Third-Person Self-Talk Aids in Emotional Control

Talking to Ourselves Helps




MaxFX/Shutterstock.com

As reported in Scientific Reports, two studies of 37 and 52 people at Michigan State University have discovered that talking to ourselves in the third person using statements like, “Why is John upset?” instead of, “Why am I upset?” can help improve our ability to control our emotions.

Everyone occasionally engages in internal monologue, an inner voice that guides our moment-to-moment reflections. Now, scientists believe that the language used in the process influences actions differently. The premise is that third-person self-talk leads us to think about ourselves similarly to how we think about others, which provides the psychological distance needed to facilitate self-control.


This article appears in the February 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Expecting Moms Need to Relax at Holidays

South Korean mothers-to-be whose first trimester occurred during the stressful New Year’s holiday delivered babies a third of an ounce lighter.

Meditation Soothes Anxiety and Improves Focus

A single mindfulness meditation session reduced anxiety levels for participants in a Michigan study, evident even a week later, and breath-based meditation enhanced mental clarity in an Irish study.

Blue Light Raises Cancer Risk

Spaniards exposed to the most blue light via white streetlight LEDs and screens on tablets and phones have up to twice the risk of prostate and breast cancer.

Rosemary Lowers the Blues, Aids Sleep and Memory

Iranian students taking rosemary for a month saw their anxiety and depression drop and their memory and sleep improve.

Dark Chocolate Proven Healthier than Ever

Chocolate with at last 70 percent cacao can reduce stress and inflammation and boost infection-fighting cells and creativity.

Add your comment: