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.
Kross’ writing reads less like a scientific tome and more like a casual conversation. It's easily digestible, as Kross forgoes the verbiage of academia and explains simply and concisely to the reader why we have an inner voice and what happens when that voice is hijacked by chatter. Most importantly, he gives us tools we can use to manage it. We don’t want to eradicate our inner voice; we just want to have a better relationship with it ... Citing myriad studies to forward his thesis, Kross includes extensive notes but never leaves the reader drowning in data. Kross keeps his argument simple and relatable ... There is no one cure-all solution, but Kross provides tools we can employ to manage our own chatter and help us redirect our inner voices ... Kross may be a scientist by trade, but with Chatter he proves himself a deft storyteller who, through levity and wit, creates an easily digestible work on the brain, how it works and how we can quiet our often relentless chatter.
In Buddhism it’s referred to as 'monkey mind'—that cascade of often critical and judgmental self-talk that runs in a ceaseless loop in our heads. In Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, experimental psychologist and neuroscientist Ethan Kross provides a useful introduction to some of the intriguing research on this phenomenon and offers a toolbox full of constructive techniques for quieting our persistent inner voice or, better yet, turning it in a positive direction ... 'The challenge isn’t to avoid negative states altogether,' he concludes. 'It’s to not let them consume you.' Anyone seeking help along that road will find Chatter a useful traveling companion.
Helpfully, Kross also includes tools for providing and receiving chatter support, and tools that involve the environment (creating order in one’s environment, increasing exposure to green spaces, and seeking out awe-inspiring experiences). His accessible writing will draw in casual readers of psychology and self-help books, and experts seeking to learn how to channel their inner thoughts ... A well-reasoned, well-researched guide for those prone to negative self-talk and those who support them.