Stories are more than just entertainment. Stories teach empathy and help you learn about life, yourself and others. And it’s not just for children, adults also benefit from stories. Talking about the importance of storytelling, Sudhanshu Rai, actor, filmmaker and storyteller, “Studies conducted on different occasions suggest that storytelling is an effective way to build resilience and happiness. A famous storyteller once said that when he takes feedback from children after each storytelling session in school, most of the responses are – it is relaxing. What needs to be noted here is that though the storyteller spoke about students, the feedback remains the same even when it comes to grownups or older people. This is probably the prime reason why the art of storytelling has not just survived the test of time but has in fact evolved to hold greater importance for many in urban as well as rural setups.”
Story Telling And Mental Health
The impact of storytelling on one’s mental health is irrespective of age, class, gender or financial stature.” There is a direct relationship between storytelling and mental health. The first and foremost manifestation of the same is that whenever we listen to stories, we tend to forget our worries at least momentarily and let our mind digress to unseen lands of unlimited possibilities. If a thriller or mystery story triggers our adrenaline rush, a tale of inspiration or love calms us down. This reflects the power that the art of storytelling holds,” says Rai.
Now let’s consider an unprecedented situation like the pandemic-induced lockdown in 2020. Rai shares, “When people were confined in their homes, the storytellers came to their rescue, of course virtually, to let them travel to different places by taking their minds out of the confined boundaries. Sitting in the balconies of their flats, they were able to visualize how the land across seven seas would look like and feel, through the imageries created by storytellers. This helped them a lot in dealing with the modern lifestyle-induced stress. In fact, storytelling turned out to be one of the most effective healers for mental health issues.”
Experts consider storytelling as one the best therapeutic techniques while treating mental health related issues. “People who listen to stories have demonstrated lower levels of social anxiety or anxiety related to physical appearances. And last but never the least, indulging ourselves in the art of storytelling widens our horizons and enhances our imagination skills, thereby acting as a shot in the arm for our holistic mental well-being,” says Rai.
(The views expressed in the article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Zee News. This article must not be considered a substitute for advice provided by qualified medical professionals.)