You’ve surely noticed that some people have the habit of “starting a conversation” with themselves every once in a while.
And if you’ve had such moments yourself, then you most likely remember how the people who overheard your “conversation” reacted, clearly thinking you must be insane.
But don’t worry, there is no need for concern. While it is true that this behavioral trait is often associated with lunacy, scientific research suggests that it can also be regarded as the trait of a genius.
Studies have explored this phenomenon and concluded that talking to yourself can in fact boost your ability to store and process information.
Yes, talking to yourself will not only help you become a more quick and efficient learner, but it will also strengthen your long-term memory.
In an experiment conducted by Psychologist Gary Lupyan, 20 volunteers were asked to remember items they were shown in a supermarket. One half of them were asked to remain silent, while the others were told to repeat the objects out loud, for example, orange. The end results showed that self-directed speech helped people to find the objects quicker, by about 50 – 100 milliseconds, in comparison to the ones who were silent.
“I’ll often mutter to myself when searching for something in the refrigerator or the supermarket shelves,” said Lupyan.
It was precisely this personal experience that made him start the experiment. Together with psychologist Daniel Swingley, Lupyan came across solid reasons as for why those who talk to themselves are actually geniuses. And here are some of the key takeaways:
1. Talking to yourself increases your brain power
Talking to yourself prepares your body for the task ahead by allowing it to complete the job much more easily.
2. It helps children learn more efficiently
Children, especially toddlers, immensely benefit from ‘self-talk’.
The researchers believe that it aides them by guiding their behavior, stating that vocalizing directions let them approach a problem in methodical ways while also making them more adept at problem-solving later in life.
3. It helps you clarify your thoughts
All of us have various kinds of thoughts. And while many of them make sense, others simply don’t. Lets say you’re angry at a person and you feel like killing them. Surely, you won’t be thinking of visiting a therapist if you had such an issue. What you would normally do instead is lock yourself at home and mutter to yourself. By talking to yourself you are letting go of the frustration, you’re considering the pros and cons of killing that person, and eventually, you cool off. This is a childish thought and you are unable to share it with another person.
“It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you are contemplating.” says psychologist Linda Sapadin.
4. It makes you more ambitious
By repeatedly stating your goals out loud you reinforce your determination to achieve them and clean up your mind from needless distractions. In this way, you are breaking down your goal into clear steps you will be able to take with little difficulty instead of approaching the problem straight on. This practice stimulates your brain to work more efficiently towards achieving your goals.
So, next time when you’re feeling ashamed of “thinking out loud”, don’t sweat it. As it turns out, it’s actually a healthy habit.
Speaking from your personal experience, do you find that the abovementioned points are valid? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.