Most people talk to themselves

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Those who like to mumble to themselves have an advantage. Discussions to oneself structure our thought processes and are conducive to stress reduction. We spoke to an expert about self-talk and their effects.

Status: 07.09.2020

You stand shopping and go over in your mind what you need. You catch yourself saying "I still need butter" or something like that out loud. US researchers estimate that 96% of all adults talk to themselves from time to time. And in most cases that is even advisable.

"In particular, positive self-talk is often and gladly used in cognitive behavioral therapy."

M.Sc. Julia Hüwel

Talking to yourself helps structure our thoughts and helps us to reduce stress. So when we have a monologue, the spoken word helps us solidify a thought. Talking to ourselves should help us to structure ourselves better, to order thoughts, to process experiences and possibly also to better understand our feelings, according to psychologist Julia Hüwel.

Encouraging self-talk

This is illustrated once again using an experiment carried out by psychologists Ralph Reimann from the University of Vienna and Dietrich Dörner from the University of Bamberg. The two psychologists had students design and build a bicycle rack. They were filmed with a camera. In comparison, the students who asked themselves in monologues how they should take the next step, for example, worked in a more structured and concentrated manner than the students who worked silently on the project.

Can you really persuade yourself well?

Psychologist Julia Hüwel answers this question with a resounding yes. It has been shown that it is beneficial to talk to yourself out loud at home, says the expert. For example, you could compliment yourself aloud every morning or say some kind of mantra.

"This means that we adopt a new attitude (physically but also towards ourselves), which in turn releases hormonal processes in our body that ultimately promote the release of endorphins (so-called happiness hormones)."

Psychologist Julia Hüwel

Talking to yourself is not only a memory aid, it can also have a positive effect on the mind.

If self-talk is so good, why does it seem frowned upon?

This question inevitably comes to mind. Especially since we see people almost every day who feel as though they are talking to themselves when they are using their headphones to make phone calls on their mobile phones. Julia Hüwel's assumption seems plausible. The psychologist refers to language as a means of communication, i.e. as an opportunity to come into contact with others. Therefore, it could seem strange if this means of communication is used for personal communication and not for contacting third parties.

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