Why Stories Are So Important For Our Wellbeing
I believe stories have a great power to teach us and to inspire us, to transport us to other worlds and to create empathy within us for those who don’t share our background or life experiences. Stories have great influence over us and our self-worth, whether we’re aware of that or not. Read on to learn why I love stories so much and why I believe reading is so important for our wellbeing!
My love of stories
Ever since I was young, I can remember wanting to hear stories and to tell stories. Stories had a strange power over me that I didn’t yet understand, and I remember being so desperate to tell them that I would dictate stories to my mom before I could even hold a pencil. I would also shout random strings of letters to my parents and ask if those letters spelled a word because I just wanted to be able to spell, damn it! It was like words were this great mystery to me that I needed to solve; that deep love for the written word continued on throughout my childhood and adolescence (and, of course, I did finally learn how to spell).
Growing up I wrote all kinds of stories. I wrote stories in poems, I wrote short stories, I wrote long stories. I loved reading stories, more than I loved almost anything else. I loved how you could get so lost in a good story, so taken out of your own life and your own problems that your mind completely quiets down. Stories were also some of my greatest teachers – they not only taught me lessons about life, but they taught me lessons about language – how beautiful language could be, how a sentence could stop you in your tracks completely with its sheer force.
Stories come in many forms
I didn’t continue with creative writing past college, but I am still fascinated by the power of stories – in all forms. We’re being told stories in more mediums than ever before – by news outlets, through the TV shows and movies we watch, on social media. Stories have so much influence over us, perhaps more than we realize. Though there is obviously a lot of negative messaging out there in the world, I’m constantly inspired by the new stories that are being told, stories of groups that have not been told before. Everyone has a story – we just need to be brave enough to tell them and we need to listen.
Though there are many ways to tell a story – a photo, a conversation, even a blog – books are one of my favorite mediums for storytelling. I love the written word and have studied it all my life. I still read for fun almost every single day and I’ve made reading a priority in my life because otherwise it’s so easy to get lost in the daily grind of errands, work, and To Do lists. Reading is one of those things that is so important to my wellbeing.
I also love to talk about what I’m reading and share that experience with others! So, on the blog I’ll occasionally discuss the books I’m reading if I feel that they could be helpful for other people in finding a balance between mind, body, and soul.
In my next post I’m going to share my thoughts on Big Magic, written by one of my absolute favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert. Liz’s voice and words have comforted me in some of my darkest times and I think of her as a mentor and friend (though I’ve never met her, ha – I wish. But see? That’s the power of words for you)! I hope you’ll follow along, and please chime in with your thoughts if you’ve read it too!
And thank YOU for reading my words today!