That Voice Inside Your Head

Is it just me or are you low vision folks talking to yourself more? I mean a LOT more! I mean, I have always had the best conversations with myself, but I seem to have turned into a talking-to-myself chatterbox.

I, shall we say, ‘verbally mediate’ many activities these days. “OK, Sue. Do this. Good. Now do this. That looks right.”  And, of course I do it out loud.

I did not talk myself through as near as much when I was fully sighted, or at least I don’t think I did.

Rather than think myself crazy, I decided maybe this is an adaptation. You know, when the environment changes the successful organisms make changes that will allow them to better survive.

Maybe a sign of genius.  Einstein talked to himself. Of course I have also heard he would just wander around Princeton and would have to be led back home. Maybe an urban legend, but, just the same, I don’t think I would like to be that out of it.

Maybe I am just a new learner again. After all, kids verbally mediate – a nice term for talking yourself through a task – all of the time. It helps them to figure out their world.

Going to the Internet for validation of my theories, I discovered I was right!  First of all, I am probably not crazy. Statistically speaking, a large percentage of people talk to themselves. I cannot be crazy if the behavior is ‘normal’; right?

Next point: smart people talk to themselves. Talking to themselves apparently helps to make them smart. According to the literature talking to yourself increases attention span and improves memory. It also allows for better decision-making, apparently through a very personal form of ‘peer review’.

Self-talk is helpful for emotional regulation. I read somewhere that just talking about something can reduce its emotional intensity. Talking takes it through different paths in your brain.

Instructional talk is actually supposed to be the most beneficial of all. It has been found to improve performance. The best way to instruct yourself? Use your own name and refer to yourself in the second person.

So, yes. I am talking to myself more. I am not crazy. I am improving my attention and decision-making. I am verbally mediating old skills that seem to have developed a ‘snag’. Self-talk is helping me to adapt.

That is my story and I am going to keep telling me that. Out loud, of course!

Next: OUT OF EGGS AND MILK

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