Hearing voices in your head is normal. If you need to be in a place at a particular time and you are engaged in something else, you’ll probably hear this voice within you, reminding you “I have 15 minutes to leave here else I’ll be late” or “I can’t go with this shoe, I need to get dressed really fast”
Now, these voices are normal and almost everyone hears them.
Science tells us that our brain creates a copy of every conversation we are engaged in and the more communication we engage in, the more advanced our brain will become at creating these conversational voices in our minds. So these voices develop as our speech develops.
If you hear these normal voices of thoughts, you might be surprised to know that not everyone hears these voices in their heads. A study was conducted and it was discovered that some people don’t think in sentences, instead, they think with just pictures.
But for most of us I think is a mixture of both.
Deaf people are vivid examples of the reality of thinking with only pictures. Because they haven’t developed speech, they can’t think with speeches.
Now over to the main question. How can I stop the voices in my head? Well, if you hear voices in your head as thoughts, they can’t be stopped, but they can be controlled.
But in the first place, since hearing voices in your head is normal, there will be no need to want to stop it except if it is causing some negative effects. The voices in your head can bring negative and unwanted moments to your life when they are excessive and you can’t focus on what you need to focus on or they are so loud that it seems you hear them through your ears.
If the voices in your ears are loud that it sounds like coming from your ears, you should seek medical intervention for it might be auditory hallucinations.
On the other hand, I’ll be giving two scenarios where you should silence the voices in your head and how to silence them. 1) When they are too much 2) when they are negative and limiting
How To Silence the Voices In Your Head
1. Distract the thoughts
Our minds can only do one thing at a time. You can only hold one thought at a particular time. So the solution to the so much noise in your head concerning a particular issue is to distract the thoughts. If you aren’t thinking what the voice in your head is thinking, then the voice is silenced.
This is not as simple as it sounds. Changing what you are thinking about is not easy, at least for most of us, if you want to just change it, and think of something else. Most likely, you will find yourself coming back to that thought or the thought of wanting to change your thought from that thought will bring you back to it.
What then is the solution?
Give your mind something to think about, don’t leave it to find something to think about. You don’t give your mind something to think about by bringing up a new thought– that thought is still from the mind, not you.
Instead, get engaged in an activity— a physical activity or an activity that requires your attention to be done. Listening to music might not be a lasting solution because our minds can still shift away from what we’re listening to and think.
Instead of listening, the opposite, talking will be better. You require a lot of concentration to talk. Talking is the fastest way to obstruct your thoughts. You can find someone to talk to when you find the voices in your head becoming excessive, but you can’t talk all the time.
So sleep, writing, hobbies, or anything that will keep you busy will be helpful. If you can get so “engaged” in an activity, your thoughts will stay in that activity even when you’re not doing it. Just the same way you think about a movie you enjoyed even after watching it.
2. Understand the thoughts
Understanding the thought comes into play both when your mind is so engrossed in a particular thought and when it is negative. Sometimes, your mind might stay on a particular thought because of an unconscious predisposition you have within.
For instance, if you care so much about your reputation and an occurrence that will subtly threaten your reputation comes up, although it might not be clear to you that what you are afraid of is the damage to your reputation, because there is that inner fear or caution within, you will naturally see your mind drifting back to that event.
So sometimes, it will be necessary to understand what is sponsoring the thoughts. Ask yourself, What are these thought patterns revealing about my beliefs and mindset? If you can understand what’s sponsoring the thoughts, by dealing with the root issue, the voices of the thoughts will be silenced too.
If negative thoughts about yourself continue to linger, replace them with positive ones through self-affirmation.
Self-affirmation is reinforcing your positivity to yourself. Reminding yourself of all the positives that there are in your life in a bid to consciously eliminate the negative thoughts. Affirmation is so huge that I had to explain it in this detailed guide on effective self-affirmation.
The voices in your head cannot be stopped but you can stop them from affecting you negatively by distracting them when necessary, understanding them when necessary, and overriding them when necessary.
Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.