In Chatter, acclaimed psychologist Ethan Kross explores the silent conversations we have with ourselves and how they shape our lives.
Attended an interview with the author via Cave Day.
Tools for quieting mental chatter:
- journaling – 15-20 minutes freewriting about what’s really bothering you for one to three days
- distant self-talk – address yourself by name to separate yourself from carried away worries and fears
- controlling your space – with rituals and with changes to our physical environment like cleaning up clutter
- seek out awe-inspiring experiences – especially in nature
Craft a “cocktail” of techniques to find what works for you.
When talking with others about their problems, first let them express their feelings and vent, then use little prods to help them consider their issue from another perspective and broaden their viewpoint. Pointed out this is one of the problems with social media — it builds these echo chambers where everybody has a group vent session but no one is there to nudge them to rethink.
Future research is digging into why the placebo effect works even when you know you’re taking a placebo – and how much we can make ourselves feel better with the power of our minds.