How Storytelling can change your life

How Storytelling can change your life
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We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.

― Jonathan Gottschall,  The storytelling animal

            

1,00,000 years ago our ancestors, the caveman, developed a revolutionary way to communicate, that is, through language and used stories around the campfire as a means of transfer of knowledge from one generation to another. Campfire ?? But why ?? Millennials might be wondering. Well! the campfire was the social media back then. Where people of different caste, creed, and sex would gather around to share stories through storytelling techniques. Yes! All the likes and comments were done verbally. As time passed by, these stories transformed into legends. Today the new campfire is the NETFLIX, Instagram, Youtube or clubhouse.

In this current world of information, every second, information is bombarded to us which is commonly known as information overload. Most of the time we miss out on good information or when we try to convey a piece of important information, most of us tend to lose attention. Studies say that our attention span is now lesser than that of a goldfish.

Take a pause and think about it. How many times were you distracted or how many times your mind was wandering around while you were reading this blog till here?

From the stone age to the information age the ways of communication evolved.

40,000 years ago, we started using paintings to communicate.

3,500 years ago text was used to communicate.

28 years ago PowerPoint was invented

You get the point, right?

Which one do you think our brain is adapted to?

Information comes and goes into our mind but do you know which information imprints in our mind?

It’s information that is shared through a story.

It’s no secret that storytelling is a powerful way to communicate information, build relationships, sell products, ideas, and inspire others. But do you know why does it work so well? Or Is there a science behind this? 

Today I will reveal the top 5 reasons why storytelling is effective.

Top 5 reasons why storytelling is effective.

1. Virtual Reality through storytelling.

No, no. I am not discussing the new VR technology. But what if I say Stories have the power to create an alternate reality in our mind. In the scientific research world, it’s called Neural Coupling.

You might have experienced a speaker sharing an emotional story and at the end of the speech, you feel the same emotions as that of the speaker. What if I told you, you can create the same magic while you are on stage.

There is a part of our brain, which activates when you are engaged in a story, its neuron fires in the same pattern as that of the speaker’s brain. This is called neural coupling. It allows us to experience the same emotions as that of the speaker.

Now imagine you are the speaker, wouldn’t it be COOL to create coherence between your brain activity and the brain activity of your audience?

 These are also called Mirror neurons.

2. Stories enhance memories

The brain processes images 60X faster in comparison to words. When reading straight data, only the language part of our brain works to decode the meaning. But when we read a story, not only do the language part of our brain lights up but also the emotional part of the brain activates as well. This means it’s far easier for us to remember stories than hard facts.

Example: You can go through one of my story FANMAN which I had crafted, to experience what I mean.

 

3. Emotional Engagement through storytelling

“In the digital age, we are being flooded with information. And to manage all this excess inflow? The brain uses neurological shortcuts called somatic markers. Somatic markers associate an emotion with a seemingly inanimate thing. The emotion is what makes it powerful.”

– Kristen Lamb

Due to the bombardment of information into our mind, our attention span is lesser than that of a goldfish.

Due to information overload, the human brain has a strong tendency to lose focus. It is estimated to engage in up to 2,000 daydreams a day and to spend up to half its waking time wandering. 

Your audience might forget what you had said but they will never forget how you made them feel. Stories have the power to emotionally involve your audience, it’s more about emotional investment. In the presence of an interesting story, the mental wandering decreases drastically almost closer to zero.

Data doesn’t change our behaviour our emotions do.

If it was not true then we would have hit the gym every morning just by reading statistics, We would have stopped eating junk food, smoking cigarettes, drug consumption, and many other things we do. But we only take action when we are emotionally invested in it.

When data and stories are used together they resonate with audiences both intellectually and emotionally for a lasting effect, you need to persuade the rational brain but also resonate with the emotional brain.”

— Psychologist Jennifer Aaker

When our brain is emotionally involved that’s when it takes a decision. After listening, reading, or watching an engaging story more parts of the brain activates compared to when the brain dumped with facts. An activated brain is an engaged mind.

4. Naturally Induce Drugs into your brain through storytelling

People remember how you make them feel not what you said.

Storytelling has the power to change brain chemistry. Once you learn the right techniques, you as a storyteller will have the power what drugs to be induced in your audience’s brain. Wouldn’t it be nice to possess this superpower??

Allow me to introduce you to your old friends.

Oxytocin in storytelling

 This is Mr. Oxytocin. 

 Do you remember the way you feel after listening to a compassionate story? All the different feelings run through your body?? If not watch this video attached below. It’s one of my favourites.

The Charity thief

Mr. Oxytocin is the reason behind for these feeling.

Oxytocin is the Empathy drug, the love drug, caring drug. It induces all these feelings within you.

Similarly, we can also induce Endorphines, Seratonin, Cortisol, and Dopamine hormones by structuring your story in the right way.

David JP Philips says if a story is crafted in the right way we can serve our audience with 2 types of cocktail

Angels Cocktail right combination of storytelling techniques to induce positive feelings

Dopamine, Endorphins, Oxytocin

Devils Cocktail combination of storytelling techniques to induce negative feelings

Cortisol, Adrenaline.

I have be explained in detail about these techniques. Click this link below

Storytelling secrets : Angel’s Cocktail and Devil’s Cocktail

5. It quiets our logical mind.

Do you remember watching a movie in which you were completely engrossed in it and suddenly in between something illogical happens??

That moment you will just love it.

 After the movie gets over and once we come out of the hangover from it, our critical thinking neurocortex comes back from a vacation and we start questioning things. We start defending it. This happens because sometimes the story directly gets in touch with our limbic brain which responds to our emotions. Once the story enters into our limbic brain then it’s very hard to convince the logical brain no matter how many facts and figures you show up to it.

These are the top 5 reasons why storytelling is an effective and powerful tool that can change your life.


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