“It’s not an irrational thing to do. Talking to yourself makes one remember events that have happened, however, right words need to be used for this to work” Beatrice Musimbi, a psychologist in Uasin Gishu county district hospital affirms that talking to yourself can help memory recall, confidence and focus.
Talking to yourself can occur when you are dealing with extreme emotions like anger, excitement, nervousness, uncertainty among others.
It is a mixture of emotions that drove Kevin Alura to the edge. He spent most of his career as a pediatric at Moi teaching and referral hospital, diligently treating children. Last year, he decided to venture in business, giving up his career. His problem was that he had never studied business, and so he had no entrepreneurship skills. As his idea failed, his confidence failed him as well. But he was determined to succeed in business. He then decided to visit a business counsellor, who gave him a piece of advice, which he found odd.
“He told me to talk to myself loudly,” says Kevin.
“That sounded awkward because I have never done that before,” he added. Kevin did not believe that this approach could work. He, however, went ahead and gave it a try. To his surprise, it worked.
“He told me to repeat self-affirming comments out loud, such as “don’t do your best, do whatever it takes, I took the advice to heart. Really it works”, explains Kevin.
Talking to ourselves may seem strange because we tend to associate speaking out loud to nobody in particular as a sign of a mental disorder. However, according to Beatrice Musimbi, a psychologist in Uasin Gishu county district hospital, self-talk can help memory recall, confidence and focus.
“It helps in calming nervousness and boosts one’s confidence especially when one is preparing for a presentation or public speaking”, adds Beatrice.
Dr Oduor from Moi teaching and referral hospital agrees that not only does self-talk improve his clients’ memory, but also change how they feel.
“If a patient is angry, I tell him/her to say out loud what they were upset about. The anger would then disappear”, says Dr.Oduor.
“At some, we need to talk to someone who knows us well and is ready to listen to us, and that is us,” he adds.
“We are our own interesting person that we know. Knowing ourselves and how we feel can help us improve”, adds Dr.Oduor.
However, there are extremes to self-talk. According to Dr Oduor, self-talk that is full of negative energy like insults can be harmful to your mental health.
“People who talk things that cannot be understood by those around them may be suffering from hallucination, which is a mental disorder; we need to differentiate, “explains Dr Oduor.
“Self-talk can be differentiated with mental illness by hearing the content of what the person speaks”, adds Dr Oduor.
“Positive self-talk is to emotional pain as pain pill is to physical pain.” Edmond Mbiaka
So now you know. Talking to yourself is good for your mental health. It all depends on what you are talking about. Next time you are cheering yourself on loudly, don’t mind it. it is good for your health.