(2 minute read)

Positive self-talk can help you do your job better, cope with stress, and maybe even live a little longer.

Shaina Rozen

Not so long ago, if you realised you were talking to yourself, you may have started questioning your sanity.

Fast forward to the 2020’s, and we have come to realise that this could be a hidden ‘superpower’ – where articulating and voicing our thoughts gives us the opportunity to put substance to what was previously thoughts alone.

In a recent article from the team at Atlassian, the authors highlighted research which re-defines the value in positive self-talk (also known as our internal monologue).

While some have more positive and optimistic monologue, others struggle with more negative thoughts, like blame, perfectionism, or imposter syndrome.

More recent research has identified that it’s common – and normal – to experience both types of inner dialogue. How we handle negative thoughts seems to be the differentiator and the link with our emotional intelligence.

Treating self-talk differently to dialogue with others can prove detrimental. For example, when we give friends or colleagues feedback, we typically choose our words carefully. We usually aim to be encouraging and constructive, rather than harsh or damning, because we understand that being optimistic builds healthier relationships and better performance.

So why shouldn’t we take the same approach when communicating with ourselves?

Research findings support the belief that dwelling more on the negative thoughts can prove detrimental to our health, while making a shift to more positive thinking has more positive benefits to our personal and social wellbeing.

In their research, a team of behavioural psychologists at the Mayo Clinic in the USA identified the following benefits of positive self-talk.

  • Lower rates of depression and distress
  • Improved coping skills (especially during times of stress)
  • Better psychological and physical wellbeing
  • Increased life span
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease

In short, if we’re going to talk to ourselves, why not whisper the sweeter things?


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