Talk to yourself about a stressful task

Talk to yourself about a stressful task

It’s already a cliché in the movies when the protagonist must face a major challenge and then he talks to himself as if to infuse arrests, in the style of "Come on, you can … focus . "

However, what appears to be just a narrative device now takes on real practical value in light of a new study by researchers from the Universities of Michigan and the State of Michigan that has been published in the journal Scientific Reports .

Speak in the third person

Here’s how Jason Moser , Associate Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University, explains:

If we refer to ourselves in the third person, it is something like thinking about other people, and we find evidence of this in brain activity. It helps to take a little psychological distance from our experiences, which is often useful for controlling emotions.

The experts came to this conclusion after carrying out two experiments. In the first of these, held at the Clinical Psychophysiology Lab (directed by Moser himself), the volunteers had to contemplate neutral and unpleasant images and then express themselves in the first or third person while their brains were examined using a electroencephalogram. In the second experiment, led by Ethan Kross , participants explained painful experiences from their past, in first and third person, while having their brains examined with functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI).

The areas of the gray mass most linked to emotions were lit less when people recounted their memories referring to themselves as if it were someone else . Image | madstreetz