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Tell Me A Story | How Storytelling Impacts the Brain

Ever since the history of the world began, stories have played a crucial role in human development.

According to some studies, language and the ability to create and tell stories enabled the human race to survive during our early stages. That break became so instrumental that thousands of years later, we eventually evolved into one of the most dominant species on the planet.

Stories are powerful.

Once you hear stories, you’re immediately transported to another world. You’re placed in the shoes of the storyteller, and you immediately see, hear, and feel what he’s talking about. The more tension-filled the story is the more your palms sweat, eyes blink, or heart flutter.

Many different brain areas light up when someone is listening to a narrative. Aside from the networks involved in language processing, other neural circuits light up too. One study of listeners found that the brain networks that process emotions arising from sounds — along with areas involved in the movement — activate, especially during the emotional parts of the story.

Stories connect us

One amazing thing that happens in the background is that as you hear a story unfold, your brain waves start to sync with that of the storyteller. A study once recorded the brain activity of two people wherein one person told a story, and the other listened. The study found that the greater the listener’s comprehension, the more closely the brain wave patterns mirrored those of the storyteller.

It’s as if we make stories as a tool to be connected with one another.

Stories bolster creativity

Another important impact of stories on our brain is that it bolsters creativity and imagination. As you hear stories being told, your brain naturally anticipates and comes up with possible scenarios that could fit the story. When we hear stories, brain networks involved in deciphering — or imagining — another person’s motives and the areas involved in guessing what will happen next are activated, Neeley said. Imagining what drives other people — which feeds into our predictions — helps us see a situation from different perspectives.

Stories create a bond

Lastly, this is helpful in the medical field too. When we hear stories or anecdotes from people we know, we tend to identify with them. An invisible bond is somehow created. For example, when you hear someone, you know take, a particular medicine, you tend to follow suit (even if at some point you had qualms about taking it). That’s how powerful stories are in rewiring your thought processes.

Join us for our 3-Day Challenge
Building A Hero’s Journey | The Art of Telling Your Hero Story
June 1st – 3rd | 11:30 am EST

If you want to learn more about storytelling and how stories can impact your brain, you can check out our latest blog at MarketAtomy.com.

Danna Olivo is a Growth Strategist, Author, and Public Speaker. As CEO of MarketAtomy LLC, her passion is working with first-stage business owners to ensure that they are prepared and equipped to launch and grow a successful small business. She understands the intricacies involved early on in business formation and as such the challenges that come with it. A graduate of the University of Central Florida’s College of Business, Danna brings more than 40 years of experience strategically working with small and medium businesses, helping them reach their growth goals. danna.olivo@marketatomy.com

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