At Personal Story Films, we encourage elders to share their stories on camera. We make a unique, professional film about their lives, and their families receive a priceless treasure. What are the benefits to storytellers themselves? As many have learned, sharing life lessons and wisdom helps us feel a sense of purpose and meaning for the lives we have lived. According to an article in the New York Times, telling our stories helps us find a sense of identity. It also aids in grieving, encourages a positive take on life, and helps us forgive ourselves for our past mistakes.
Sherry Hamby, writing in Psychology Today, said, “Research shows that even brief autobiographical storytelling exercises can have substantial impacts on psychological and physical health even months after the storytelling. People who have found their voice, shared their story, and reaffirmed their values often find a sense of peace and a hopefulness that they did not have before.” Telling your story is a positive and life-affirming choice for all concerned.