“Being caught talking to yourself can feel embarrassing, and some people even stigmatize this behavior as a sign of mental instability. But decades of research show that talking to yourself is completely normal; most if not all of us engage in some form of self-talk every day.”
In fact, according to this TED-Ed lesson, children often speak to themselves out loud as they play, repeating conversations they’ve had with adults. This practice helps children manage behaviors and emotions, as well as develop new skills.
And as we age, self talk often transforms into inner speech that can continue to help us focus and regulate.
But we do still occasionally talk out loud to ourselves. Why? And does what we say matter?
This TED-Ed lesson, directed by Avi Ofer and made in collaboration with Character Lab, explores the psychological benefits of positive self-talk, and provides some context for when it can become problematic.
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