Is talking to your self a sign of madness?

Talking to yourself is not crazy, or at least it shouldn't be. According to Paloma Mari-Beffa, professor of neuropsychology at the University of Bangor, UK, in an interview with the American network CNN , talking to yourself can be normal and even healthy.

Although the main objective of speech is interpersonal communication, most people have the habit of talking to themselves . This practice can even offer benefits for mental health, according to information from CNN .

Inner conversation

The inner conversation has a fundamental role in the organization of our thoughts, it helps us to plan actions, consolidate memories and mediate our emotions. In other words, it helps us to control our lives. Speaking aloud can serve as an extension of inner thoughts , when some command is involuntarily activated.

Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget had previously observed how small children controlled their actions as soon as they developed the language . When approaching hot surfaces, for example, children often say something like "hot, hot" out loud and walk away. This type of behavior can continue into adulthood. It may seem like an instant reaction, but how long does it really take to realize a thought ?

See 6 benefits of talking to yourself

1 - Improves memory: When you speak alone, out loud, for example, it improves your ability to memorize, it can make you smarter and even help you concentrate. Practice helps with cognitive functions and excites the brain.

2 - Motivation: You get advice and talk to yourself can help you reach a greater understanding and reach your goal, even if that is not what you are willing to do today, but it is the necessary activity.

3 - Improves self-esteem: Nothing like looking in the mirror and praising yourself, right? It is rewarding and motivating as well. Sometimes, we focus so much on the victories and achievements of other people that we forget to observe what we do and praise and congratulate ourselves for it.

4 - Clarifies the ideas: When we say our things out loud, the impression is that what we want to pass on becomes clearer and more objective, facilitating our decisions and avoiding our internal conflicts.

5 - It works as a preparation: Talking to yourself before a meeting, presentation will provide you with confidence and confidence with what should be done. It is a rehearsal for what is to come, after all, who has never been in the mirror reading the report of a meeting that should be exposed at work or the presentation of a project for college?

6 - Relax: Whether out loud or in thought, talking to yourself is almost a relaxation. It is a human need to talk, to be aware of ideas. There are controversies in our head as well and talking to yourself will help you reach a common denominator and relax to make decisions.

7 - There is no shame: To talk to yourself there is no censorship, you are not afraid of being criticized or punished for your thoughts. Your thoughts become free, whether they are considered right or wrong.

When does it become a problem?

Just like everything in our life, talking to yourself also requires balance, right? When done in an exaggerated way, this habit can be considered a disorder or even a psychosis. According to the psychologist Mariana, talking to yourself becomes a matter of concern when we lose control of the act, impairing coexistence in public: "When your voice is aggressive with itself or ignores the presence of other people, not being able to control your actions in public ", emphasizes the professional.

Behavioral control

A survey by the Wake Forest School of Medicine, in the United States, carried out with monkeys, showed that they can  control their actions by activating goals in a type of memory. specific for a given task. If the task is visual, such as identifying bananas, for example, the monkey activates a different area of ​​the prefrontal cortex than it would if it were a sound or olfactory task.

When humans performed similar tests, in research published in the scientific journal Neuroscience Letters , they seemed to activate the same areas of the brain , regardless of the type of action. However, the researchers found that the brain can operate in a very similar way to monkeys when we do the tasks without speaking to ourselves , either in silence or out loud .

In this study, participants had to repeat meaningless sounds, like “blah blah blah”, for example, while performing visual and sound tasks . Because we were unable to say two things at the same time, murmuring these sounds made participants unable to speak alone  during tasks. Under these circumstances, humans behave like monkeys, activating different areas of the brain for each activity .

Still, the study showed that talking to yourself is not the only way to control our behaviors , but it is the  standard mechanism . We prefer it that way, however, it does not mean that we control everything we think and say out loud. According to Paloma, when we try to avoid thoughts that go through our head before going to sleep, for example by telling ourselves not to think, we activate even more  random thoughts .


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