Talking to yourself is a normal behaviour that most, if not all, people engage in on a daily basis. Self-talk refers to the narration inside your head, sometimes called inner speech. It can be silent or vocal, and it plays an important role in planning, problem-solving, and motivation.
As children, we often speak to ourselves out loud as we play, and this outward self-talk helps us learn to manage our behaviours and emotions. Over time, this self-talk becomes internalized, transforming into a private inner dialogue. What we say to ourselves in these conversations can have real impacts on our attitude and performance.
Instructional or motivational self-talk has been shown to increase focus, boost self-esteem, and improve task performance. On the other hand, negative self-talk can be harmful, leading to anxiety and depression.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a psychological treatment that focuses on regulating the tone of self-talk to improve mental health. So, be kind to yourself and remember that your inner voice will be with you for a long time.