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Mother Knows Best

Chances are if you’re reading this blog by yourself you no longer need to ask your mother permission to do anything. That’s one of the perks of being an adult. But would your mother approve of most things you do?

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on how “self-talk,” which is when you talk to yourself in the hopes of trying to improve your own behavior and mood, is on the rise.

People use self-talk for many reasons: as reminders (“Where’s my phone?”), to get advice (“Should I eat this entire pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream?”) or for motivation (“Come on! You can do this!”). What’s proven most interesting is that how you talk to yourself can also make a

difference. Research found that people who addressed themselves as though they were another person (such as, say, your mother) and said “you,” performed better under stress than those who addressed themselves using “I.” Apparently speaking like this allows folks to “give themselves objective, helpful feedback.”

Kind of like what, oh, I don’t know, a mom would say?

While many of us use self-talk to reach our personal goals, what if in doing so we made believe it was really our mother speaking to us. Would our self-talk still sound like this? “Where’s my favorite shirt? Oh, there it is in the bottom of the laundry. I think it’s okay to wear again.” Probably not.

Adding, “Mother May I?” to our self-talk could possibly help us make better decisions. Such as, Mother May I skip the gym? Mother May I get a tattoo on my neck? Mother May I go on a date with an ex-con? Determining our choices with our mothers’ consciousness in mind may change our own behavior and possibly get better results. Now with Mother’s Day coming up, would it really kill you to put on a clean shirt?

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

In memory of Carol Wansart, a dedicated mother with a huge heart and an even greater laugh.

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