First mail out those letters sitting on the table, make dinner, and take the dog out. Then think about the rest of my life. Those thoughts became words quickly without hesitation one day. I didn’t even realize I had said them until they were muttered. They were reassuring, focusing words that lead to true responsiveness.
Talking to yourself throughout our day is not abnormal. In fact, there is even a term that defines this phenomenon known as private speech. We often learn to do it as kids. Kids talk to themselves while playing. It serves as an important part of their development. As we get older, it allows us to cement memories or visualize what we are thinking. Buy carrots for the soup. Oh those keys..hmmm. Sometimes it helps us socially. When we come up with responses to a person that we met that day, it allows us to use that comeback the next time we see them. I’m swamped – let’s meet at noon. Other times it could be used as a comfort or cheerleader to get us through hard times. You got this. Keep running to the end of this song.
Unfortunately there is also a flip side. There are those moments when we may say something inconsiderate, even harsh toward ourselves. This self-talk is bound to only lead to shame or guilt, possibly further negative feelings. Doing whatever works for you to stop this will help the next time you’re in a similar situation.
Over the next week, observe when thoughts become words. What purpose does it serve? Is it during the morning rush out the door or maybe when trying to go shopping for gifts? Can this be used to create a solution to a project at home or maybe to go shopping with only a few glances at a shopping list? Internal awareness can reinforce and create feelings, memories, and external actions.