How story telling benefits mental health | health benefits storytelling | storytelling mental health


How story telling benefits mental health | health benefits storytelling | storytelling mental health

How Stories Help Improve Mental Health

How Stories Help Improve Mental Health

Storytelling is usually the equivalent of telling or writing stories. These narratives are often written for entertainment and to train listeners or readers. However, storytelling has the power to both improve well-being and even improve mental health.


  1. The Benefits of Storytelling for Mental Health
  2. How you change your story

In recent years the concept of storytelling has become more common, becoming a form of therapy, narrative therapy, which like journaling, has positive effects on emotional balance.

We become storytellers when we tell a family member about an event we witnessed or when we describe the beginning of a romantic relationship.

When we talk about events, characters, actions, themes, emotions and ideas, we use storytelling techniques on a daily basis.

"Here's the story" is how we begin some of our conversations. We share stories with others more frequently than we understand.

Experts who study human interaction, but also mental health believe that stories have a role of connecting people.

Research in the field of narrative psychology shows a connection between narrative and welfare. Exploring personal stories, pondering them, changing these narratives and sharing them can make us vulnerable, but they also help us recover and grow.

Only by telling stories, listening to stories and sharing stories, do we do something good for our mental health. We become active listeners as we focus all our senses and devote our full attention to the stories. Being a good and active listener is a necessary social skill.

We also develop our imagination and expand our thinking as we read stories in books. We can use reading to improve the health and fitness of our brain. Imagination enables people to better cope with the stressors of everyday life.

When we watch a scary movie, we are immersed in the Hollywood version of a story. In those two hours, we are led and live in an imaginary world. The writer, director, costume designer, production team and others create this story for us.

The Benefits of Storytelling for Mental Health

Increases empathy and improves memory

When we connect to the characters in the story, our brain releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is linked to empathy, a basic component that helps us connect and deepen interpersonal relationships.

In addition to increasing empathy, another benefit we get from storytelling is improving memory. People remember information up to 22 times better when it is interwoven with narratives.

It is not the facts and characteristics that affect us, but the way the story is told.

Increases positive emotions

According to recent studies in positive psychology, the way we tell our stories controls our mood and self-image. Stories can uplift us and change our mood.

A reasonable amount of positive emotion and optimism allows us to better deal with adversity and overcome the challenges we face.

In a study of children in intensive care, it was found that a combination of stories led to an increase in oxytocin, a reduction in cortisol and pain, as well as positive emotional changes in the brain.

The power of storytelling in regulating physiological and psychological functions is a simple intervention to relieve pain and discomfort and change our emotional landscape.

How Stories Help in Improving Mental Health

It helps us interact with others

Not only the speakers use the stories to captivate their audience. Even science does, and those who seek to connect better with the general public often use storytelling. Scientific data are intertwined with real case stories and thus the information is kept much easier.

It helps us build success as well as failure

Changing the personal narrative in response to success as well as failure can have positive effects. In a study of students' academic achievement, scientists have found that storytelling helps motivate itself.

Success stories can remind people how effective they have been in achieving their goals, increasing their self-esteem and motivating them to continue to succeed.

On the other hand, the narratives of failure are also strong. When told in a new way, they can allow people to evaluate their attempts, give themselves credit for overcoming challenges, and for the area of ​​courage to face challenges in the future.

How you change your stories

Narrative therapy helps people overcome the problematic situations that bring them back from the natural course of life. This leads to new and healthier views that encourage evolution.

In fact, recent research shows that when it comes to life stories, those who find positive meanings in past challenges and hardships and who tell their life stories with new ideas, including exploration or more open-mindedness, enjoy a fuller life.

Suppose, for example, that your brother was loved as a child, and you developed a distress about it, which was considered an injustice. On by changing the stories you tell, you can choose to forgive your parents and accept the circumstances in which it happened. Over time, in rewriting the stories, you come to come to terms with the past and see the benefits of the events you have experienced.

The act of the stories helps us to connect with others, understand what is happening to us, organize our lives into a coherent narrative and enjoy the stories of others. When we share stories, we also improve our mental health and well-being in general.

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