Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Talk, talk, talk -- to yourself

A recent Wall Street Journal article explores a phenomenon that many of us might consider the sure signs of losing our minds: Talking to ourselves. The habit of self-chatter usually begins as babies and toddlers, where it plays a vital role of language acquisition and communication. However, researchers have found that as many as 96% of people still talk to themselves. And there seem to be many benefits. "Among the things it's useful for is what's called self-regulation: goal-setting, problem-solving, decision-making and planning."

Furthermore, self talking also increases during complex tasks and stressful times." Hearing your own voice can actually help get your ideas straight, keeping you focused and ready to act.
"The irony is that self-chatter, like sharp objects, is both most suited and least suited to the workplace. At work where we would most benefit from talking out loud ... we are least likely to do so for social reasons." So maybe the next time any of us have a decision to make or an important document to write, let's speak up and out loud!
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