Talking to yourself is actually a good thing, psychologist claims
When you get to a certain age, there are particular behaviours you will have left firmly behind, based on society's ideas about what is and is no longer socially acceptable (ever seen an adult sucking their thumb?).
Talking to yourself, for instance, might have been absolutely fine when you were little - it might even have been encouraged - but as a grownup, it's not really going to do you any favours. It's just far too unconventional for most people's standards.
But, as it turns out, we might have been doing ourselves a huge disservice by conforming to society on this one.
Positive psychology pioneer Martin Seligman explains why grateful people are naturally happier:
In fact, talking to yourself out loud can do wonders for your brain, according to Lisa Ferentz, clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and author of the Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons From The Therapist’s Couch.
When leading therapy sessions, Ferentz says that she encourages her clients to speak out loud to themselves in a bid to cultivate a more positive mentality and outlook on life.
"There’s nothing more important than the way we talk to ourselves because that inner monologue informs in subtle and not-so-subtle ways all our subsequent thoughts, emotional states, and behavioural choices," she says, per Distractify.
The psychotherapist believes that being overly critical, judgemental or negative makes it harder to find positivity in anything.
Ferentz emphasises the importance of recognising aspects of your life that you're grateful for, including your strengths and positive qualities.
An important part of her therapy sessions is allowing clients the opportunity to stand in front of a mirror, and read out what it is they perceive as positive in their lives.
"Like anything else, once you practice and approach it from a positive place, you discover it’s quite easy to do. It guides our life whether we’re conscious of it or not," Ferentz explains.
She also gets her clients to whisper positive statements to themselves.
"When we whisper positively to ourselves it gives us a little more strength and courage so we can meet a challenging scenario head on," she continued.
"There’s definitely a value to understanding what you’re feeling whether it’s positive or negative. Saying negative thoughts out loud can be very validating," Ferentz adds. "Bringing the negative stuff you’re thinking and feeling to the surface then gives you the opportunity to reevaluate it."
So, if you happen to see someone talking to themselves, it might not necessarily be a cause for concern - in fact, it could be doing their mental health a world of good.