How does storytelling affect the brain of the teller and listener?

Storytelling is an age-old art, a respected skill, and an important tradition in many cultures. Had it merely been a source of entertainment, it might have died down already. But it’s very much alive today as much as it was at the times of our ancestors. A major reason behind this longevity of the art is the lasting therapeutic effect it has on the brain of the teller as well as a listener. Storytelling plays a significant role in many ways such as channelizing thought processes, enhancing imagination prowess, retain a balanced body and mind, etc.

Does storytelling impact mental well-being?

Definitely yes, and it has been manifested in a number of academic studies as well. When a prolific storyteller narrates a story, people’s subconscious self flows along with the characters involved and their thought process establishes a connection with the story. Now it might lead the listener to explore an unseen destination or might simply shed their mind of unpleasant or disturbing thoughts. Eventually, a listener may end up feeling motivated, encouraged as well as entertained. Remember, storytelling prevents your empty mind from being a devil’s workshop thereby impacting mental wellness positively.

What can we do to inculcate the habit of storytelling and listening?

This solely depends upon an individual. It’s a matter of developing an inclination towards the art. The fact also remains that storytelling is a part of almost every individual in some or the other phase of life, and all they need to do is reminisce that phase for a start. While some of us have fond memories of listening to captivating stories from our grandmothers, many might have developed a liking for storytelling through the new-age storytellers at later stages of life. So as mentioned earlier, every individual to seek an answer for this within.

In the wake of the pandemic and the intense lockdown, how do you advise people to gather mental peace?

The key here is giving adequate important to mental health, possibly more than what we give to our physical health. Attaining mental peace requires culmination of a lot of different aspects of our day-to-day lives. The first step in this regard, according to me, should be to develop a sense of routine in our lives. However, we need to be cautious that this routine is not stagnated and undergoes changes at regular intervals. Further, we need to be around people who are positive and possess the virtue of giving us healthy insights into life. And last but not the least, we need to develop a hobby or identify the one for which we already have affinity. Once a hobby becomes a part of our daily lives, it would help a great deal in combating the prevailing situation and attaining mental peace.

What according to you are some simple and easy ways to stay stress-free?

A very effective tool to remain stress-free is going for sound therapy, and it starts with nothing else but a simple breathing exercise. Just sit in a peaceful setup and concentrate on the sound of your respiration, it would not just relax you within minutes but also clear your mind of unwanted thoughts. Equally important is inculcating some knowledge sharing habits, such as reading blogs or books, indulging in healthy discussions about issues that impact our lives directly or indirectly.
The other simple way to tackle stress is being in constant and effective communication with our near and dear ones. You need to talk about the problems and difficulties you are facing with your near and dear ones. We need to follow the paths prescribed by motivated individuals and adopt practices such as yoga, meditation, regular exercising.