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Top 5 Best Activities For Wellbeing

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Top 5 Best Activities For Wellbeing

Strolling

You don’t have to get lost in the practice. If you don’t like walking alone, ask a friend or neighbor to join you. If you’re looking for energy, join a group that walks or goes to the rec center. 

Walking can help you lose calories. You can lose weight by walking. Walking can help protect joints from injury. Bigfun 50 MG is best for men’s well-being. If you feel drained, walking around can help boost your energy. Your life could be longer if you move faster.

Experts discovered that walking at a moderate pace reduced the risk of dying by around 20% compared to strolling at a slower speed. This simple activity can provide many benefits, including muscle strength and lower body fat.

Running

Running is a remarkable oxygen-consuming activity. Running builds endurance and proficiency over time. They are flexible and allow for smooth blood flow. cenforce 200 mg review is often recommended for men’s good health.

This is the best way to lose weight. Because it involves a lot of large muscles, it’s one of best ways to consume calories.

Running is the most weight-bearing activity. Running is the most weight-bearing activity. A greater amount of mineral substance is the result of grounded bones. As you age, you become more susceptible to osteoporosis and cracks.

Running strengthens mind regions that are responsible for memory, coordination, and long-term development. Running can help to create human development chemicals that reduce age-related bone loss and solid misfortune.

Cycling

To be truly energetic, you must keep your body fit and strong. By engaging in physical activity, you can fight difficult illnesses such as coronary illness, weight, psychological maladjustment and malignant growth. You can reduce your chances of developing medical problems as a result of living in a sedentary lifestyle by cycling regularly.

It is also cost-effective and pleasant, and it does not harm the environment. It is an oxygen-consuming activity that helps strengthen your heart, lungs and veins. As you breathe in more oxygen, your general wellness will improve.

We continue to live a robotic life. We’re heading to the valley of illness by using offices. My opinion is that you should purchase the bicycle and ride it to all the necessary tasks.

Swimming

Swimming is a great way to work your whole body with just one activity. Swimming consumes almost the same amount of calories per hour as running and doesn’t overload joints or bones. Swimming is the fourth most loved activity in America. Swimming laps regularly can offer many benefits. Continue reading to learn more about swimming and how you can incorporate it into your daily life. According to research, swimming is so good for you that it may reduce your chances of getting bit by the flu. Cenforce FM 100mg, Cenforce Professional 100 mg will help you live a long and healthy life.

Because of the muggy air, the indoor pool is a great activity for asthmatics. Swimming may be a good way to relax in the evenings. Swimming is an amazing activity that requires you to use your entire body to resist the water’s power.

Swimming has the advantage of a greater capacity to inhale, and more strength. Your body will require more oxygen at the point you are feeling resolved. This oxygen is supplied by your lungs, and you will inhale more when you exercise.

Yoga

Yoga, an osteopathic strategy for wellbeing, focuses on the body’s natural inclinations toward self-healing and well-being. The flexibility of yoga can be helpful for people suffering from chronic conditions such as lower back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral pains, or carpal passage.

Stress can manifest in many ways. Numerous studies have demonstrated that yoga poses could be used as a reciprocal treatment for nervousness-related issues. Yoga can help people doze more quickly and calmly. Yoga can be practiced in many ways.

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5 Athletic Greens Alternatives

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5 Athletic Greens Alternatives

Superfoods, or nutrient-dense plant-based foods, have been the holy grail of fitness and health enthusiasts across the world for a while now.

They provide a range of health benefits unparalleled by a regular diet and are a gamechanger when it comes to reaping the benefits of your fitness routine fast and effectively.

But here’s the thing- while some of these natural superfoods are pantry staples, some others can be quite expensive if not obscure. Add to that the hassle of planning and making a meal incorporating enough of these superfoods to actually make a tangible difference. Here is where superfood supplements come to the rescue.

Superfood supplements are a safe and organic way to conveniently meet all your nutritional requirements to complement your workout routine. Rich in a plethora of micronutrients, phytonutrients, and with antioxidant properties, not only do superfood supplements keep your mental and physical health optimized, but they also keep you at the top of your game when it comes to athletic performance.

Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily: Your Best Bet

Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily, as the name suggests, is THE ‘ultimate’ daily superfood supplement you should be incorporating into your routine.

I have tried a lot of these green mixes available in the market at the moment, each showing varying results. But Athletic Greens definitely stands a cut above the rest. The formulation, the benefits, the brand value, and the palatability make this superfood supplement a league of its own.

This all-rounder supplement is targeted at high performers and athletes to enhance their physical as well as mental fortitude.

The blend of 75 premium quality and highly absorbable ingredients tackles a variety of issues including inadequate diet, inefficient sleep schedules, stress, low energy or poor immunity, to enhance your overall performance and endurance.

Ingredient List

As an all-in-one supplement that addresses most of your nutritional concerns, the ingredient list of Athletic Greens is definitely its highlight. The brand, in keeping with their policy of complete transparency, lists all their ingredients on the box. Despite the extensiveness of it, you will find that each ingredient add value to the composition to make it the powerhouse product that it is.

Here are the major categories that the ingredients in this superfood supplement can be classified into:

●    Vitamins and Minerals

One of the primary functions of any nutritional supplement is to deliver optimum doses of vitamins and minerals that you miss out on in your diet. Extremely rich in all essential nutrients, the Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily formula is tailored for the nourishment and optimization of the functioning of your nervous system as well as building your immunity.

●    Superfood Complex (7388 mg/ Serving)

Definitely the clinching factor of any superfood supplement, let’s have a look at Athletic Greens’ superfood complex. Athletic Greens has a potent raw superfood complex that is packed with antioxidants to reverse the impact of free radical damage on your body. Along with being alkalizing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic, the blend provides a vast range of other health benefits. Some of the most notable ingredients in Athletic Greens’ superfood complex would be the organic Spirulina, lecithin, organic chlorella powder, organic wheatgrass leaf powder, spinach leaf powder, and organic apple powder.

●    Adaptogens (2732 mg/ Serving)

Adaptogens are an interesting ingredient you will find in most superfood supplements worth your while today. Athletic Greens definitely keeps up with this trend, packed as it is with quality adaptogens like Ashwagandha root extract, artichoke leaf extract, Rhodiola Rosea root dry extract, etc. Adaptogens are essentially herbs, often popular in indigenous medicine across the world, that reduces stress and anxiety, regularizes your sleep schedule, and cuts down on mental as well as physical fatigue.

●    Digestive Enzymes and Mushroom Complex (154 mg/ Serving)

Athletic Greens includes organic digestive enzymes and mushroom complex, including Astragulus root powder, burdock root powder, bromelain, Reishi mushroom powder, and shiitake mushroom powder, to facilitate better digestion and improve the absorption of nutrients.

●    Dairy-free Prebiotics and Probiotics (38 mg/ Serving)

Here’s the thing- prebiotics and probiotics are indispensable for nudging your immune and digestive systems towards performing their best. The issue that some of us face, whether with wholefoods or superfood supplements, is that most sources of prebiotics and probiotics are derived from dairy or dairy products. Athletic Greens comes in as a savior is this aspect. The prebiotics and probiotics of Athletic Greens are dairy-free, and help improve your gastrointestinal health, nutrition absorption rate, and immunity, without compromising on your dietary restrictions.

●    Flavoring Components

People are often put off by the unpalatability and grassy flavour of regular run-of-the-mill superfood supplements. To combat this you might find a lot of brands using artificial flavoring agents, which compromises on the safety and organic nature of these blends. Athletic Greens is a cut above the rest in this regard. They incorporate organic flavoring and sweetening agents such as natural pineapple flavor, cherry powder, stevia, and natural vanilla flavor, to ensure an appealing taste without cutting down on quality.

What’s So Great About Athletic Greens?

I prefer Athletic Greens over most other supplements, particularly the generic pill-based ones, because not only does it have a stellar bioavailable formulation, but it is much more potent and deliver on all their claims.

Here are a few features that make Athletic Greens such a great addition to your daily routine:

Quality Ingredients

The ingredient list is what makes or breaks a supplement. Of course, it is the primary reason for consuming a nutritional supplement, and Athletic Greens has its ingredient list down pat! Its 75 ingredients are of stellar quality and whole-food sourced, meeting all your vitamin, mineral, amino acid, antioxidant, and phytonutrient requirements. Its superfood complex is perhaps one of the best in the market at the moment.

Additionally, all the ingredients are in tandem with FDA guidelines and they undergo stringent lab tests to ensure the highest qualities.

Manufacture Process

The manufacturing process of a superfood supplement can prove to be a decisive factor, not only in terms of safety but also environmental consciousness. Athletic Greens has state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that are completely safe and environment-friendly. The manufacturing facilities are GMP certified and every detail of the product at various stages of the manufacturing process are carefully monitored and kept note of for complete transparency. The raw ingredient suppliers and manufacturers are also kept on their toes to assure premium quality through annual audits.

Organic and Diet-Friendly Formulation

When you are consuming a nutritional supplement, you usually want all the goodness without pumping yourself full of sugar-heavy artificial or harmful substances. Additionally, your diet may require you to go off dairy, eggs, or gluten. Athletic Greens is perfect for anyone with dietary restrictions since it does not contain eggs, yeast, corn, wheat, or nuts. The product is compatible with most diets, including vegan, keto and paleo. It is completely plant-based and free of dairy or gluten. You won’t find any preservatives, artificial sweeteners or flavoring agents, and of course no GMOs, toxic chemicals, herbicides or pesticides.

Certified for Sportspersons

Athletic Greens has been certified safe for the use of sportspersons by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and contains none of the over the 270 substances banned by the World Anti Doping Agency. The formulation meets up to all the stringent industry regulations and intensive testing procedures mandated by these two organizations, and is perfect for the use of athletes and sportspeople to naturally boost their stamina, endurance, strength, and mental fortitude for performance.

Alternatives for Athletic Greens Ultimate Daily

While I love Athletic Greens, and it really is one of the best superfood supplements you can get your hands on, there are those of you who might want to check out alternatives available in the market.

Why Explore Alternatives?

Maybe you want to weigh in your options and check out a few similar products in the market to confirm whether Athletic Greens really is the best bet for you. Maybe you have reached a plateau in your progress and want to experiment a bit with your diet and nutritional supplements as well as your workout routine.

Of course, children and the elderly have different requirements which Athletic Greens is not specifically targeted at. Those of you who are specifically trying to boost up your immunity or gut health may want a more targeted formula. Perhaps you are looking for a green mix that will complement your weight loss routine better. The reasons why you want to explore alternatives to Athletic greens may vary.

The market is brimming with superfood supplements at this point. While some of them are all-in-one superfood blends that give broad-spectrum results, like Athletic Greens, there are others that are targeted to tackle more specific issues. There is no doubt that you will definitely find a superfood supplement that addresses your needs. However, a major concern that crops up when there is near-saturation of any product in the market is compromise on quality.

Keeping that in mind, I have assembled a list of the best alternatives to Athletic Greens in the market that are safe for use and fetch the results they promise on the box.

5 Best Athletic Greens Alternatives in the Market

1.   Detox Organics

Detox Organics is not only the best alternative to Athletic Greens in my opinion, but also a stellar all-round superfood supplement by its own right. With a superfood complex 25 organic plant-based powerful ingredients, it comes close to Athletic Greens’ promise of being an all-in-one nutritional supplement. Detox Organics may keep its constituent list fuss-free and limited, but it is a potent 3-phase blend that tackles digestion, energy boosts, and detox specifically. All things considered, Detox Organics is possibly the best alternative in the market to Athletic Greens.

Ingredients: Detox Organics has a simpler formulation than Athletic Greens, and they maintain the same stringent attention to transparency. Every ingredient is mentioned on the box for you to peruse, but I am listing out the major categories of these below:

  • Digestive Aid Blend (3.6 g): Including organic wheatgrass powder, organic barley grass powder, and organic alfalfa leaf powder.
  • Alkalizing and Energy Boosting Blend (2.5 g): Including organic spinach leaf powder, and organic spirulina powder.
  • Detox and Cleansing Blend (1.7 g): Including organic carrot root powder, organic beet root powder, and organic dandelion root powder.
  • Other Ingredients: Including organic stevia leaf powder, organic cocoa powder, organic Guar Gum, and organic Luo Han Guao.

If you compare the ingredient lists of both Detox Organics and Athletic Greens, you will find they share a lot of their key ingredients, particularly their digestive aid blend and alkalizing blend. The detox and cleansing blend of Detox Organics is an added bonus that makes the product live up to its name.

Who Is It For: While it is an all-rounder superfood supplement that anybody would benefit from, Detox Organics would be a particularly good bet for anyone who has digestive issues or is trying to lose weight.

Pros: The formula of Detox Organics blends the benefits of a superfood supplement and a weight loss powder. It is certified 100% organic by the USDA and contains no artificial ingredients or additives. It targets three major concerns, that is, alkalization and energy boost, detox and cleansing, and digestive health, through its gluten-free 3-phase blend. To add to that, this superfood powder is also stackable with other nutritional supplements.

Cons: One major area where Detox Organics falls short of Athletic Greens’ benchmark is the palatability. While both of them are devoid of artificial flavoring agents and rely on natural ones, Detox Organics is definitely not as tasty as Athletic Greens. Another major con of this superfood supplement is that it is squarely on the pricier side. But then again, you get what you pay for when it comes to the benefits of Detox Organics’ benefits, and Athletic Greens itself is premiumly priced. Contact El Paso Legal assistance in case of a product liability claim.

2.   SuperGreen Tonik

SuperGreen Tonik is an exceptional superfood supplement which facilitates better health and mental fortitude.

Ingredients: SuperGreen Tonik contains a blend of 15 premium quality superfoods and adaptogenic herbs. Again, this product shares some of the most crucial ingredients of Athletic Greens, including organic Spirulina powder, organic Chlorella, organic spinach powder, organic barley grass, Ashwagandha root powder, Rhodiola Rosea, and stevia.

Who Is It For: SuperGreen Tonik is perfect for those trying to improve their immunity and overall health, and also find a need to work on their concentration and mental fortitude. It improves focus, productivity, and sleep, while combating fatigue, brain fog, and anxiety.

Pros: This superfood supplement offers a simple but premium formula, with quality ingredients that deliver effective results. The brand values transparency when it comes to their ingredient list, and avoids proprietary blends in their mostly organic formula. Additionally, like Athletic Greens, it is compatible with a paleo or keto diet.

Cons: It is not the most inexpensive kid on the block.

3.   Green Vibrance

Green Vibrance is a superfood powder that facilitates improved nutrition, immunity, circulation, and digestion to fuel your body to run at its peak efficiency.

Ingredients: Green Vibrance is a potent superfood blend packed with antioxidants, adaptogens, immunity boosters and probiotics which are also the main ingredient classifications of Athletic Greens. The product boasts of not only a hefty dose of plant-based micronutrients, but also 25 billion probiotics per serving.

Who Is It For: Green Vibrance is a great superfood supplement for those looking to improve their nutritional intake. It is also a great post-workout drink to restore your energy levels, or a snack to pull you through your hectic day.

Pros: Green Vibrance has an extensive ingredient list which supports the promise of improved nutrition, immunity, circulation, and digestion. Consumers have lauded the product for improving their gut health and bowel movements.

Cons: Green Vibrance contains trace amounts of milk and soy, which not only becomes an issue for lactose-intolerant people and vegans, but soy is also a common allergen. Another major cause of concern with this superfood supplement is that it contains higher levels of arsenic than the recommended dose. It is also quite an expensive nutritional supplement.

4.   Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder

Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder is a very popular superfood supplement that contains a blend of fresh greens, fruits, and vegetables to ensure overall health and improved energy levels.

Ingredients: Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder contains four major blends amongst its constituents, that is, a grass antioxidant blend, grass green food blend, digestive enzymes, minerals and vitamins, and an EFA fiber blend. Amongst its key ingredients features Spirulina, Chlorella, barley grass, and probiotics, which also feature prominently on Athletic greens’ ingredient list.

Who Is It For: This is a great superfood supplement for those looking to boost their immune and digestive systems while also boosting their overall energy levels.

Pros: Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder has a huge range of flavour options, as opposed to the limited variety provided by most superfood supplement brands. All the ingredients in Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder are natural, except some flavoring agents in the flavored varieties. However, there are stringent tests conducted on these to ensure there are no adverse reactions. It is gluten-free and quite affordable compared to most superfood supplements. In comparison, Athletic Greens definitely costs a bomb.

Cons: The taste ofAmazing Grass Green Superfood Powder is a definite drawback for the product. Like a lot of other superfood supplements in the market, this too has a very noticeable grassy taste to it. While this is particularly noticeable in the ‘original’ version of Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder, even the ones with fancy and supposedly enticing flavors such as berry, pineapple, vanilla, etc. retain the slightly obnoxious grassy aftertaste.

You may also experience nausea, upset stomach, or excessive gas in your first few weeks of trying the product as your body gets used to this new addition to your diet.  Another pitfall of Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder is that the brand does not mention the quantity of each ingredient on the box or the website.

5.   Vitamineral Green

Vitamineral Green is a superfood supplement that is very ‘now’. Not only does it have all the regular features appreciated in nutritional supplements such as being vegan, raw, non-GMO and without toxic artificial additives, Vitamineral Green sets a precedent for eco-friendly manufacture and packaging. They say that their product provides “energetic enhancements”, both magnetic and vibrational, which is definitely a unique feature to keep your eye out for.

Ingredients: Vitamineral Green describes its ingredients as ‘Truganic’, which is their stringent benchmark of quality right from the sourcing of the raw ingredients to the manufacture and production process. It contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential amino acids, chlorophyll, fibers, and phytonutrients, which are all natural, non-toxic, and absorbable.

Who Is It For: Vitamineral Green provides a wide range of health benefits, and is perfect for anyone looking to optimize the functioning of their kidney, pancreas, liver, bones, blood, muscles, digestion, immunity, or brain. It also helps with overall energy boosting and detoxification. As you can tell, it shares a lot of Athletic Greens’ broad spectrum benefits.

Pros: It contains a host of probiotics and enzymes, which is great for your digestive system. The product has a lot of unique claims which you would probably not come across anywhere else. Given the ingredient list, quality, and manufacture process, Vitamineral Green is priced remarkably low.

Cons: My primary issue with Vitamineral Green is that I don’t know the quantity or concentration of any of the ingredients. Given the vast ingredient list and intimidatingly lucrative claims, I would hope that the brand would offer a bit more transparency in terms of the formula on the box. Given Athletic Greens’ policy of full disclosure, which most superfood supplements in the markets are trying to match up to, Vitamineral Green concerns me a bit on this front. Another issue is the overwhelmingly pungent grassy taste. While it is great that they did not incorporate any artificial flavorings to mask the taste, it is a task to conjure up enough enthusiasm to chug a glass of the product.

Concluding Thoughts

Athletic Greens may cost a bomb, but if you can make the investment, definitely go for it. The quality, consumer service, and brand value is unparalleled.

However, if you don’t wish to go for the OG superfood supplement and are looking to experiment a bit, save a bit of money, or find something more specific to your needs than something as broad-spectrum as Athletic Greens, these are my suggestions for alternatives.

Detox Organics and SuperGreen Tonik definitely come out on top with their premium formulation and benefits, but all these products bring something unique to the table and are definitely worth a try.

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EU Global Health Strategy to improve global health security and deliver better health for all

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EU Global Health Strategy to improve global health security and deliver better health for all

The European Commission has today adopted a new

EU Global Health Strategy to improve global health security and deliver better health for all in a changing world. With this strategy, the EU strengthens its leadership and reaffirms its responsibility to address the main global challenges and inequalities in health. The unfinished agenda for global health and the fight against health threats in the age of pandemics.

This strategy positions global health as an integral pillar of EU foreign policy, a geopolitically important sector and the center of the EU’s strategic autonomy. Promote sustainable, meaningful and equitable partnerships with our global portal. As an external aspect of the European Health Union, this strategy is designed to guide EU action to ensure better preparedness for and response to health threats in a seamless manner.

A new approach to address global challenges

The strategy advocates for three interrelated key priorities to address global health challenges.

Improve the health and well-being of people throughout the life course.
Strengthen health systems and promote universal health coverage.
Apply the One Health approach to prevent and address health threats, including pandemics.
The strategy aims to make up lost ground to achieve the universal health-related targets in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. To do so, this strategy refocuses our actions to achieve universal health coverage, strengthen primary health care, and address the root causes of ill-health, such as poverty and social inequality. This strategy underscores the importance of addressing critical factors that undermine health, including climate change, environmental degradation, food security, conflict, and other humanitarian crises. Therefore, this strategy introduces a strong ‘health in all policies’ approach to ensure that different policies genuinely contribute to health objectives. It identifies three key ingredients for better health: digitization, research, and a skilled workforce with concrete actions to advance globally in these areas.

The strategy also aims to improve global health security and protect citizens from threats by strengthening prevention, preparedness and response, and early detection. These threats can be chemical, biological, nuclear, or pandemic, including silent killers that are resistant to antibiotics. This strategy suggests a variety of actions to address these threats.

More equitable access to vaccines and treatments by strengthening local pharmaceutical systems and manufacturing capacity.
Strict and binding international rules on pandemics
Tighter monitoring and detection of pathogens
A holistic approach that addresses all the links between the environment, animal/plant health and human health (“One Health Approach”)
As a new world health order emerges, this strategy charts a path for the EU to contribute through more strategic, assertive and effective engagement to help shape the order:

In a complex geopolitical environment, the world needs to sustain a new type of strong global governance. This includes deepening cooperation with the G7, G20 and other global, regional and bilateral partners to create stronger, more effective, accountable and sustainable policies at the core of the publicly funded WHO multilateral system.
Expand the EU’s international partnership on health as part of the Global Gateway, on the basis of joint ownership and joint responsibility of our partners. Improving their health sovereignty ensures their resilience and autonomy, allowing us to focus on those who need it most and where our impact is greatest. Partnerships with developed countries will also be sought.
Harnessing the Team Europe approach with a truly unique and strong voice, ensuring close coordination with Member States to ensure that policy actions and financial instruments are closely linked to new priorities.
More effective financing through innovative financing, pooling international resources and facilitating joint investment by partner countries and other actors such as the private sector. Both the EU and its Member States are among the largest global health funders in the world, and this strategy will make this significant financial contribution to global health even more effective through close mapping and monitoring of impacts.

Background

The new EU Global Health Strategy provides the framework for EU health policy up to 2030. It sets out political priorities and guiding principles and identifies concrete courses of action to shape global health. It describes what the Commission does and what Member States are encouraged to do.

The strategy includes input from EU Member States, including the Council Presidency, the European Parliament, civil society, including the Civil Society Shadow Health Strategy 2020, and other key stakeholders within and outside Europe, according to contributions received during a broad public consultation. This strategy will be released in parallel with the first Health Preparedness Report.

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Why the stories we tell are important for health

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Why the stories we tell are important for health

“Our lives are ceaselessly intertwined with narrative, with the stories we tell and hear told, those we dream or imagine or would like to tell, all of which are reworked in the story of our own lives that we narrate to ourselves” (White & Epston, 1990).

Throughout time, people have told stories. Perhaps from the beginning of language—the original “once upon a time”—storytelling has been a way of passing down knowledge and information. Stories tell us who we are, how the world works, and what values we should live by. They tell us what is possible, what is not, and what, if anything, may lay beyond the ordinary world of our senses.

Telling and listening to stories is wired into our psyches and nervous systems. Although stories have, at times, been used to exclude and harm, when used in a therapeutic context they have the power to heal and transform. A good story can foster connection and insight, convey healing or empowering metaphors, and activate a client’s resilience, imagination, and creativity. When a story strikes the right chord, it can shift a client’s perspective and open new ways of thinking and seeing.

It’s no wonder that the ancient art of storytelling has been incorporated into everything from violence prevention and trauma reduction programs to medical care and psychotherapy (Zerla, 2017; Hammel, 2018). Dan Yashinsky, a professional storyteller, has used his craft in medical settings and found that “for people with dementia, storytelling sparks rich and imaginative responses, even from those who have forgotten the names of their loved ones. For psychiatry patients, being treated for severe depression, wonder tales full of breathtaking suspense can help them regain their desire to discover what happens next—in the story, and in their own lives. In the palliative unit, we listen to life stories, share tales of wisdom from around the world, and we laugh, too, despite the solemn setting” (Yashinsky, 2017).

When social workers think about storytelling in the context of counseling, many think about the stories clients bring—conscious and unconscious—about their history, relationships, and struggles. Or they may think about how, during the course of therapeutic exploration and processing, new narratives that better support a client’s hopes and psychological growth are created.

But in some cases, counseling professionals are the ones doing the storytelling. Whether sharing tales of the Trojan War with combat veterans (Shay, 2003), reading children’s stories intended to foster psychological growth in terminally ill patients (Grey, 1998), or using fairy tales to enhance a sense of meaning and purpose (Bettelheim, 2010), or telling “healing stories” aimed at altering self-limiting beliefs and reactive patterns (Burns, 2001), social workers can use this timeworn craft to strengthen the therapeutic bond and catalyze change.

Benefits

The potential benefits of incorporating storytelling into the therapeutic encounter are numerous and include the following:

• Stories often contain profound wisdom as well as metaphorical and archetypal truths that can be conveyed in familiar images and simple language.

• Stories help us see and assimilate things about our life and circumstances from a comfortable distance, at a safe pace, in a context of safety and support.

• A story can create warmth and connection between the one telling the story and the one listening, enhancing the therapeutic alliance.

• For those feeling stuck or with little energy as they struggle with depression, illness, or overwhelming stress, hearing a story can be a pleasant respite during which they can simply relax and listen.

• Stories can engage our sense of humor, uncover strengths and novel solutions, and normalize experiences in ways that reduce feelings of shame or isolation. They can enhance our perspective, loosen the weight of troubling thoughts and emotions, evoke positive memories, and inspire hope.

• Stories can be multidimensional and multisensory, honing in on not just what a character did but also what they thought and felt, what was happening inside their bodies, and what they intended by their behavior vs. how those behaviors were interpreted by others.

• Many stories contain a therapeutically useful archetype that Joseph Campbell (1988) called the “hero’s journey” in which a person is compelled or pushed, often by some kind of crisis, onto a difficult journey during which trials and doubts are faced, and perspective and wisdom acquired.

• Reflecting on the ways Milton Erickson, MD, used stories in psychotherapy, Rosen (1991) points out that counseling professionals can choose stories that contain specific “therapeutic suggestions” that engage a client’s unconscious mind to create new expectations and visions of what is possible.

Incorporating Into Practice

For social workers interested in adding this dimension to their practice, stories can be drawn from virtually anywhere. Legends, myths, sacred texts, and world literary

pink

Rose was extremely independent. For months, she struggled with the progression of respiratory illnesses, refusing anyone to help her. When she became unsteady on her feet, she finally allowed her daughter to move in and help with the care.

To her surprise, Rose found that giving up household chores and responsibilities associated with her illness freed up more time and energy for her family and friends. She began to appreciate little things that previously went unnoticed, like the sound of birds emitted in the early morning and the way the love she felt for her newborn grandson gave her a tingling feeling in her stomach.

On one visit, she reflected on the paradox of how her body had become weak and unreliable, but her spirit, her inner self, was growing stronger and more sensitive to what was important.

She searched in vain for words to describe this paradox. On her wall was a picture of the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. I thought of an anecdote from the bus boycott in Montgomery, AL in the 1950s, in which African-American citizens protested the racial segregation of public transportation. refused to take the city bus. I was wondering if a story would help Rose.

I told her about an older woman tired from months of walking instead of taking the bus. Fatigue crept into his hunched body and idling. At a community meeting after a long day, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to her. Recognizing her commitment to the cause, he told her that there would be no disapproval if she returned to taking the buses. When she told him she would keep walking, he asked if she was tired. She replied, “My feet are tired, but my soul is rested.”

Rose smiled, repeating the phrase as if she had a holy power. We talked about how tired the woman was and how hard it must have been. But under exhaustion, she lurked a core of strength and peace. The story highlighted some of the truths emerging from Rose’s experience: her life had innate value regardless of her ability to maintain her roles and physical function, and inner strength was more substantial than physical strength.

In the weeks that followed, as Rose was confined to bed and struggling to cope with the loss of privacy and independence, she would frequently repeat the phrase during my visits: “My feet are tired, but my soul is rested.” She became an access point to connect with her deeper self and reinforce the fact that even though her body was getting weaker, her inner self was getting wiser, stronger.

Experience storytelling

In a sense, counseling and psychotherapy can be seen as a sophisticated type of storytelling in which clients’ stories are evoked, shared, heard, explored, and transformed. While social workers approach clients and patients using a variety of explanation and intervention models, we all carry stories and some of them can be helpful depending on the client.

While there is much to be said for how to choose, craft, time, and deliver a story in the context of consulting, for those interested in experiencing storytelling, Lankton, and Lankton (1989) suggest using stories and anecdotes with therapeutic metaphors that derive from of the social worker’s experience, knowledge, and interests: “Stories that derive from the therapist’s authentic experiences and understandings are believable and, when relevant to the client’s desired learning, are also fascinating, interesting, and engaging.”

Recognizing the need to protect confidentiality and professional boundaries, they suggest considering a client’s goals and clinical presentation and asking, “How is this going in my experience?” The people and images that come to mind in response to this question become the raw material from which a therapeutic metaphor can be constructed.

– Scott Janssen, MSW, LCSW, is a hospice social worker in Durham, North Carolina, and a member of the Trauma Informed Care Task Force of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Some of the material in this article was adapted from his book Standing at Lemhi Pass: Archetypal Stories for the End of Life and Other Challenging Times.

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