Talking to yourself is not only helpful, but it can also strengnthen your executive functioning. Talking to yourself can help you process information, figure out solutions to problems, and remember things more effectively. Additionally, talking to yourself can help to increase your motivation and focus. In a fast-paced world, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and lost in thought. However, talking to yourself can help you to slow down and think more clearly. It can also be a form of self-care, helping you to reduce stress and anxiety.
Children use speech to help them plan, self-regulate and meet their goals. Language is one of the most powerful tools we have to help us. As a woman with ADHD, you can look at your speech as one of your greatest tools to help you with self regulation, and it’s free! I want to encourage you to start talking to yourself out loud.
It doesn’t make you crazy, it makes you smart.
Here are three ways you can start to talking to yourself today.
The main idea to build on here is that you bring something from inside to outside your head. This strengthens your executive functioning. Here are some ways you can externalize your speech to help you.
How? Ask yourself about your mistakes in the third person. “For example, “Why did Kristen fail” rather than ” Why did I fail?”. Crazy as it sounds, this makes you less defensive. Learning from failure is often the hardest for people sensitive to criticism. Women with ADHD must overcome rejection sensitivity dysphoria, so this hack will help you.
Remind yourself of how far you have come before you look at a mistake you have made or where you may have gone wrong. It’s easier to bear difficult emotions when you buffer against them by reminding yourself of all your progress.
Remember, when using these interventions, use a tape recorder, write in a journal or say it aloud.
These interventions depend on you bringing these ideas out side of your head
You can use your speech to help you meet your goals and stay on task. Russel Barkley gives a great example of how vital organized speech is when trying to meet a goal.
For example, if you are on a diet and go to a shop with baked goods, you need to use your speech to remind yourself not to buy a sugary snack.
You use your speech to:
Neurotypical people may do this quickly, but this situation will challenge an ADHD person. Executive functioning is required.
In the above scenario, you would practice it out loud as an obstacle to your goal.
Start practicing by planning ( I know it isn’t effortless) and rehearsing talking yourself through the steps above OUTLOUD as a habit when working on meeting goals. You can write it down, tape record it, and say it aloud.
Post reminders of your goals on post-its, around your house, in journals, or in pictures of what might interfere with your goals.
Somehow get these ideas out of your head or speak them out loud. You can also use your speech to help remind you how to stay focused when walking in a room. “I’m walking into the room. I’m picking up a book. I’m not getting distracted; I’m walking out of the room. ”
You can think of many creative ways to use language to help you get ideas out of your head to prompt or remind you, to help you stay focused, and to encourage you.
You can use your speech to help you with your emotions. When you begin to get overwhelmed, angry or sad, use out loud speech to comfort and soothe yourself.You may develop a mantra.
Some things you can say to yourself are “Emotions are not permanent,” This will pass,” “Stop,” “Take a break”, “Stay calm,” “Take a break,” “You’ll get through this,” “You’re doing the best you can.”
For people with ADHD, it’s crucial to make as much of your internal processes as possible external , including speech. So the next time you find yourself talking to yourself, don’t be afraid to do it loud and proud! It just might be the best thing you can do for yourself.
You can do this by talking aloud to yourself or by putting your speech on paper, pictures, or a tape recorder. There are countless ways you can use this tool to regulate, and encourage and keep yourself on track.
Learn more about adhd and talking to yourself from this aricle about failure
Read more about executive functions and adhd here
Read about the self critic here
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