We’d like to know the things that have helped you, someone in your family, or someone you know, survive the traumatic effect of vaccines or any illness. Dr. Hamby says, “Here I want to focus on the remarkable benefits of sharing your story. Emotional, autobiographical storytelling can be a path to truly owning your story. Further, by “giving it away,” you can use your journey as a means to help others on theirs.”
She goes on to say, “I have been surprised at the power of emotional, autobiographical storytelling. Emotional, autobiographical storytelling means writing about events and people that have mattered to you in your own life–not just describing the facts of your lives. Research shows that even brief autobiographical storytelling exercises can have substantial impacts on psychological and physical health even months after the storytelling.”
Here are some of the benefits that seem most important to Dr.Hamby
1) Realizing that sharing your story can help others
Stories can be very healing, and many people benefit from getting the opportunity to pass on their wisdom to others. We all have something to share with others. Another piece of this is starting to understand that words can have power—positive power—on others.
2) Finding your voice
What does it mean to “find your voice”? It means learning how to express yourself and learning how to think about what has happened in your life in a way that makes sense. It helps to think about your life as a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Writing it down or telling it to someone helps you identify key events, and even helps you rehearse and remember the details in a way that helps you become the author of your own life.
3) Re-affirming your values
Sometimes you learn things about yourself from the act of writing or storytelling. It can be a way to clarify what is important. Many of the people we have spoken to have mentioned that pausing to tell your story can be a good reminder of your priorities. Taking some time to focus on values can be beneficial.
4) Finding peace, finding hope
People who have found their voice by sharing their story reaffirmed their values and often find a sense of peace and a hopefulness that they did not have before. With this peace comes a sense of well-being.