“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich
Sometimes I have to pull out everything in my bag of tricks in order to rise above my current circumstances. Like right now, flat on my back in bed right when I’d been planning a million other things…
One thing I have found invaluable in that bag of tricks is simply talking out loud to myself.
I know. That’s what crazy people do. Right?
That may well be, but research shows that talking to yourself can have a profound positive impact on your motivation and coping skills.
You might have read my blog post earlier this year about being in resistance to choosing my One Big Thing for 2016, where I asked myself Nicole, what’s really going on? You’ll notice that I talk to myself and call myself by name.
I have talked to myself out loud for many years through my illness and despair. Almost always, the words I have used are as a coach, encouraging myself…
Nicole, you can do this. Nicole, you are stronger than this. Come on, Nic, get up and keep going. Nic, you’ll find a way. Nic, you’ll heal this. You’ll get past this.
Talking to yourself is also known as self-talk. All of us run a continuous dialogue with ourselves, but it’s usually in our heads. And often, we aren’t very supportive or kind to ourselves. But when we do start to harness the power of speaking with kindness and encouragement to ourselves, things can really change.
Studies show that speaking out loud and shifting from using the pronoun ‘I’ to addressing as ‘you’ has a powerful impact on our self-regulatory behaviours, beliefs and actions. To amplify the effect further, call yourself by your name.
Talking out loud to ourselves is the same as having someone else talk to us. It engages a different part of our brain. We listen and consume the message in a completely different way to the way we pay attention to a thought. Talking out loud cuts through our mental chatter and gets the message noticed. And addressing ourselves in the third person (*you) rather than the first ( *I ) moves us away from fear, which clouds our judgement and prevents us from thinking clearly.
Research has proven that talking out loud to yourself can:
- Reduce pain scores
- Increase coping skills
- Improve state of mind
- Increase emotional and physical resilience
- Improve focus and attention
- Heighten the learning state
- Strengthen determination
- Speed healing
- Create and maintain a positive outlook
- Build self-acceptance and self-esteem
- Better manage stress
- Improve physical and emotional health
The way we talk to ourselves matters. It is a simple way that we can help and support ourselves.
We can tell ourselves a different story – one that overwrites the narrative of not-good-enough or never-changing that we (or others) may have been telling ourselves for years.
Speak your name out loud, and give yourself the words that can help you change your life. Talk yourself through the difficulties, the decisions, the hard times. Be your own wise coach and cheer squad. I promise it will make a positive difference in your day.
All my love, Nicole <3 xx