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Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER - An award-winning psychologist reveals the hidden power of our inner voice and shows how we can harness it to live a healthier, more satisfying, and more productive life. "This book is going to fundamentally change some of the most important conversations in your life--the ones you have with yourself."--Adam Grant, bestselling author of Give and Take On NATIONAL BESTSELLER - An award-winning psychologist reveals the hidden power of our inner voice and shows how we can harness it to live a healthier, more satisfying, and more productive life. "This book is going to fundamentally change some of the most important conversations in your life--the ones you have with yourself."--Adam Grant, bestselling author of Give and Take One of the best new books of the year--The Washington Post, BBC, CNN Underscored, Shape, Behavioral Scientist, PopSugar - Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Shelf Awareness starred reviews - Next Big Idea Club Finalist Tell a stranger that you talk to yourself, and you're likely to get written off as eccentric. But the truth is that we all have a voice in our head. When we talk to ourselves, we often hope to tap into our inner coach but find our inner critic instead. When we're facing a tough task, our inner coach can buoy us up: Focus--you can do this. But, just as often, our inner critic sinks us entirely: I'm going to fail. They'll all laugh at me. What's the use? In Chatter, acclaimed psychologist Ethan Kross explores the silent conversations we have with ourselves. Interweaving groundbreaking behavioral and brain research from his own lab with real-world case studies--from a pitcher who forgets how to pitch, to a Harvard undergrad negotiating her double life as a spy--Kross explains how these conversations shape our lives, work, and relationships. He warns that giving in to negative and disorienting self-talk--what he calls "chatter"--can tank our health, sink our moods, strain our social connections, and cause us to fold under pressure. But the good news is that we're already equipped with the tools we need to make our inner voice work in our favor. These tools are often hidden in plain sight--in the words we use to think about ourselves, the technologies we embrace, the diaries we keep in our drawers, the conversations we have with our loved ones, and the cultures we create in our schools and workplaces. Brilliantly argued, expertly researched, and filled with compelling stories, Chatter gives us the power to change the most important conversation we have each day: the one we have with ourselves.


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NATIONAL BESTSELLER - An award-winning psychologist reveals the hidden power of our inner voice and shows how we can harness it to live a healthier, more satisfying, and more productive life. "This book is going to fundamentally change some of the most important conversations in your life--the ones you have with yourself."--Adam Grant, bestselling author of Give and Take On NATIONAL BESTSELLER - An award-winning psychologist reveals the hidden power of our inner voice and shows how we can harness it to live a healthier, more satisfying, and more productive life. "This book is going to fundamentally change some of the most important conversations in your life--the ones you have with yourself."--Adam Grant, bestselling author of Give and Take One of the best new books of the year--The Washington Post, BBC, CNN Underscored, Shape, Behavioral Scientist, PopSugar - Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Shelf Awareness starred reviews - Next Big Idea Club Finalist Tell a stranger that you talk to yourself, and you're likely to get written off as eccentric. But the truth is that we all have a voice in our head. When we talk to ourselves, we often hope to tap into our inner coach but find our inner critic instead. When we're facing a tough task, our inner coach can buoy us up: Focus--you can do this. But, just as often, our inner critic sinks us entirely: I'm going to fail. They'll all laugh at me. What's the use? In Chatter, acclaimed psychologist Ethan Kross explores the silent conversations we have with ourselves. Interweaving groundbreaking behavioral and brain research from his own lab with real-world case studies--from a pitcher who forgets how to pitch, to a Harvard undergrad negotiating her double life as a spy--Kross explains how these conversations shape our lives, work, and relationships. He warns that giving in to negative and disorienting self-talk--what he calls "chatter"--can tank our health, sink our moods, strain our social connections, and cause us to fold under pressure. But the good news is that we're already equipped with the tools we need to make our inner voice work in our favor. These tools are often hidden in plain sight--in the words we use to think about ourselves, the technologies we embrace, the diaries we keep in our drawers, the conversations we have with our loved ones, and the cultures we create in our schools and workplaces. Brilliantly argued, expertly researched, and filled with compelling stories, Chatter gives us the power to change the most important conversation we have each day: the one we have with ourselves.

30 review for Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook...read by the author: Ethan Kristen...5 hours and 44 minutes ***INNER THOUGHTS ARE LIKE A CARNIVAL RIDE THAT ONE CAN’T GET OFF*** 🎡🎢 “Chatter”....was worth reading. I honestly thought I was a pro — ( haha, not ‘too’ egotistical here), on the workings of our inner voice...( especially the critic: that little voice inside our heads that loves to be an ugly-mean-not-nice-machine).... But....I was humbled. I learned a lot. I was re-affirmed that the inner workings of chatter — (the hidden mec Audiobook...read by the author: Ethan Kristen...5 hours and 44 minutes ***INNER THOUGHTS ARE LIKE A CARNIVAL RIDE THAT ONE CAN’T GET OFF*** 🎡🎢 “Chatter”....was worth reading. I honestly thought I was a pro — ( haha, not ‘too’ egotistical here), on the workings of our inner voice...( especially the critic: that little voice inside our heads that loves to be an ugly-mean-not-nice-machine).... But....I was humbled. I learned a lot. I was re-affirmed that the inner workings of chatter — (the hidden mechanics of ‘Chatter’ is pretty much pressed ‘on’ high gear all the time....and at the very least, human beings spend a minimum of a third of their lives not being present). Professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, debut author, Ethan Kross brings us hot-off-the-press-up-to-date data, understandings, and a few stories to drive home examples of what happens when we talk to ourselves. It’s a wonderful 5 hour-ish listen. There is plenty to contemplate, discuss, reflect, and learn. Kross examines - explains - brings awareness to new thought. He gives us tools for our toolbox to most effectively manage our ‘chatter’. A few tidbits to anticipate, examine, meditate, cogitate about, brood over, muse over, kick around, and conceptualize are: ......did you realize that the link between physical and emotional pain were much more connected then at one point previously assumed? ..... why can some people look at their inner voice and gain strength, while others feel powerless, imperfect, and knocked down? ..... when was the last time you examined your voice? When was the last time you thought about new ways to relate to your voice positively? ...rather than listening to the repetitive negativity? .....introspection means actively paying attention to one’s own thoughts and feelings. Going inside ourselves contributes to more fulfilling life. ..... The negative aspects of chatter can turn our inner introspection into a turmoil about decision-making, relationships, health, problems at work, etc. .....Kross begins to give us tips of how to look at our inner coach, rather than our inner critic. Why does going inside with our inner thoughts sometimes bring success, while other times complete failure? What’s the mechanism for the science? ..... what can we do, when we find our our inner thoughts are running off course? Feelings of anxiety, dizzy, off-balance, frustrated, unsettled, insecure, etc.? .....Ethan talked about the modern popularity of BE HERE NOW: staying in the present. As a scientist, Ethan Kross ( with his many studies and findings), .... it turns out that actually BE HERE NOW is counterproductive to what really happens. It’s just not that easy for the brain to evolve in BE PRESENT NOW ( you silly worm).... Our brains just don’t work that way naturally… Giving us another reason to beat ourselves up because we can’t seem to be able to do it for long periods of time. Oh there are some tips and some tricks which Kross will share.... but for goodness sake,it’s not the natural state of our minds. .... as naturally as we breathe, we disconnect from the here and now. Kross names it: “Our Default State”. .....Our inner voice is a very fast talker. It’s a ‘basic feature’ of the mind. Often our chatter gets louder when we least need it to be. When we are dealing with difficult emotions, a constant rehashing of old events, dialogue with ourselves, and rambling of various thoughts....run on and on and on..... again, being counterproductive. The InterVoice can get fixated on one specific topic, and it can sabotage us. .....Before Kross takes us through the positive and negative ways chatter affects our lives emotionally, and physically, he teaches us how to control the voice in our head ......explaining to us the need to ‘understand’ why we have an inner voice. .....We zoom in. We zoom out. Our chatter can poison us....and they can heal us. When we lose perspective, the negative side of the voice just takes over. Negative emotions can be so intense that they create physical problems. Again.....Kross shows us other ways to gain a wider view in perspective and constructive ways. The mind is flexible if we know how to manage it. It has a psychological distance...but when emotional chatter is taking over, it requires some practice to manage the psychological distance in a healthy way. ..... I loved one of the examples he shared about going to the movies. When we go to the movies to distract ourselves from our pain.... The problems are still there when we come out of the movies. The negative feelings remain waiting to be activated again. Lucky us....Kross discusses how we can begin to make smarter choices to support our physical and emotional health. He has shiny new tools we can add to our toolbox. .....This review is getting as long as the book....kidding!! There’s some wonderful stories... and honestly wonderful tips. ..... I could write pages more. I actually really like this whole topic.. Old memories came back to me .... situations that I found myself in....my own chatter stories visited me while reading this book .... I noticed when venting a problem didn’t work...when it did. There are some *Golden* examples about the pros and cons of sharing specific details of a painful emotion/ event to a friend. ....A HUGE TAKE-AWAY for parents: ( the book will explain more)....provide a GREEN EXPERIENCE....OFTEN. When children are not exposed to nature, regularly, there’s a 50% more chance that they will experience depression and anxiety when they are adults. Loved this book more than I thought! I feel refresh and restored .... I understand the value for reducing negative chatter and stress in our lives. Hallelujah! Thank you Ethan Kross

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura Mitchell Hutchinson

    Really helpful info for an anxious soul like me! Fascinating to learn of the science behind my own 'inner voice' and what I can do to stop the negative spiralling that seems to happen so often. I have tried to use some of these techniques over the past week or so and surprised myself when they actually worked! 4.5 stars from me, not because the content was lacking but just my own personal experience with it – this is quite an academic read, which I am not used to, and at times I found it really Really helpful info for an anxious soul like me! Fascinating to learn of the science behind my own 'inner voice' and what I can do to stop the negative spiralling that seems to happen so often. I have tried to use some of these techniques over the past week or so and surprised myself when they actually worked! 4.5 stars from me, not because the content was lacking but just my own personal experience with it – this is quite an academic read, which I am not used to, and at times I found it really hard to concentrate. Right when I was thinking 'I hope someone makes a dot point summary of this so I don't forget' I discovered the back section is a fantastic, categorised summary of practical tips for handling my own inner voice, being a support to the people around me coping with 'chatter' and how to adjust my lifestyle to prevent that negative-spiral taking over unnecessarily. I am SO GRATEFUL for intelligent people like Dr Ethan Kross. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR WISDOM Disclaimer: I was able to read this book early as an advanced reading copy because I work in the publishing industry in Australia.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Noula

    It's quite amazing how things happen for a reason. Recently, I was bullied by rejecting a man from Facebook Dating saying we aren't a good match. I went with my inner voice or Chatter as this book calls it. That night I got an email book recommendation from Penguin and it was this book. I had a free credit on Audible and I made up my mind, then purchased it. Little did I know that I would encounter a story told by Ethan. Normally when I encounter or come across books similar to this one I was exp It's quite amazing how things happen for a reason. Recently, I was bullied by rejecting a man from Facebook Dating saying we aren't a good match. I went with my inner voice or Chatter as this book calls it. That night I got an email book recommendation from Penguin and it was this book. I had a free credit on Audible and I made up my mind, then purchased it. Little did I know that I would encounter a story told by Ethan. Normally when I encounter or come across books similar to this one I was expecting a whole lecture on our thought processes. This book is totally different! I will not give away spoilers for there are many that come to mind. But, what I can say is that if you are an introvert and also an over thinker then this book is for you. I've always ignored my chatter, never went with it, my intuition etc. Recently, I went with it due to relationships in dating. Because of that I learned how to harness my emotions and to not react when provoked to do so by someone else who is angry. Trust me...this book gets 5 stars. Read it and learn about your own chatter. Recognize it and use it to the best of your advantage.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cari

    A helpful, practical read for those of us who struggle with the voice in our head talking All. The. Time. Kross, a professor at the University of Michigan, explains that all of us have a voice in our head, and that it evolved for a purpose, to help keep us safe. It helps us solve problems and maintain a rich inner life--we just have to learn to keep it at bay. I am wondering if some people perceive that voice differently, because my husband insists he does not have a voice talking to him all day A helpful, practical read for those of us who struggle with the voice in our head talking All. The. Time. Kross, a professor at the University of Michigan, explains that all of us have a voice in our head, and that it evolved for a purpose, to help keep us safe. It helps us solve problems and maintain a rich inner life--we just have to learn to keep it at bay. I am wondering if some people perceive that voice differently, because my husband insists he does not have a voice talking to him all day. Maybe he doesn't hear it as words, I don't know, but I have the inner monologue going constantly. It helped to read about why this inner voice exists and how we can give it a purpose. In my mindfulness practice, we talk a lot about leaning into a thought or leaning out of it, and this book gives us a lot of tools for fine-tuning the amount of distance you want from that mental talk. You want to be close enough to engage with it if you need it, but far away enough to view it with controlled emotion. Kross also talks about how to engage with others who are struggling with mental talk. As he describes it, we need both the empathy and comfort of Kirk and the logical mindset of Spock when we are trying to help others. I like that analogy and will be thinking about that as I work with both my own thoughts and those of others.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    As someone with a voice in her head that pretty much NEVER SHUTS UP I was drawn to this book. And hurrah! A combination of research in psychology, told in laymans terms, and real, honest, helpful advice to quiet the chatter, while acknowledging its importance. Also includes things that I do, like go to concerts and go hiking, that help my voice quiet down, and explains why. I love when that happens! I'm ready to get started! As someone with a voice in her head that pretty much NEVER SHUTS UP I was drawn to this book. And hurrah! A combination of research in psychology, told in laymans terms, and real, honest, helpful advice to quiet the chatter, while acknowledging its importance. Also includes things that I do, like go to concerts and go hiking, that help my voice quiet down, and explains why. I love when that happens! I'm ready to get started!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Award-winning psychologist Ethan Kross explores the importance of the inner voice within our daily lives. Tell a stranger that you talk to yourself, and you’re likely to get written off as eccentric. But the truth is that we all have a voice in our head. When we talk to ourselves, we often hope to tap into our inner coach but find our inner critic instead. When we’re facing a tough task, our inner coach can buoy us up: Focus—you can do this. But, just as often, our inner critic sinks us entirely Award-winning psychologist Ethan Kross explores the importance of the inner voice within our daily lives. Tell a stranger that you talk to yourself, and you’re likely to get written off as eccentric. But the truth is that we all have a voice in our head. When we talk to ourselves, we often hope to tap into our inner coach but find our inner critic instead. When we’re facing a tough task, our inner coach can buoy us up: Focus—you can do this. But, just as often, our inner critic sinks us entirely: I’m going to fail. They’ll all laugh at me. What’s the use? In Chatter, acclaimed psychologist Ethan Kross explores the silent conversations we have with ourselves. Interweaving groundbreaking behavioral and brain research from his own lab with real-world case studies—from a pitcher who forgets how to pitch, to a Harvard undergrad negotiating her double life as a spy—Kross explains how these conversations shape our lives, work, and relationships. He warns that giving in to negative and disorienting self-talk—what he calls “chatter”—can tank our health, sink our moods, strain our social connections, and cause us to fold under pressure. But the good news is that we’re already equipped with the tools we need to make our inner voice work in our favor. These tools are often hidden in plain sight—in the words we use to think about ourselves, the technologies we embrace, the diaries we keep in our drawers, the conversations we have with our loved ones, and the cultures we create in our schools and workplaces. Brilliantly argued, expertly researched, and filled with compelling stories, Chatter gives us the power to change the most important conversation we have each day: the one we have with ourselves. It's accessible, fascinating and puts a whole new slant on the issue of your inner voice; a voice so often dismissed as unnecessary or even annoying. Kross explains in detail how this voice can be used to guide us and by talking to ourselves this is effectively our method of thinking out loud. Highly recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alana

    I bought this book as soon as it came out because it looked so damn interesting, and it WAS. I love the exploration of the inner voice, and I think it can be helpful for people struggling with anxiety and those who do not. We all have an inner voice regardless of what we struggle with, so there is a wide application and variety of groups who I believe would benefit from reading this.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Shulman

    A fantastic book. Among many other things, I learned how deeply entwined the mental conversations we have with ourselves are with pretty much everything that determines our quality of life: our management of painful thoughts, our emotional resilience, our relationships with others, our ability to concentrate, our physical health, and just our general daily experience of life itself. A lot of books about managing our minds seem to either toss out prescriptions with no data backing them up, promis A fantastic book. Among many other things, I learned how deeply entwined the mental conversations we have with ourselves are with pretty much everything that determines our quality of life: our management of painful thoughts, our emotional resilience, our relationships with others, our ability to concentrate, our physical health, and just our general daily experience of life itself. A lot of books about managing our minds seem to either toss out prescriptions with no data backing them up, promise a magical solution that inevitably falls short, or demand a change in lifestyle that can be prohibitive (ie, I'd love to meditate 45 minutes a day, but I'm just not able to make the time). In Chatter, Kross avoids these pitfalls. He offers a set of practical, science-based tools for you to experiment with and combine to discover what works best for you. For example, drawing on his research on self-talk, he explains how talking to yourself in the second person and using your own name can help to control your thoughts. Kross also pulls in a wide array of research from other domains to discuss the importance of ritual, placebos (which work even if you know they're a placebo), nature and our living spaces, experiences of awe, and how to ensure that the people we talk to about our problems help assuage rather than stoke our negative thoughts. In short, you'll learn a lot about your own mind and how to be happier living inside it. I highly recommend.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Miller

    Fine, but no big insights. Reinforcement of what I already knew. Too surface level. My worrying is too strong for the basic tricks this book provides. And I’m more interested right now in learning to be motivated by my discomfort to make life changes, not to just relieve the bad feelings. Still, there were some good strategies and some genuinely helpful information about nature and green spaces.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Seth Turner

    Insightful. Fascinating. Well-rounded with thorough research and concise explanations. Very approachable and accessible. For anyone whose curious about the mind.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicola

    I was lucky enough to listen to this via netgalley with thanks to the author and publishers, in return for an honest and open review! ‘The most important conversation you’ll have is with yourself’. This book was fantastic! I absolutely love the subject matter the author covered and it was so so interesting. Everyone has an inner voice, but how much do we know about it? What can we understand from it? How can we draw from it? It’s such a common and well spread phenomenon yet individually understoo I was lucky enough to listen to this via netgalley with thanks to the author and publishers, in return for an honest and open review! ‘The most important conversation you’ll have is with yourself’. This book was fantastic! I absolutely love the subject matter the author covered and it was so so interesting. Everyone has an inner voice, but how much do we know about it? What can we understand from it? How can we draw from it? It’s such a common and well spread phenomenon yet individually understood very little! I love reading psychology books and all about the brain and have very rarely came across our inner voice and the science, psychology and application relating to it. It definitely made the book novel and different! Introspection is such a double edged sword and it was so interesting learning more about what goes on in our brains. Hearing about the authors experiences in life and career were great as well as examples in the real world, in different people and within ourselves. For example, in athletes. There’s some amazing studies and research included too, which was amazingly communicated and written with plenty of examples of other works by renowned scientists and researchers in their field. I loved learning more about the science and I really learnt an awful lot from this book. (I listened to the audiobook) - I also thought the narrator was great and was very easy to listen to. I always worry listening to audiobooks of non fiction as sometimes the narration can be hard to listen to/ monotonous however this one was definitely not. It was effortless to the ears and I stayed focused and engaged enough throughout to take in the information and get into the subject. This is the sort of book that you read, and it continues with you after you’ve finished. You leave with active points for change when it comes to taking your inner voice and new tools for implementation. This is such an important book for so many and I left with a completely different perspective on the ‘inner voice’. Both in understanding my own and that of others, how it can be turned to an advantage and learning its applications in things like sport, mental and physical health as well as what’s happening in ongoing research. Would definitely recommend!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mark O'mara

    Relatively straightforward commonsense but a well researched account of the chatter in our minds, it’s effect and how to harness the chatter for positive outcomes. As an audiobook it is very good. Excellent narration by the author.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Savannah

    A Fantastic, collection of practical tips for handling our own inner voice, support others coping with 'chatter' and how to leave behind a negative-spiral lifestyle. Chatter offers practical insights into relationship building through compelling and highly accessible story telling. While it reads very academic it still maintains an approachable and accessible style. For anyone whose curious about the mind. Will join some of my favorites! A Fantastic, collection of practical tips for handling our own inner voice, support others coping with 'chatter' and how to leave behind a negative-spiral lifestyle. Chatter offers practical insights into relationship building through compelling and highly accessible story telling. While it reads very academic it still maintains an approachable and accessible style. For anyone whose curious about the mind. Will join some of my favorites!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bob Hughes

    I am always somewhat sceptical of books like this at first, fearing what I think of as 'the Malcolm Gladwell effect', where an author introduces a concept in chapter 1 that they themselves have coined (often their own wording of a phenomenon that other people have discovered) and then spends the next 300 pages listing story after story to show why they were right. However, where 'Chatter' is different for me is in how the stories continue to deepen the concept and explore it at length, whilst loo I am always somewhat sceptical of books like this at first, fearing what I think of as 'the Malcolm Gladwell effect', where an author introduces a concept in chapter 1 that they themselves have coined (often their own wording of a phenomenon that other people have discovered) and then spends the next 300 pages listing story after story to show why they were right. However, where 'Chatter' is different for me is in how the stories continue to deepen the concept and explore it at length, whilst looking regularly at the science that informs it (of which Ethan Kross is a central figure). Kross' central idea, borne out of years of research, is that the inner monologue we experience in various forms is not only part of what makes us human, but is also what can lead to our greatest failures and successes. In this sense, it becomes a muscle that we can train to help it become our best ally, and Kross explores both where the inner monologue's 'chatter' is too strong and overpowering, and it convinces us that we are worthless and/or prone to failure, but also how we can use it to reinforce positive messages, or even blank it out at specific moments. This therefore tips this book into being a bit of a how-to guide as well as a fascinating look into research. For example, he looks at how rituals- whether religious, superstitious, cultural or seemingly bizarre- play an important role in supporting our ability to approach certain tasks at hand, from writing, to complex technical work, to high-pressure situations like fishing in shark-infested waters or playing professional sport. Overall, I think this book is a neatly digestible joy, that is both quite challenging but also accessible. Experiencing it as an audiobook (with Kross himself reading it) is also quite interesting, as you can sometimes hear your inner monologue being pulled back into focus by the discussions. Thank you to Net Galley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Luce

    Ironically, I read a review of this book in the midst of some major rumination. I thought, hey what's the worst that can happen - maybe it'll simply provide me with 6 rumination-free hours. Instead, this scientific and anecdotal account of the voice inside our heads and the ways in which it can run away with itself, and in turn be reigned back in, opened my eyes to the coping mechanisms and habits I've developed which, according to numerous studies, might actually be encouraging unhelpful and un Ironically, I read a review of this book in the midst of some major rumination. I thought, hey what's the worst that can happen - maybe it'll simply provide me with 6 rumination-free hours. Instead, this scientific and anecdotal account of the voice inside our heads and the ways in which it can run away with itself, and in turn be reigned back in, opened my eyes to the coping mechanisms and habits I've developed which, according to numerous studies, might actually be encouraging unhelpful and unproductive chatter. I'd recommend this book for anyone who experiences anxious thought patterns, frequent rumination or just generalised stress. It was great, and if nothing more will show you that you're not alone in your negative self talk but that there are ways to combat it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ariel Stewart

    A much needed/timely read for my chatter filled brain!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anna Sonju

    Very solid read. Kross uses tons of studies to explain the concept of chatter–that voice in our head that often heightens our anxieties when things are bad, makes us replay conversations and imagine scenarios... basically makes us live in the past and future rather than the present. As the queen of overthinking myself, I found this to be a very valuable read with lots of tools that I will be employing to help calm my anxieties when something bad happens and I begin jumping to conclusions. Kross o Very solid read. Kross uses tons of studies to explain the concept of chatter–that voice in our head that often heightens our anxieties when things are bad, makes us replay conversations and imagine scenarios... basically makes us live in the past and future rather than the present. As the queen of overthinking myself, I found this to be a very valuable read with lots of tools that I will be employing to help calm my anxieties when something bad happens and I begin jumping to conclusions. Kross outlines ways to manage chatter with the intent of not getting rid of those voices (they evolved for a reason), but to reframe those voices to start looking at your problems from a more objective perspective. A few of his big points to help quiet the chatter include distancing yourself from the situation (for which he gives many ways to do this), creating order in your life, and incorporating more green spaces in your life. Loved the green spaces section because it provided me with a concrete analysis of one of the reasons I love being in the outdoors so much but couldn’t verbalize that well: it helps me think logically and calmly about things and quiets that chatter! Also loved the section about distancing yourself. I find that it’s easy for me to analyze other people’s problems and think of what I would do, but not myself because I’m too close to the issue and the consequences. By trying to be like a fly on the wall in my own problems, or referring to myself in second/third person when talking to myself but not out loud because I’m not tryna look crazy to others, I’m definitely going to try to use distance from the issue to help solve my problems. The book gave me a psychological understanding of why I do certain things that quiet my chatter subconsciously, like stress-bake, as well as gave me new ways to handle the chatter. Kross also gives a lot of solid ways to assist others who are experiencing chatter/challenges in their lives and come to you for support. He outlines what is effective and necessary in these situations, emphasizing for example “invisible support”. Many people go to others for help but don’t want their problems necessarily solved, they just want support. Kross suggests invisibly helping them by trying to make their life a little easier without making it obvious that they’re offering help, because being too obvious can make it seem like you think they’re helpless rather than just wanting support. Now I know why I don’t like when people offer me unsolicited advice or solutions to my problems! Overall I think there are a lot of good takeaways, and there’s a lot more in the book than I could even cover here. It’s well-researched and well-written, and I’m excited to use his tools and techniques to help myself and my loved ones quiet the chatter.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    If you’ve ever had back and forth conversations with that inner voice, this book is for you. (So…everyone.) Written by an award-winning psychologist, this book helps harness our worst critic and loudest, most opinionated voice, by using tools we already have – our words and our relationships. Obviously, this is a nonfiction book so if that’s not your thing, be warned - this definitely leans on the academic side of books. But, if you’re up for hearing about some unique, honest stories of how our If you’ve ever had back and forth conversations with that inner voice, this book is for you. (So…everyone.) Written by an award-winning psychologist, this book helps harness our worst critic and loudest, most opinionated voice, by using tools we already have – our words and our relationships. Obviously, this is a nonfiction book so if that’s not your thing, be warned - this definitely leans on the academic side of books. But, if you’re up for hearing about some unique, honest stories of how our inner voice can make or break us, and how to best rope it in to help instead of hurt, give it a read. As a performer, my headspace can be my biggest fan or worst enemy. There are times onstage where I am so in my head about if I’m doing well, psyching myself out and totally convinced I’ve forgotten all my lines, or that I’m not good enough. These things can completely wreck a performance and a performer, so I am very thankful this book exists with some helpful tools to stop my brain from being a jerk and re-route it to more positive and constructive thinking. Some may loop this into the self-help category, but I think there are some really good explanations in here about the “WHY” of human behavior in general and can be a fun read for anyone interested in sociology and the connection between humans and their beliefs/habits. Special thanks to Random House via Goodreads Giveaways for this advance copy!

  19. 4 out of 5

    RS Rook

    ***Special thanks to Random House (via Goodreads Giveaway) for this advanced proof copy. Please keep in mind that my review is based on an advanced proof and there may be differences between the edition I read for this review and the final proof at release.*** When it comes to managing anxiety and catastrophizing this may be the self-help book to end all self-help books. And I'm not even sure it can be classified as a self-help book. What is fascinating is that so much of the information presente ***Special thanks to Random House (via Goodreads Giveaway) for this advanced proof copy. Please keep in mind that my review is based on an advanced proof and there may be differences between the edition I read for this review and the final proof at release.*** When it comes to managing anxiety and catastrophizing this may be the self-help book to end all self-help books. And I'm not even sure it can be classified as a self-help book. What is fascinating is that so much of the information presented in this book is deeply intuitive--if you have read any self-help books before you've seen what Dr. Kross is describing, and just as likely, you may have even engaged in the same emotional-regulation techniques without really thinking about it. But this book clearly explains what those behaviors do, how they can be helpful, and just as importantly how they can hurt. For those of you not so much interested in the self-help aspect, this book also explains a lot about why humans have a fairly consistent set of religious, or religious-like behaviors across cultures and belief systems, although Kross doesn't get explicit about these connections until the final chapter. It's fascinating, and reaffirms the importance of culturally-responsive education and therapy. I would have given this book 5-stars but for two relatively minor factors: 1. The way this book is structured, especially at the beginning, is a bit reminiscent of a 10th grader doing a Power Point presentation. All of the information is there, but the hook and conclusion (in the form of an anecdote about a specific person meant to act as a case study of the concept being described in the chapter) don't quite flow with the meat of the chapter. (Chapters 2 and 3 had this problem the most. Chapter 1 felt a bit sloppy but it was trying to set up a lot--but Chapter 4 kinda blew my mind and everything after is also brilliant). 3. I don't know whose idea it was to format the end notes like that, but I hate it. I really hope it's some kind of fluke of the advanced copy that will be corrected in the final proof. If I were in a bookstore flipping through a copy and saw the end notes were formatted like that (with no references in the text!!!!) I would probably not purchase the book. Really hope that gets fixed.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sudeepa Nair

    The book, by Ethan Kross, a psychologist and neuroscientist, does what its title purports - it tells you the importance of the little voice inside your brain and how to harness it. The author explains when that inner voice becomes chatter and impacts us negatively. He then moves into a prescriptive mode, recommending a set of tools to distance ourselves from the chatter in our head that could at times debilitate us. My favourite parts are the sections about awe and nature as experiences that hel The book, by Ethan Kross, a psychologist and neuroscientist, does what its title purports - it tells you the importance of the little voice inside your brain and how to harness it. The author explains when that inner voice becomes chatter and impacts us negatively. He then moves into a prescriptive mode, recommending a set of tools to distance ourselves from the chatter in our head that could at times debilitate us. My favourite parts are the sections about awe and nature as experiences that help us focus on something larger than us. I would recommend the book if nagging doubts in your mind have ever brought you down.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Krisette Spangler

    I'm always looking for a way to work with that pesky inner voice that never seems to rest. This book provided some great tools for me to use in the future before my anxiety reaches the boiling point. I particularly liked the "tool box" the author included in the back of the book for quick reference. I'm always looking for a way to work with that pesky inner voice that never seems to rest. This book provided some great tools for me to use in the future before my anxiety reaches the boiling point. I particularly liked the "tool box" the author included in the back of the book for quick reference.

  22. 4 out of 5

    John

    For anyone who struggles with how to change and harness the power of the voice in your head, this is a great book. It's also great for anyone who wants to improve their communication/support skills to help others too. For anyone who struggles with how to change and harness the power of the voice in your head, this is a great book. It's also great for anyone who wants to improve their communication/support skills to help others too.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Royan

    An excellent example of popular science: clearly written with full references in the back.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    A quick and fantastic book on our inner voice. As someone who deals with OCD and Anxiety, a lot of this was practical, useful information, delivered in such an elegant and easy way to digest. Highly recommend!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bibitayo Archibong

    Great read, to think that I was being sceptical in my mind about what the author would express. He shares amazing personal and real life references that touches on the voices in our head. It's powerful. Great read, to think that I was being sceptical in my mind about what the author would express. He shares amazing personal and real life references that touches on the voices in our head. It's powerful.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meilech

    I received a copy of this through the Goodreads giveaway. A easy to read look at what's behind our inner voice and a lot of helpful tips on what we can do about it when it gets out of control. I received a copy of this through the Goodreads giveaway. A easy to read look at what's behind our inner voice and a lot of helpful tips on what we can do about it when it gets out of control.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paula Cappa

    Is there a right and wrong way to talk to yourself? This book answers this question about communicating with yourself and the path is to look inside and listen for the answer. Kross defines “chatter” as cyclical negative thoughts and emotions. Steering these negative thoughts back to positive thoughts is quite a process but a good one! If you’ve struggled with this kind of chatter, negative verbal streaming (who hasn’t right?) then this read will bring you to a new place of understanding and awa Is there a right and wrong way to talk to yourself? This book answers this question about communicating with yourself and the path is to look inside and listen for the answer. Kross defines “chatter” as cyclical negative thoughts and emotions. Steering these negative thoughts back to positive thoughts is quite a process but a good one! If you’ve struggled with this kind of chatter, negative verbal streaming (who hasn’t right?) then this read will bring you to a new place of understanding and awareness. An important book, Kross’ exploration here reminds us that negative chatter feeds stress. One suggestion is to add distance to this chatter. Stepping back for a wider perspective can be helpful but there are more worthy tools in this toolbox that Kross has created. There is also the force of Nature that can calm and reset the mind. Mind magic and rituals can bring deeper meaning to the self to a positive thinking state. I found this book to open a lot of windows and tactics on this kind of negative self-talk. One thing I was curious about is anger and how that plays into the chatter voice going on. Kross hit on the emotion of anger rather lightly; I would have like to have more about anger but maybe that’s another book. This book has practical strategies, fascinating case histories, and impressive research. The best thing I liked was the fact that Kross has struggled with his own chatter and that personal experience established solid credibility. Recommended. Paula Cappa is an avid book reviewer and an award-winning supernatural mystery author of novels and short stories.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tegan

    24. “At any given moment, we are bombarded with information—countless sights and sounds, and the thoughts and feelings that these stimuli spark. Attention is what allows us to filter out the things that don’t matter so that we can focus on the things that do.” 32. “Chatter also leads us to displace our aggression against people when they don’t deserve it.” 34. “Social media allows us to connect with others in the immediate aftermath of a negative emotional response, before time provides us with th 24. “At any given moment, we are bombarded with information—countless sights and sounds, and the thoughts and feelings that these stimuli spark. Attention is what allows us to filter out the things that don’t matter so that we can focus on the things that do.” 32. “Chatter also leads us to displace our aggression against people when they don’t deserve it.” 34. “Social media allows us to connect with others in the immediate aftermath of a negative emotional response, before time provides us with the opportunity to rethink how we’re feeling or what we are planning to do.” 62. “You can also benefit by mentally time traveling into the future, a tool called temporal distancing. Studies show that when people are going through a difficult experience, asking them to imagine how they’ll feel about it ten years from now, rather than tomorrow, can be another remarkably effective way of putting their experience in perspective.” 70. “...using one’s own name—silently in one’s own head, that is, not talking to oneself aloud in ways that elicit raised eyebrows and disrupt social norms—was a tool that helped people control their inner voice.” 73. “...participants who used distanced self-talk reported that they experienced less shame and embarrassment after giving their speech compared with participants who used immersed self-talk. They also ruminated less about their performance afterward. In their descriptions of their mental experiences, instead of highlighting their nervousness or the difficulty of the task, they said that their inner voices focused on the fact that nothing of real consequence was actually at stake.” 78. “If we scan the situation and conclude that we don’t have the wherewithal needed to handle things, that leads us to appraise the stress as a threat. If, on the other hand, we appraise the situation and determine that we have what it takes to respond adequately, then we think of it as a challenge. Which way we choose to talk about the predicament to ourselves makes all the difference for our inner voice.” 94. “When our minds are bathed in chatter, we display a strong bias toward satisfying our emotional needs over our cognitive ones. In other words, when we’re upset, we tend to overfocus on receiving empathy rather than finding practical solutions.” 99. “Indeed, research indicates that people who diversify their sources of support—turning to different relationships for different needs—benefit the most. The most important point here is to think critically after a chatter-provoking event occurs and reflect on who helped you—or didn’t. This is how you build your chatter board of advisors.” 111. “the internal conversations we have with ourselves are influenced by the physical spaces we navigate in our daily lives.” 138. “The brain is a prediction machine that is constantly trying to help us navigate the world. The more we are able to bring our prior experiences to best on what is required of us, the better we should be at this.”

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brian Sachetta

    “Chatter” is a brief yet in-depth look at how the ways by which we talk to ourselves affect our mental and emotional states. Its core message is this: mental chatter, which is fueled by a variety of different internal and external factors, is a massive source of physical and emotional pain in our society. When that chatter gets out of hand, we experience stress, anxiety, doubt, and even depression. Thus, Kross’s goal here is to break down the ways by which we cause our chatter to amplify and prov “Chatter” is a brief yet in-depth look at how the ways by which we talk to ourselves affect our mental and emotional states. Its core message is this: mental chatter, which is fueled by a variety of different internal and external factors, is a massive source of physical and emotional pain in our society. When that chatter gets out of hand, we experience stress, anxiety, doubt, and even depression. Thus, Kross’s goal here is to break down the ways by which we cause our chatter to amplify and provide a plethora of tools we can leverage to quiet that destructive voice in our heads. One of my favorite of those tools is the idea of stepping back from the situation at hand and seeing it from a more distant perspective. As Kross says, we can do this in a multitude of ways. For example, we ask ourselves if the event in front of us will even matter in x number of years. Or, we can talk to ourselves in the second person, calling ourselves by name and, thus, providing an “outsider’s” perspective on the situation at hand. There are many other great stress-reducing strategies that Kross brings to light here as well. All of those strategies are well-researched and strongly reinforced by references to scientific studies — some of which Kross conducted on his own (or with the help of his team). One of the best parts about this book is that all of the above information is covered in a relatively quick fashion. Clocking in around six hours in audiobook format, this one provides lots of useful info without dragging things on for longer than needed. For all of those reasons, I recommend checking this one out. -Brian Sachetta Author of “Get Out of Your Head”

  30. 5 out of 5

    MMC1

    Did not finish reading....I got about 3/4 of the way thru this book and decided to stop. It started out really well and I thought "oh great, a book by a scientist that is readable and accessible, this will be great." Well....it did start out great, with a personal anecdote by the author himself retelling his experience with letting the chatter in his head get to him and he himself studies this stuff in his lab! I thought, wow, this will be insightful! Hmmmm, it was in the beginning, but then it Did not finish reading....I got about 3/4 of the way thru this book and decided to stop. It started out really well and I thought "oh great, a book by a scientist that is readable and accessible, this will be great." Well....it did start out great, with a personal anecdote by the author himself retelling his experience with letting the chatter in his head get to him and he himself studies this stuff in his lab! I thought, wow, this will be insightful! Hmmmm, it was in the beginning, but then it veered off into too many descriptions of experiments with college students and how they were testing different aspects of how situations affect the inside chatter in your head and it got dry real fast. It was interspersed with examples of well known people/celebrities' stories from the news that you may be familiar with but then veered off into the experiments again. My biggest comment is that to me it didn't offer enough practical advice to be useful. It described what these experiments were trying to prove and how they could help you, but then fell short of actually explaining how to put their conclusions into action. The last quarter of the book called "Tools" where he finally tells you how these experiments can help you in your daily life were not useful to me and in frustration I didn't even bother to finish it. He gave no concrete examples of how to apply it in daily life. He just summarized the experiments and then listed what they should do for you without really giving examples of how to put it in practice. At least that was my assessment of the end of the book. I would have preferred to see at the end of each chapter the practical tips regarding the experiments in each chapter with anecdotal paragraphs of how you could put it to use not having to wait until the end of the book when I was no longer interested.

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