Living in difficult times? Talk to yourself as if you’re someone else and ease the stress, say the experts.
It’s been an especially stressful day. Your doctor had some difficult news to reveal but you lost your keys someplace in the house and couldn’t get out in time to hear it…and then you had to re-schedule all while facing the threat of inclement weather and your daughter-in-law phoning every two minutes for emergency help with the grandkids, on your cell phone.
In fact, it was so hectic that you actually caught yourself talking to yours truly in the third person, while taking out the garbage. You now suspect the neighbors might think you’re crazy.
Well, maybe they do but so be it, they’re too picky anyways, right?
Related: Stress Vitamins: Do They Work?
The good news is that experts say talking to yourself like you’re actually discussing someone else is actually good for you.
You don’t need to do it all the time of course, but researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) have found that sounding like the local crazy can help to control your emotions when things get tough.
“Why Is John Upset”?
It may sound weird but here’s an example.
“Say a man named John is upset about recently being dumped, “ the researchers involved in the study state. “By simply reflecting on his feelings in the third person (“Why is John upset?”), John is less emotionally reactive than when he addresses himself in the first person (“Why am I upset?”).
“Essentially, we think referring to yourself in the third person leads people to think about themselves more similar to how they think about others, and you can see evidence for this in the brain,” said Jason Moser, MSU associate professor of psychology. “That helps people gain a tiny bit of psychological distance from their experiences, which can often be useful for regulating emotions.”
So, the next time your day decides to collapse in on you and leaves you reeling for something normal, take a step back. Make a cup of coffee for you and yourself, sit yourself down and have a good talk. You might find the answers you need.
Photo credits: Aletia/Bigstock