Do you talk to yourself? Keep doing it.
According to a new study, talking to yourself outloud is a super effective way to reduce stress, but you have to do it in the third person for the stress-fighting to work. The researchers who worked on this study say that, "third-person self-talk may constitute a relatively effortless form of self-control."
The study goes on to further say, "Essentially, we think referring to yourself in the third person leads people to think about themselves more similar to how they think about others, and you can see evidence for this in the brain. That helps people gain a tiny bit of psychological distance from their experiences, which can often be useful for regulating emotions."
The study, which you can check out in full on Scientific Reports, consisted of two experiments. The first one had participants look at some neutral images and some disturbing images, and then respond to how those images made them feel in both the third and first person. Those who responded in the third person, had a rapid decrease in "emotional brain activity."
The second experiment, had people discuss negative experiences from their lives in both the first and third person. When people spoke about the experience in the third person, their brains exhibited more "emotional control."
So next time you feel your stress levels getting out of hand, distance yourself a bit and switch over to the third person. Odds are it will make you feel instantly a bit better.