Do you ever talk to yourself? If you do, don’t worry, you’re not crazy. Researchers discovered that talking to yourself is a way of practicing self-control.

Third person self-talk helps you distance yourself from your circumstance. You’re speaking as if you’re not experiencing the problem. But, as if you are helping a friend. In a way, you’re communicating from your higher self.

Jason Moser and Ethan Kross ran two separate studies to test this theory.

Jason Moser was the head of the study held at Michigan State University.

The researchers would show the volunteers troubling photos. They would track the brain activities of the volunteers with an electroencephalograph (ERP).

This is what the researchers found.

The volunteers’ brain activity decreased after 1 second of self-talking in the third person. Meaning that it required less mental effort for them to control themselves. Unlike practicing mindfulness and positive thinking.

Ethan Kross lead the second research at the University of Michigan. There were slight differences to this project. First, they wouldn’t show the participants disturbing photos. Instead, participants had to recall unpleasant memories from their past. Second, the researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

The results?

The participants’ brain activity was similar to the volunteers at Michigan State.

Both studies show that it takes less effort to practice self-control through self-talk.


Read the full article at Medium.