Photo by Artur Voznenko on Unsplash

2 Minutes to Calm a Stressful Inner Voice

SK Camille
3 min readMar 30, 2023


Recommendations from a psychologist and expert in emotion and self-control.

According to University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross, your inner voice has a vital purpose — to help you function by playing a part in self-control and taking goal-oriented action. It’s part of the brain’s system to support working memory.

But the inner voice can become detrimental in three ways, Kross says:

  • It can distract your attention and interfere with tasks where you need to be focusing. By stealing your attentional capacity, it can compromise your performance at work.
  • It can also bring about a stress response that could contribute to health problems such as sleep disorders or heart disease.
  • If you verbalize your inner voice to others, it can result in oversharing — especially online — a behavior that can drive people away and cause social isolation.

If the inner voice is a problem for you, Kross recommends using techniques to distance yourself from the inner voice and create perspective.

If the inner voice tends to pull you into a negative vortex about a specific issue, Kross suggests creating distance from what the voice is saying by thinking about the issue from a different point of view — such as another person’s point of view…



SK Camille

I cover general-interest professional topics in clear, actionable briefs. I also write about change, growth, and faith with warmth and optimism.