Internal monologue - Deepstash
Internal monologue

Internal monologue

Your internal monologue shapes your mental wellbeing. The silent conversations people have with themselves influence how they live their lives.

Every person sometimes finds themselves listening to an unhelpful voice in their head. While learning how to harness the voice in our head is not a happy pill, it is possible to dampen the noise and manage our experiences more effectively. 

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Too much self talk

According to one study, we talk to ourselves at 4,000 words per minute. (By comparison, 6,000 spoken words, such as the state of the Union Address, lasts more than an hour.) No wonder that listening to it can be exhausting!

It can also be self-sabotaging. Ruminative thoughts take hold of us and overrun and ruin outer experiences. But those who are able to quieten their inner voice are happier.

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According to research, engaging in introspection can do significantly more harm than good. Our thoughts don't save us from ourselves but can lead to grave consequences.

It does not mean that we should avoid and repress our thoughts. Instead, we should take a step back and get some perspective to avoid getting overwhelmed.

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  • Venting to friends does more harm than good because it pushes away those you need most.
  • Distanced self-talk - speaking to yourself in the second or third person - helps to gain emotional perspective "Rachel, you should calm down, it is not the end of the world."
  • The power of touch - putting your arms around someone.
  • Activities that induce "awe", such as a walk in the mountains or looking at a great work of art, can help with a sense of perspective.
  • Writing a daily journal.
  • Creating exterior order can impact your interior order.
  • Temporal distancing. Try to see yourself one year from now.

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The inner voice

The silent conversations that people have with themselves influence how they live their lives. Some people benefit from internal dialogues, while others fall apart.

When we experience distress, research shows that introspection can do more harm than good. Introspection gives rise to negative cycles with potentially grave consequences for our mental and physical health. The ability to step back and reflect can help to get some perspective.

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Describing mental chatter

The inner voice can keep us trapped in a hell of our own making. But it can also be one of our greatest strengths - if we can control it.

From time to time, we are all fixated on something that happened. We voice in out heads replay it over and over in our heads. I shouldn't have snapped at Dad when he is always so patient with me. We ruminate, we worry, we catastrophize.

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Optimizing your environment for a calmer mind
  1. Surround yourself with nature. Nature makes us feel good and improves our health. It helps as a buffer against the stress we deal with on a daily basis. If nature is inaccessible, looking at photos of nature helps, as well as listening to birds and rain.
  2. Create opportunities for awe. It gives us the feeling of ceding control of our inner voice. We are less self-focused.
  3. Declutter. When we see the order in our environment it gives us a comforting feeling because it makes life easier to navigate.

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