The way we think about and perceive the world is reflected in the stories we tell in conversation and in our self-talk. These inner and outer stories reflect our self-image, beliefs, and attitudes.
The language we use to describe and discuss events and emotions in our everyday lives also affects our brain’s chemistry and automated response systems. Neurotransmitters tell the heart to beat, the lungs to breathe, and the stomach to digest. The chemical signals regulate our physiology.
In a relaxed state, the brain sends out dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin–chemicals that induce feelings of happiness and well-being. When we’re happy, we’re motivated and relate to the world with ease. We also make better choices.
However, an anxious, fearful brain does the opposite. It floods the body with fight / flight chemicals and hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline. Fear sends the limbic system into overdrive, triggering our ancient survival instinct. Fearful brains operate on high alert, causing us to react from our defenses.
Imagine you are telling someone a story about your day. In your story, you relate all the things that went wrong, all the bothersome details that annoyed and upset you. As you tell that story, your brain continuously releases the chemicals cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. Stewing on a problem keeps you in a heightened state of arousal.
Chronic exposure to stress can suppress the immune system, increase blood pressure and sugar, decrease libido, produce acne, contribute to obesity and more.
Changing the way we think is the key to finding answers to the problem. When you are no longer “stuck,” you’re free to create solutions.
Most of us have never been trained to understand how language and thinking shape our attitudes and behavior. We operate throughout our lives using entrenched patterns of thinking and behavior. We don’t even know why we react the way we do.
The Storycatching® method is a simple process that shifts thinking patterns. Becoming aware of one’s personal story creates motivation for change.
As individuals feel more in control of their choices, they gain self- and social awareness, self-esteem, self-management, and social competency. They function better.
Changing the way we think also rewires the brain.
Relaxed brains are more open, allowing us the ability to be generous and flexible in our thinking and attitudes. Happiness provides the internal resources to take positive action, maintain healthy relationships, and fulfill our desires. This is true for adults as well as children.
Storycatching® programs employ a range of creative practices and techniques to equip individual with skills to recognize and transform unhelpful patterns. By reducing social and emotional barriers, children become more successful at home and school.
Storycatching® programs feature stories, creative activities, meditation, visualization, movement, and music. Creative activities promote confidence. By releasing unhelpful emotional and social patterns, we are free to generate a powerful, purposeful self-image.
Results are demonstrated through increased empathy, personal energy, focus, and improved relationships with others.
Empowerment means having the skills to make positive connections and powerful life choices.