Why Talking to Yourself Can Be a Good Thing

Thinking is great, but sometimes you need to have a direct conversation with the person in the mirror.

by
Posted in , Jan 27, 2021

Positive self-talk

Talking to ourselves—it’s one of those things sometimes discussed in earnest tones about mental well-being. Or it’s sometimes used as a self-deprecating quip that we should find someone else to talk to.

But I believe in self-talk. I always did, but during the pandemic it feels more important than ever. As my access to a broad group of other people to chat with has been so limited, talking to myself is one way I meet myself where I am and encourage myself to walk a positive path through each day. Self-talk doesn’t substitute for relationships. But it is a tool to cultivate a positive relationship with ourselves.

Let me be specific about what I mean by self-talk. Sometimes it’s repeating a list of ingredients I am on my way to grab from the pantry as I walk over. Sometimes it’s a question that crosses my mind. And sometimes it’s a literal long look in the mirror to meet my own gaze and speak words I need and want to hear.

I also mean self-talk as an out-loud thing, different from the inner monologue we all have. Speaking out loud (or quietly) to myself brings a kind of energy into my self-talk that thinking just can’t do. I’ve also found that my vocal mutterings tend to reflect—and be reflected in—my internal thoughts.

This is important, because we must observe our self-talk for signs that it’s skewing into the realm of “rumination” or circular, self-defeating negativity. If you feel you have slipped into a negative self-talk habit, keep count for one day of how many times you’ve talked down to yourself by making a note on your phone or a pad of paper. The next day, set a goal to decrease the number of negative comments by a set amount. Continue until you have at least halved this draining habit.

Have you noticed you’re talking to yourself more during the pandemic? How does that serve your positive lifestyle?

View Comments