East Bay 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

Feeding Healthy Habits

Today’s barrage of junk food ads can easily influence kids for the worse, but 10 strategies, including visiting farmers’ markets, teaching cooking skills and implementing device-free family meals, can help them choose to eat better.

Beyond Sustainability

Farmers are increasingly exploring inexpensive organic methods to return microbial diversity to the soil, which could help mitigate a warming planet by allowing soil to absorb more carbon.

Aysha Akhtar on Our Symphony With Animals

Through her personal story as a survivor of childhood abuse and the stories of others, the neurologist demonstrates the scientific bond between animals and humans—and how they can heal each other.

Take It Easy on the Eggs

Eating three to four eggs a week increases heart disease mortality by 6 percent and all-cause mortality by 8 percent, a new study found.

Savor Cherries to Lower Metabolic Syndrome Risk

Montmorency tart cherries in juice or capsules lower systolic blood pressure and insulin levels within hours, reducing factors that lead to metabolic syndrome.

Add your comment: