“Madison will do better next time.” “Madison will not let anyone discourage her.” If you were Madison and were to talk like this to yourself, it might feel a little strange. But, don’t be so quick to judge because there might be a really good reason to start — especially if you were to ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed and need to clear your head.

In a study conducted by researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, two experiments showed that “self-talk” or talking to yourself in the third person voice may have a positive effect on your emotions. Specifically, if you talk to yourself in the third person voice, you can get a hold on your emotions and ultimately reduce your stress level. For the study, the research team asked participants to reflect on their feelings linked with seeing “aversive” images from the International Affective Picture System and recalling painful personal memories using either “I” or their name while measuring brain activity.

In the end, there findings revealed that “because of its simplicity and effectiveness, third-person self-talk could prove useful for promoting emotion regulation in daily life.” So, how does this apply to your pre-med life? It seems that talking to yourself in the third person voice gives you an opportunity to see things in a different perspective, ultimately helping you create some distance between you and a would-be stressful situation.

Although people frequently engage in such “self-talk”, recent findings indicate that the language they use to refer to the self when they engage in this process influences self-control. Specifically, using one’s own name to refer to the self during introspection, rather than the first-person pronoun “I”, increases peoples’ ability to control their thoughts, feelings, and behavior under stress,” the authors wrote.