July 24, 2017

How to Overcome Stress with Visual Storytelling

We all carry worries and anxieties about future events that could go wrong in our lives. When you really unpack what exactly is this worry or stress your mind is producing, you find a simple truth.

Stress or worry is in essence, a story we tell ourselves with a bad ending. It’s an imagined outcome that has never happened yet and may never will. These negative stories tend to pop up deep in the night when your storytelling mind is wandering with a wide range of dramatic narratives, chasing away your sleep.

It’s an old survival mechanism we’ve been using for eons. Most likely since the first cave man tossed and turned all night, worrying that there are no wandering bears outside his cave.

Then you wake up in the morning, upbeat for a new day – and those wild stories are replaced with hopeful thoughts (translation: the same horror stories from last night where you just edited the ending to a more positive resolution) – and go happily with your day.

From this perspective, your storytelling mind is like a big data story trafficking engine that based on a wide range of variables; past experiences, hopes, and beliefs (even time of day) – is constantly churning out stories to make sense of and respond to the world around you. And you get to play, pause, rewind or fast-forward these visual stories in your mind.

If you’re thinking a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) from the digital advertising world, you’re not far off. Just replace the ads with stories and you get a Demand-Story Platform.

The difference is that only you manage the story inventory and the Real-Time Bidding (RTB) for a convincing story.

When your mind is seeking to find a meaning to an event, it will demand a convincing visual story to rationalize it and a proper call-to-action.

As I mentioned in a recent post since we are constant seekers of meanings, “we’re all players in our own movies where we play the hero, the director, the cameraman and most importantly the editor“ – then we edit what we see in order to create meanings. Such editing work could play with the narrative timeline back and forth until landing on a story we find personally meaningful.

Now that you understand how stress works – at least from a storytelling perspective – and why the editing principle is so powerful, try to distribute positive visual narratives in your campaigns.

These vivid stories will empower your audience and their minds to picture a great outcome to a burning problem they’re facing. What’s more, your solution could be that key to transforming their stress into an opportunity.

In short, your story will become THEIR STORY! 

Let me know how this strategy is working for you. If you’d like to chat, I’d be happy to exchange ideas.

Source: Visual Storytelling