Modern day research stumbles across some rather interesting results. One such research concluded that talking to oneself helps to control emotions without additional mental effort. This talk must be done in third person for this effect to be felt, added the research. The findings suggest third person self-talk constitutes an effortless form of emotion regulation when compared to first person self-talk.
Associate Professor at Michigan State University, Jason Moser said that thinking about ourselves in third person is similar to how we think about others. This helps by providing a certain psychological distance and is helpful towards regulating their emotions. This tudy published in Scientific Reports journal, involded two experiments.
In the first, participants viewed disturbing and neutral images while an electroencephalograph monitored their brain activity. Disturbing images caused a decrease in their emotional brain activity. In the second experiment, the participants reflected on past painful experiences while Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) was used to measure their brain activity.
The results show that participants display reduced activity in a region of the brain commonly implicated for reflecting painful emotional experiences when they use third person self-talk. This suggests better emotional regulation. Hence, third person self-talk can be used as an in-situ technique to regulate one’s emotions. Other emotion regulating techniques require a considerable level of effort and thought, making this an easier option. The downside of this technique is that people may look a bit silly while practicing. But if it can help to regulate one’s emotions better, who’s silly?