“Stories have power. They delight, enchant, touch, teach, recall, inspire, motivate, challenge.
They help us understand. They imprint a picture on our minds.
Want to make a point or raise an issue? Tell a story.”
Stories run through the fabric of our lives.
As children and as adults, we all gravitate towards stories because they elevate our mood and our minds.
Soon, we will gather together to celebrate National Tell a Story Day, the perfect time to reflect on how sharing a story can make our worlds a bit brighter.
What Is National Tell a Story Day?
National Tell a Story Day is a celebration of the art of storytelling.
Here in the United States, National Tell a Story Day is observed each year on April 27th, while in Scotland and England, the holiday is celebrated six months later, on October 27th.
No matter what the date, National Tell a Story Day is an excellent time to share and listen to our favorite stories.
Why Telling Stories Is Important
As human beings, the urge to tell a story is strong.
Stories are powerful—they entertain, educate, and enrich us.
Here are just some of the ways stories can affect us according to the research.
- Create Empathy: Stories motivate us to help others by releasing a neurochemical called oxytocin, which enhances our sense of empathy, i.e., our ability to experience others’ emotions.
- Help Us Confront Difficult Situations: Good storytelling is a powerful tool to help us deal with challenges like illness or death.
- Inspire Hopefulness: A study conducted with students revealed that storytelling could inspire a sense of hopefulness.
- Improve Recall: Stories grab and maintain attention. Listening to a story is a far more effective way to retain facts versus looking at a data-driven presentation.
When we listen to a story, our brains light up as if the story itself was an actual physical experience. When we process data, our brains are much less stimulated.
History of Storytelling
Storytelling existed long before writing.
The evolution of storytelling originated with visual stories such as cave drawings. It is estimated that the Chauvet cave in France has drawings of animals and themes of survival that date back 30,000 years.
From drawings, stories were then told using a combination of oral narrative, music, rock art and dance.
And with the advent of writing and the use of portable media, stories are now recorded, transcribed and shared all over the world.
To get in the mood to read (or tell!) your favorite story, try this tasty appetizer Crispy Tofu Bites.
Here’s to snuggling up to your favorite book with your perfect, plant-based foods!