Photo by Sky Eckstrom, licensed by CC.

"Keys. Keys," you mumble while trying to remember where the heck your car keys are.

Suddenly, you spot them.

Is it possible that talking aloud about the keys helped you to find them? Or when you're mentally working through different scenarios, going through them out loud can help you focus.

Recently experts have been learning more about "self-talk" and how people use it to their advantage. The good news? Our running monologues are absolutely normal.

"When I think about self-talk, it can be done silently or out loud. We all have silent conversations with ourselves and some times those conversations end up spilling out and happening out loud," says Ethan Kross, director of the Emotion and Self-Control Lab at the University of Michigan.

Useful soliloquies

Even better, our soliloquies prove useful. For example. when it comes to looking for something, saying the word out loud makes the thing easier to find, says Gary Lupyan, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Saying what you're looking for out loud "helps you keep the visual representation of the object in mind better," says Lupyan, who wrote a paper on the topic. "The name helps you…visualize the object, enabling you to actually see it better."

Talking aloud also helps people solve problems. Chatting to yourself about how you'll answer interview questions for that dream job, or how you'll handle that serious talk with your boyfriend, prepares you for the actual experience.

"Self-talk allows you to run through alternative scenarios and prepare alternative reactions and strategies," says Frank Ghinassi, vice president and director of the Department of Psychology at UPMC's Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.


Read the full article "Talk to yourself out loud? Here's why experts say that's a good thing" at TODAY.