The 5 Types of Self-Talk Your Brain Likes Best

 / 

,
types of self talk your brain likes

Self-deprecation might keep you grounded sometimes, but your brain also needs different types of self-talk to thrive, and be in a positive space.

Thrive talk instead of survive talk creates greater resilience.

“The language used in telling our personal story affects us. We reflect our mind chatter.”

― Kilroy J. Oldster

One night I got caught in a harrowing blizzard in a remote area of the North Carolina Mountains without snow tires or four-wheel drive. I couldn’t stop or pull off the road, and my car was skidding on ice. Clutching the steering wheel, I had to drive another 30 miles straight up steep treacherous mountain curves.

At first, I heard my judgment’s reprimands, I hope you’re satisfied, dummy. You’ve done it now. Before the harshness escalated, I was aware that my judgment had tangled up with me like a ball of yarn. I took a deep breath, moved into coaching myself with kindness, Okay Bryan, easy does it. You’ve got this. You’re going to be just fine. Just breathe. That’s right, Bryan, just keep it on the road. Awesome job!

There was a time when people who talked to themselves were considered “crazy.” Now, experts consider self-talk to be one of the most effective therapeutic tools available. Obviously, I made it home safely because I’m here to tell the story. I believe I survived because of the way I spoke to myself.

The science of self-talk has shown time and again that how we use self-talk makes a big difference. Negative, survive talk can lead to anxiety and depression. Positive, thrive talk can mitigate dysfunctional mental states and cultivate healthier states of mind.

Here Are The 5 Types Of Self-Talk Your Brain Likes Best

1. Self-Distancing

Research shows silently referring to ourselves by name instead of as “I,” gives us psychological distance from the primitive parts of our brain. It allows us to talk to ourselves the way we might speak to someone else. The survival mind’s story isn’t the only story. And the thrive mind has a chance to shed a different light on the scenario.

The language of separation allows you to process an internal event as if it happened to someone else. First-name self-talk or referring to yourself as “you,” shifts focus away from your primitive brain’s inherent egocentrism. Studies show this practice lowers anxiety, gives us self-control, cultivates wisdom over time, and puts the brakes on the negative voices that restrict possibilities.

University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross conducted research into the value of first-name self-talk as a way to disable social anxiety before and after a stressful event when people often ruminate about their performance.

Kross gave 89 participants five minutes to prepare a speech. Half were told to use only pronouns to refer to themselves while the other half were told to use their names.

The pronoun group had greater anxiety with such comments as, “There’s no way I can prepare a speech in five minutes,” while the name group had less anxiety and expressed confidence using self-talk such as, “Bryan, you can do this.” The name group was also rated higher in performance by independent evaluators and was less likely to ruminate after the speech.

Other studies also show that first-name self-talk is more likely to empower you and increase the likelihood that, compared to someone using first-person pronoun self-talk, you see a challenge (thrive mind) instead of a threat (survive mind).

Types of self-talk
Types of self-talk

2. Broaden-And-Build

Like the zoom lens of a camera, Mother Nature hardwired your survival brain for tunnel vision to target a threat. Your heart races, eyes dilate, and breathing escalates to enable you to fight or flee.

As your brain zeroes in, your self-talk makes life-or-death judgments that constrict your ability to see possibilities. Your focus is narrow like the zoom lens of a camera, clouding out the big picture. And over time you build blind spots of negativity without realizing it.

Self-talk through your wide-angle lens allows you to step back from a challenge, look at the big picture, and brainstorm a wide range of possibilities, solutions, opportunities, and choices.

In a study conducted by Dr. Barbara Frederickson at the University of North Carolina, researchers assigned 104 people to one of three groups: Group 1 experienced positive feelings (amusement or serenity), Group 2 negative feelings (anger or fear), and Group 3 no special feelings (neutrality).

Then the researchers said, “Given how you’re feeling, make a list of what you want to do right now.” The positive group had the longest list of possibilities compared to the negative and neutral groups because the positive perspective showcased a range of possibilities.

You have the agency to broaden and build your survival brain’s constrictive “zoom lens” into a “wide-angle lens,” creating a perspective that broadens your range of vision to take in more information and free you from your mind’s limitations.

Related: The Power Of Self-Talk

3. Self-Affirmations

During the 1990s, comedians mocked the notion of self-affirmations with tongue-in-cheek phrases such as, “I’m smart enough” or “I’m good enough.” Al Franken created and performed the fictional character, Stuart Smalley, on Saturday Night Live in a mock self-help show called Daily Affirmations—a psychotherapist’s nightmare.

Years since, otherwise willing clients have steered away from the off-putting idea of self-kindness and positive affirmations. The comedic antics of the 1990s stigmatized the practice with shame and embarrassment, which led the public to disavow the practice.

In 2014, enter Clayton Critcher and David Dunning at the University of California at Berkeley. The psychologists conducted a series of studies showing that positive affirmations function as “cognitive expanders,” bringing a wider perspective to diffuse the brain’s tunnel vision of self-threats.

Their findings show that affirmations help us transcend the zoom-lens mode by engaging the wide-angle lens of the mind. Self-affirmations helped research participants cultivate a long-distance relationship with their judgment voice and see themselves more fully in a broader self-view, bolstering their self-worth.

4. Relationships With Your “Parts”

When you notice you’re in an unpleasant emotional state—such as worry, anger, or frustration—holding these parts of you at arm’s length and observing them impartially as a separate aspect of you, activates your thrive talk (clarity, compassion, calm).

Thinking of them much as you might observe a blemish on your hand allows you to be curious about where they came from. Instead of pushing away, ignoring, or steamrolling over the unpleasant parts, the key is to acknowledge them with something like, “Hello frustration, I see you’re active today.” This simple acknowledgment relaxes the parts so you can face the real hardship—whatever triggered them in the first place.

This psychological distance flips the switches in your survival brain and thrive brain at which point you are calm, clear-minded, compassionate, perform competently, and have more confidence and courage.

Related: 5 Ways Talking To Yourself Helps You, According To Science

5. Self-Compassion

There is a direct link between self-compassion and happiness, well-being, and success. The more self-compassion you have, the greater your emotional arsenal.

Studies from the University of Wisconsin show that meditation cultivates compassion and kindness, affecting brain regions that make you more empathetic to other people. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the researchers discovered that positive emotions such as loving-kindness and compassion can be developed in the same way as playing a musical instrument or being proficient in a sport.

The imaging revealed that brain circuits used to detect emotions were dramatically changed in subjects who had extensive practice in compassion meditation.

Other studies show that the expression of empathy has far-reaching effects on your personal and professional lives. Employers who express empathy are more likely to retain employees, amp up productivity, reduce turnover, and create a sense of belonging in the company. If you cultivate the habit of speaking with loving kindness, you change the way your brain fires at the moment.

Types of Self-Talk
Types of Self-Talk

Studies show when abrasive, survive self-talk attacks you, it reduces your chances of rebounding and ultimately success. Instead of coming down hard on yourself, loving-kindness helps you bounce back quicker. Forgiving yourself for previous slip-ups such as procrastination, for example, offsets further procrastination.

A survey of 119 Carleton University students who forgave themselves after procrastinating on the first midterm exam was less likely to delay studying for the second one.

When we talk ourselves off the ledge (as I did in the snowstorm) using self-distancing, compassion, and positive self-talk, we perform better at tasks and recover more quickly from defeat or setbacks—regardless of how dire the circumstances are.

If you want to know more about this topic, then you can buy Bryan Robinson’s book, #Chill at amazon.com, or on his website, bryanrobinsonbooks.com.


Written by Bryan Robinson
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today

Being kind to yourself, and treating yourself in a positive way is key to being confident, and happy. Whenever you are feeling down or stressed out don’t be too hard on yourself, and look towards these types of self-talk. This will help you get out of that negative zone, and overcome the undesirable situation that you are in, in a much better and effective way.

If you want to know more about the importance of positive self-talk, then check this video out below:

Types of Self-Talk
Types SelfTalk Brain Likes Best Pin
types of self talk your brain likes pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

6 Benefits Of Walking: Why It’s One Of The Best Things You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Brilliant Benefits Of Walking For Your Mental Health

Walking is so underrated when it comes to ensuring mental well-being. There are so many powerful benefits of walking that can do wonders for our mental and emotional health. This article is going to talk about some of the best mental health benefits of walking.

Boost your mood, energy level, confidence, and more simply by getting your steps in.

Taking a brisk walk is a great way to clear your head, calm your mood, and keep you healthy. It may seem simple, but walking can have a powerful effect on your mental health, and the good news is that it’s free.



Up Next

Neuro-Ninja Training: 10 Indoor Brain Strengthening Games For A Sharp Mind

Powerful Brain Strengthening Games For A Sharp Mind

Do you want to exercise your brain in the most fun, interesting, and most importantly, enjoyable way possible? Then you have come to the right place! Keeping your mind sharp and your brain alert is one of the most powerful things you can do. That’s why, we have compiled a list of brain strengthening games for you to try.

These brain strengthening games will boost your brain, keep you entertained and also increase your intellect. No more of those boring games to improve memory and concentration, because these are designed to be fun and exciting.

So, ready to explore how you can train your brain with games? Le



Up Next

15 Provocative Questions To Trigger Curiosity And Help In Creative Problem-Solving

Provocative Questions To Trigger Curiosity

If you are have ever thought how to trigger your curiosity, then you have come to the right place. Embracing curiosity is one of the best things you can do for yourself, and the curiosity questions mentioned in this article will help you achieve that goal. Check out these 15 questions to trigger curiosity and see how it works for you!

KEY POINTS

The ability to be curious generally declines in adulthood.

Curiosity is a portal to increased innovation.

Curiosity can be relearned with the right questions.

Today’s curiosi



Up Next

How Do Some People ‘Hear’ Colors And ‘See’ Sounds? — A Look Into Synesthesia

What Is Synesthesia? Interesting Types Of Synesthesia?

What does the color red sound like? Only those with the power of synesthesia can truly “hear” it. It is a secret power that about 4% of people have – their senses make unexpected connections.

Researchers are now diving into this new world to understand more about these sensory experiences where one is hearing colors and seeing sounds. So let’s dive in and learn what is synesthesia actually.

What Is Synesthesia?



Up Next

What Is Counterfactual Thinking: The Psychological Forces and Life-Altering Impact of ‘What Ifs

What Is Counterfactual Thinking? Psychological Insights

Have you ever wondered, ‘If only I had done something differently, then the results would be different’? This thought process is an example of counterfactual thinking in action. Understanding what is counterfactual thinking involves exploring our minds’ ‘what if’ scenarios.”

We will look at four real-life situations that show how thinking about “what if” can change how we see ourselves and the world around us.

But before exploring the examples, let us first understand what is counterfactual thinking.

What is Counterfactual Thinking?   



Up Next

Understanding The Mind Body Connection Definition: 3 Compelling Benefits of This Holistic Approach to Well-Being

Mind Body Connection Definition | Powerful Benefits

Have you ever felt that the constant noise of modern life drowns out the whispers of your inner self? By understanding the mind-body connection definition you will be able to forge a path of self-discovery and holistic well-being.

Mind Body Connection Definition  

The mind body connection is a fundamental concept that emphasizes the link between our mental and physical well-being. It’s all about understanding that our minds and bodies are not separate entities but work together as a unified system.



Up Next

Understanding Solastalgia Meaning: The Subtle yet Profound Emotional Impact of Environmental Change

Solastalgia Meaning: Environmental Change's Emotional Impact

Have you ever felt a profound sense of loss and disconnection, even while standing in a place you once called home? It is more than just nostalgia! Understanding solastalgia meaning helps us to understand our relationship with our environment.

We will delve into three primary causes of solastalgia. These insights will not only inform but also leave you with a deep appreciation for the relationship between your emotions and the ever-changing landscapes of your lives.

What is Solastalgia?  

Solastalgia, a term born from the fusion of ‘solace’ and ‘algia,’ carries profound significance in our understanding of the emotional impact of environmental chang