How many times have you caught yourself talking aloud especially when psyching yourself up for a huge undertaking? You may have had friends tell you that you’re going crazy, but they’re totally mistaken, as science has proven that talking to yourself isn’t only a sign of sanity, but it can also help up your mood and improve your confidence.

According psychologists, “self-talk,” especially those that give you a verbal pat on the back, can help you calm down and focus on things that need to be done. A study from the University of Illinois led by Dr. Sanda Dolcos and featured on Fast Company notes that for added effect, it’s best to use the pronoun “you” instead of “I”—as in “You’re awesome,” or “You’re doing really great”—since it’s considered to be very motivational.

“That’s the way we grow up, with our parents and others encouraging us, telling us ‘you can do it,’ ‘you are good,’” says Dr. Sanda. “The words you choose will be very personal to what you need to hear.”

Aside from helping you get your game on, self-talk also helps you cope with and lessen stress, as a Reader’s Digest feature says that, “the sound of your own voice essentially acts as a reaffirming behavior, reinforcing that something is indeed doable.”

So the next time you have too much on your plate, try to breathe and talk to yourself. Who cares what other people think? As long as it gets you to focus and it makes you feel better, there’s no harm in trying.

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