation with your boss, cursing and resenting yourself. “This is not just normal, but very important: our happiness and well-being may depend on the quality of our internal dialogue,” Veronika Tugaleva is sure.
We often start talking to ourselves in difficult times – for example, when a difficult decision is to be made
“I always explain to clients and readers how to help me calm down by talking affectionately and caringly with myself – like a mother with a child,” says Life Coach Sherry McGregor. “This is a good way to switch from restless and anxious thoughts to something positive.” She works with patients who have lost contact with children, but, according to her, positive self-hypnosis can help anyone in a difficult situation.
“It’s in difficult times that we often start talking to ourselves – for example, when we have to make a difficult decision in an emotionally stressful situation or when we can hardly cope with surging feelings,” explains Itamar Schatz, a linguist from the University of Cambridge.
IT IS USEFUL TO TALK WITH YOURSELF ABOUT DAILY BUSINESS
“By thinking aloud about everyday affairs and problems, we help ourselves not to forget about something important and make it easier to complete some short-term tasks,” explains Sheri McGregor.
For example, if you are nervous about the upcoming presentation, speak out your fears alone with yourself, suggest constructive solutions, remind yourself how well prepared you are. Avoid negative auto-suggestions that only exacerbate anxiety.
“To make this exercise more productive, try talking to yourself remotely, turning to yourself in the second or third person,” Itamar Schatz suggests. – For example, if you are worried about the upcoming presentation, it’s better not to say “Why am I so worried?”, But “Why are you so worried?” Studies have proven that such a formulation helps to look at the situation without emotions, which means it is easier to make a rational decision.
FOR OWN USE
It turns out that the tendency to talk with ourself is connected with awareness – a practice that has become very popular in recent years. “It all starts with awareness – we begin to pay attention when we mutter something to ourselves,” explains Sheri McGregor.
In difficult periods, we are often overwhelmed by gloomy thoughts, so it can be difficult to develop a habit of positive self-hypnosis (and possibly regular meditation), but it’s worth trying.
Laura Dabni advises to learn to speak with ourself at a specific place or at a specific time. For example, try to say something encouraging after stressful situations during the day and note what exactly helps you and what doesn’t. You can even keep a diary for this purpose.
Many people think that only mentally ill people do this. As a rule, this is not so, but sometimes such conversations do testify to trouble, especially if they are accompanied by self-damage – bumps or cuts. In this case, these symptoms can indeed be caused by an emotional disorder.
Another alarming sign is if you constantly repeat certain phrases, mantras or numbers and feel that you cannot stop. In this case, it may be worth consulting with a specialist.