Why talking to yourself helps

by - October 25, 2020

Speech bubbles against a nude brown background with circle patterns in the corners

Talking to yourself often seems to be presented as a sign of you losing it. Whether that is my case and there is still time to save me, I don’t know. But, jokes aside. Voicing my thoughts out loud has actually really helped me. I did some googling and I’m not the only one- there are plenty of people who find talking to themselves helpful with a common theme of not doing so in public to avoid embarrassment. I did some research and it turns out psychology does back me and it is beneficial (so long as you are treating yourself with respect).

Writing letters to myself and keeping a diary helps me with negative thoughts. But, I’ve never written about how voicing those thoughts out loud and having a conversation with myself has helped me. We all have moments of self-doubt or disappointment and times where our mindset isn’t as positive as it should be. Recently, when I was having one of those overwhelming moments, I chose to speak about it aloud even though I was by myself. Hearing my own voice helped me clarify my thoughts. Below I’m sharing the top 3 ways having a conversation with myself has transformed my mood.

Voicing my negative thoughts out loud has kept me accountable. 

Something about hearing back the harsh words I tell myself makes me realise what I am actually saying to myself and question it. Hearing it out loud has a way of making you notice what is going through your mind in a way that writing doesn’t - it’s more direct- I find it often involves less thought than writing. So it's a more accurate reflection of your thoughts because it’s your thoughts unfiltered. If you’re ever bringing yourself down and feel like you can’t do something I encourage you to openly speak those words out loud. Explain why you feel incapable and not worthy of something. Then, like in a conversation, question what you’re saying. Imagine what you would reply to a friend and answer yourself back. Would you say this kind of thing to a close friend? If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t be saying it to yourself. Having a dialogue with myself allowed me to gain so much more perspective on what I was feeling, why and how to feel better. It stopped me getting into a negative mindset and negative self-talk. It has also prevented me spiralling by grounding me - reminding me of reality and not to build a mountain out of a grain of sand.

It is less lonely. 

Having conversations with myself made me feel less lonely. It’s not quite like having a chat with a friend, but it’s definitely better than always sitting in silence. At the end of the day, the person that is going to be with us forever is ourselves. Our inner voice and dialogue - that is lifelong. Why not have an open talk with yourself? What’s so different about saying something out loud that is already going through your head anyway? Motivate yourself. Remind yourself of all of your successes. You know first hand more than anyone your struggles - give yourself credit for those small steps that maybe no one noticed, but you felt were hard to take. 

Coping with stress.

Stress - those moments where you feel you have way too many things to even keep track of? Too much going on and maybe you are also going through a hard time. Yes, To-Do lists are useful, but saying it aloud allows you to realise what is important to you and what takes priority. It allows you to filter the smaller tasks and focus on what is stressing you most. Speaking through everything on my mind has enabled me to realise what was worrying me the most and what tasks I needed to focus my attention on first. Also, it’s so much faster than actually writing everything down so makes you feel calmer and gets it out of your system quicker.

Positive dialogue with yourself is so important. It’s an ongoing journey, but talking to myself and engaging with my thoughts as if they are individual people keeps my thoughts more in check. I have been in a place before where my inner dialogue was very negative - talking to myself has allowed me to realise when I may be slipping into more harmful self-talk. 

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