Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Prom­ise you’ll give us a chance be­fore you roll your eyes and turn the page – it’s worth it, we swear. A study by Michi­gan State Univer­sity has found that speak­ing to your­self in the third person can help con­trol your emo­tional re­sponses to neg­a­tive feel­ings. Mon­i­tor­ing blood flow in the brain, re­searchers ob­served less cog­ni­tive ac­tiv­ity when a par­tic­i­pant – let’s call her Cathy – talked about neg­a­tive emo­tions in the third person (‘why does Cathy feel so up­set?’) com­pared with tra­di­tional self-re­flec­tion (‘why do I feel so up­set?’). Their find­ings sug­gest that re­fer­ring to your­self in the third person al­lows you to as­sess prob­lems from a more de­tached per­spec­tive, just like giv­ing ad­vice to a friend. We’re not say­ing it won’t feel mega weird to be­gin with – but science says it’s worth a try, which is good enough for, well, Cathy.

Fig­ure of fun

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