Why you SHOULD talk to yourself out loud. The science of verbal affirmation.
Talking to ourselves out loud has been stigmatised as a sign of madness. But I encourage my clients to do it as a form of powerful self-expression. Here are the benefits of verbal affirmations and how to begin your own practice of talking to yourself out loud:
Just like journaling talking out loud to yourself is a way of externalising thoughts and feelings. And just like with a journal, the process of expressing ourselves shapes our thoughts and feelings so talking to yourself will change what you think.
Once your thoughts have been externalised through a verbal affirmation the distance from them has been created that you will need to observe and reflect on them.
Negative feelings like shape behave like fungi. They grow in the dark. Getting them out into the light of day by speaking out loud to yourself actually causes them to shrink.
The benefits talking to yourself has over journalling is that it is a more instant and intense experience. While this can be hard if the emotions or thoughts you are expressing are raw and painful it's great if what you are struggling with is disconnection or numbness. Hearing yourself say something can actually wake you up to what is going on.
What most of us live unaware of is that we have a relationship with ourselves that is shaped by our experiences of life. It is so normal to us to relate to ourselves that it suffers from the wallpaper effect. It blends into the background and we don’t notice it. But it is there. I believe it is the most important relationship we have. I see talking to ourselves as one part of us talking to another part of us. We are connecting with ourselves. The stronger and deeper your connection with yourself is the better your mental and emotional and relational health will be.
So how do I actually begin talking to myself out loud?
The key here is little and often. Create an automatic reflex of verbal affirmations whenever you have something to process.
Go somewhere you are comfortable and undistracted. First, take some deep breaths and practice some simple relaxation or centring technique. Next connect with yourself, notice what is happening or recall a significant event. Express emotions, thoughts, desires in simple honest words.
Have some crafted verbal affirmations that express the most important thoughts feelings or desires. Read these out like they really matter to you put your heart and soul into it.
Finish by putting your hand on your heart and affirming; “You are loved”, “it’s OK”.
Repeat this 3 times daily and for a minimum of 7 days. After this review how far you have come. You will see that talking to yourself has powerfully shaped your thoughts and feelings. Then you can adapt your practice to what is now coming up for you.
I discuss all of these thoughts about verbal affirmations in this weeks episode of my show:
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