Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania Edition

Third-Person Self-Talk Aids in Emotional Control

Talking to Ourselves Helps

MaxFX/Shutterstock.com

As reported in Scientific Reports, two studies of 37 and 52 people at Michigan State University have discovered that talking to ourselves in the third person using statements like, “Why is John upset?” instead of, “Why am I upset?” can help improve our ability to control our emotions.

Everyone occasionally engages in internal monologue, an inner voice that guides our moment-to-moment reflections. Now, scientists believe that the language used in the process influences actions differently. The premise is that third-person self-talk leads us to think about ourselves similarly to how we think about others, which provides the psychological distance needed to facilitate self-control.


This article appears in the February 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Eat Right to Sleep Well

Rather than popping a pill, eating certain foods can kick-start hormones that help us get a long, deep night’s sleep.

We Need Clean Waters

Efforts are underway around the country to make polluted waterways clean again and to instill local appreciation for their many helpful roles.

Peter Gros on Preserving Wild Nature

The wildlife expert explains why we should appreciate wolves, snakes and bats and what he finds encouraging about an enlightened focus on wildlife protection.

Running with the Kids

Families with children as young as 5 easily bond when they mindfully run together at a fun pace.

Livable Communities We Love

Across the country, cities from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to Portland are finding fresh new ways to create engaging street life for residents while eco-upgrading their green spaces, services and infrastructure.

Add your comment: