Through sharing our stories and knowing others have similar struggles, whether diagnosed with a mental health struggle or not, we find comfort and feel empowered and motivated to get through life’s difficulties.
Navigating through life together as part of a community reduces the feeling of being alone, and helps us move forward.
Mental health struggles are not going away now or in the future. Hearing stories of resilience brings hope, and hope is a key factor in preventing struggles with mental wellbeing beginning, or getting worse.
Listening to stories reassures us of our place in the world and enables us to engage with others. It reinforces the commonality of human experience and feeling, and helps us feel less alone. Stories help us navigate the world, and give us new ideas to try and overcome our problems with.
Empathy and Connection.
Stories enable empathy and connection. When listening to an engaging story, people want to relate the story to their own experience and understand what they can learn from it. Through exposing our imperfections and have those accepted by others, it enables us to feel accepted the way we are.
Sharing our stories can relieve stress. It can turn off stress hormones and turn on endorphins, oxytocin and other chemicals in the brain which help deal with anxiety, fear, depression and anger.
Sharing our stories increases our resilience. It enables the storyteller to rewrite the story of their life in a way that is meaningful and positive to them, and to reorganise events in their mind to clearly see the path they have travelled. It helps the storyteller see that through courageously telling their story they can help other people.