Talking to yourself gets a bad rap. In the movies, characters that do it are usually villains, and in real life, the people that talk to themselves in public tend to be given a good amount of social distance by everyone else. But the thing about talking to yourself is, not only do we all do it, it’s actually quite good for you.
Asking yourself questions is actually a common practice in somatic therapy. It’s something therapists recommend to patients who need to develop their mind-body awareness. For example, writer Kate Hirsch was told to ask her body “how are you feeling?” while dealing with severe migraines and then listened to what their body needed to feel more relaxed. It was a technique that helped both in their recovery and also something Hirch used to get through the pandemic.
It’s something that everyone can do but without the guidance of a professional, it may not be very effective. Psychologist Sharlene Bird says “people appear to be following the suggested techniques, but there’s a high chance they’re doing it wrong.” Seek out a mental health counselor before you start using self-chats as a way to heal or cope. Bird says they can give you the proper language and prevent things from becoming “confusing or even triggering.”
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