Looking for a new book to add to your Fall reading list? Consider Kelly McGonigal’s “The Upside of Stress: Why Stress is Good for You and How to Get Good at It,” which features a section on Images & Voices of Hope. McGonigal featured ivoh because of our work around Restorative Narrative — stories that show how people and communities are making a meaningful progression from a place of despair to a place of resilience.
We’ve been especially interested in learning more about the impact of this genre. It’s somewhat easy to track the quantitative impact, by looking at the Web traffic that Restorative Narratives generate and the number of shares they get. It’s harder, though, to track the qualitative impact — the question of how these narratives actually impact people and communities.
Positive psychology research shows people in positive emotional states are more creative, more pro-social, and more resourceful. Based on this research, we believe that Restorative Narratives have the potential to evoke resilience in individuals and communities, mobilizing them in ways that traditional stories that only focus on trauma can’t. The same research also suggests that resilience can be learned and that it has a ripple effect.