by Harmony Heffron

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Talking to yourself may seem a little strange, but it also may help you exercise better self-control. A study done at the University of Toronto Scarborough shows that when people talk to themselves, they improve their rational decision making.

Using a series of tests, researchers studied the difference in participants’ behavior depending on whether or not they could speak to themselves with their ‘inner voice’. Participants who could talk to themselves (either mentally or aloud) showed a greater degree of self control than participants that could not.

The lead author of the study, Alexa Tullett, summed up the researchers’ findings. “It’s always been known that people have internal dialogues with themselves, but until now, we’ve never known what an important function they serve. This study shows that talking to ourselves in this ‘inner voice’ actually helps us exercise self control and prevents us from making impulsive decisions.”

Next time you are trying to make a rational decision, try coaching yourself in your head. Repeat after me, “I WILL be a good Spartan. I will NOT eat all the potatoe chips. I WILL go for a run…” A few inner words of encouragement can really help you make the right choices.

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