Writing, Storytelling, and Your Mental Health

Though it can feel isolating and lonely enduring dips in your mental health, it is important to know that you are not alone. Of course, your experience is unique to you, but that does not mean there isn’t someone else out there that can relate in some way, shape, or form. With the historical regression we are currently enduring regarding the rights of gender minorities, it can be difficult to feel confident and comfortable feeling your feelings and receiving the necessary support. This is where our FearLess community comes in to help. In today’s blog, your Dallas, TX community discusses the benefits of writing and storytelling with respect to mental health and shares how you can utilize these tools to not only share your story but process your experiences as well.

The Connection Between Writing and Mental Health

It goes without saying that mental health and struggles have been a hot topic in the media for quite some time, and though there is more awareness surrounding the topic and issues at hand, it is still met with hostility and disbelief by some groups. Even still, it is something that everyone lives with, endures, and subsequently copes with, whether those coping skills are maladaptive or not.

Although there are several maladaptive coping skills we might acquire and default to over the years, there are also healthy ones that allow us to regulate our emotions and process difficult situations. One tool that has proven effective and is well-documented is writing, which can be used to help us heal from trauma. Studies have shown that expressive writing can result in a reduction in anxiety, depression, and stress. It also helps improve sleep, performance, and leads to greater focus and clarity.

Expression in and of itself can be particularly effective and empowering when it comes to processing by making your thoughts and feelings known. You can express yourself through various forms of writing, and storytelling offers you a safe space to bring your thoughts and feelings to the forefront. Give our team a call to learn more about this process and how to get started.

What is Storytelling?

Whereas writing allows a person to put pen to paper and ideas to the page, storytelling provides an avenue for a person to share these ideas and thoughts in their truest form. The tone of voice with which you project, the emphasis on the appropriate syllables, the true meaning and hidden meaning behind the words that are being used, all of it comes together to depict your experience in an act of raw expression, and your writing is the backbone.

Everyone’s story matters. Whether it is rooted in childhood emotional neglect, stresses of the pandemic, or a host of other sources, it is important to know that psychologically, we are still moving through it, and that we are not alone. Though getting up on a stage can make a person feel extremely vulnerable, storytelling events are intended to offer a safe space to express oneself and a community of support and solidarity.

Other Avenues for Mindfulness

Other studies have found that mindfulness can be an effective tool for managing mental health. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing one’s attention to the present moment, an act that is performed without evaluation and helps a person feel grounded. Additionally, there are several ways that a person can practice mindfulness in ways that are meaningful for them. These include art therapy such as drawing, painting, and pottery, practicing or playing music, pursuing hobbies, and expressionism in its various forms.

Learn More At Our Storytelling Workshop

Every third Thursday of the month, FearLess Dallas hosts FearLess Stories at Opening Bell Coffee. This event is a storytelling open mic in which women and gender minorities can share their story, a poem, or express themselves in a safe and supportive environment.

Prior to this February’s FearLess Stories, we will be hosting a Storytelling Mini Workshop hosted by creative writer, performer, and poet Roxanne Byrne. It is designed to be a stress-free entry into sharing your stories with descriptive language and visuals to engage listeners and readers alike, and we hope to see you there!

Find the Power of Your Own Voice

There is power in your voice, and sharing your story is a great way to find it. Contact FearLess Dallas in Dallas, TX by calling 214-300-5143 to give our team a call and learn more about the different ways writing, storytelling, and expression can benefit your mental health.