April 10 2017

By: Jackie Hook
Monday, April 10, 2017

Continuing with our theme of What’s Your Story?, research has found that the process of reviewing and telling stories about our own life experiences can affect both our mental and physical health.  In addition, listening to others stories can help heal us.  For example, in one study, people with hypertension were divided into two groups.  One group heard other hypertension patients tell their stories of what it was like to live with the disease and a second group learned about other health topics, like dealing with stress.  As a result, the group who heard the stories from their peers had greater success at lowering their blood pressure.  Stories in health care engage the patient more than simple instructions do and communicate information in a way that is more likely to be remembered. The best healthcare workers have long recognized the power of story. 

This power is also evident when it comes to coping with and healing from loss.  Storytelling has long been considered a healing art.  As a grief companion, I’ve been witness to many individuals walking into a room with a heavy heart and leaving lighter after telling their stories of loss.

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