There seems to be this commonly held misconception that the power of the spoken word is something that is only meant to be used when their is an audience present. We all recognize how much it helps to verbalize ideas and talk things out, we just reserve this problem solving method for times when there is someone around to listen.
However... autobiographically-speaking-based-on-no-scientific-research I have found that, similar to the written word, an audience is not really required to tap into the powerful potentials of verbalization.
Now often times an audience does help to ignite and nudge detail and creativity, but in many cases it is the audience allowing us to feel comfortable vocalizing, and not necessarily their contribution that we benefit from.
Now the idea is that there are two general types of writing: fact listing and creating.
Creating has a huge array of beneficial effects on our mind and problem solving abilities, which is why many people choose to journal by writing “Dear Diary” this encourages the creation process and not just regurgitation or fact listing.
This idea can be applied very similarly to the spoken word.
We've all seen examples of this in our daily lives, often times- for me anyway- I failed to recognize what was really happening. For instance...
Ever find yourself mid way through a conversation with a close friend, regarding something you had been thinking a lot about recently, only to find that your presenting the idea in way that you hadn’t thought of before?
This fluid like flow of novel idea forming that often occurs simultaneously while you talk is a very potentially powerful resource. The conversation many times will end with a new light cast on the situation you had been mulling over in your head for weeks, a new found comfort toward a recent source of worry, or acceptance of a past event… despite the fact that the person you were talking "with" may have hardly said a word.
Or maybe halfway through a journal entry you notice your writing slowly shift from a regurgitation of facts toward a more unique origin, folding and unfolding different understandings and slowly rotating the view you have on that moment’s topic of interest.
What name can be given to this intangible spark that seems to occur in these types of instances?
Is it just the fact that your friend is offering you perfect direction on your recent contemplative quest?
Is it some mystical force that spawns from a purposed pen touching a piece of blank paper?
What I am suggesting, is that their is a very unique benefit that comes from tangibilizing your thoughts, weather it be via writing or talking. And that by taking that simple step past thinking something in your head, and putting it into existence, the brain starts to problem solve and dissect situations in different ways…where there was once a possible block or cause of anxiousness you may find obvious resolve.
These methods as a tool to get over blocks is not a new technique either, we’ve all heard the common psychologist suggestion of writing a letter to someone and never sending it.
The ironic thing is the simultaneous lionizing of journaling to yourself and the bastardizing of talking to yourself- viewing the former as a powerful tool for self improvement and the latter as the habit of the mentally ill.
But is it really so crazy to think that it’s the verbalization of thoughts that helps you hurdle mental boundaries, and that this action is not reliant on another human being to direct your manifested ideas at?
After all…how many words does your friend really even say when you find yourself discussing an emotionally charged topic about your life?
Is the idea of talking to yourself really even as crazy as it seems? After all we are human beings…creatures who evolved to the top of the food chain against all odds via our power of communicating with each other. It certainly wasn’t us being the fastest, the strongest, the most venomous, or our ability to fly that kept us out of the hungry jaws of our many predators. It was our ancestors utilization of community, via communication. It was through this that we were able to outsmart predators and hunger. With that understanding we may gain insight into the potential power that our words really have, of course as a means to share ideas with others, but also as a way for us to better understand ourselves.
With that I would like to suggest to all of you the simple idea…
TALK IT OUT... with yourself
Now most of us are at least familiar, even if you don't personally practice, with the written methods of this idea such as journaling.
However, I strongly encourage you to set down the pen from time to time and try verbalizing ideas with yourself. I especially find this ideal when driving in the car, I think this comes a bit more natural because when we drive with a passenger we talk toward the windshield anyway. If it seems uncomfortable at first, you can try use a trick my friend and I recently began doing. We made the agreement to leave each other daily voice-mails, generally of 5 to 10 minuets long. The other person was not obligated to listen to the voice mails but it makes it more natural to talk about what's on your mind when you are "on the phone".
It's an easy thing to try out for yourself, and really nothing to lose, I mean, I'm not saying to walk around in public discussing astrophysics with yourself -although with Bluetooth headsets these days you could probably get away with it.
Anyway give it try... it's simple really.
Talk about your day...
Talk about your worries...
Reminisce a memory...
Just talk it out...