Why Saying Is Believing — The Science Of Self-Talk : Shots – Health News : NPR From the self-affirmations of Stuart Smalley on SaturdayNight Live to countless videos on YouTube, saying nice things to your reflection in the mirror is a self-help trope that’s been around for decades, and seems most often aimed at women. The practice, we’re told, can help us like ourselves and our bodies more, and even make us more successful — allow us to chase our dreams! Impressed, but skeptical, I took this self-talk idea to one of the country’s leading researchers on body image to…

The motivational phrases beloved of sportspeople might seem trite, but for players from Katie Boulter and Andy Murray to Arthur Ashe, they’re surprisingly important “These are simple refocusing strategies,” says Professor Ian Maynard, a sports psychologist at Sheffield Hallam University. “Most athletes constantly worry about winning or losing, but all they can control is performance. These triggers are designed to bring them back into themselves rather than worrying about the enormity of the situation.” Jens Voigt, the retired German cyclist famed for his endurance, trademarked his inspirational slogan. “Shut up legs” has appeared on countless handlebars since. If Murray progresses…