7 Brain-Friendly Benefits of Writing with Pen and Paper

Thanks to the advancement, convenience, and soaring popularity of smartphones, tablets, and computers, technology has become a crucial necessity in our daily lives. Today, it is almost impossible to accomplish tasks or communicate without the help of multi-purpose electronic devices. Emails and instant messaging have replaced snail mail, and Google has become the unofficial national library of every country.

While the pros of technology have inarguably made our lives easier, it still has its cons. For one, our dependence on iPhones and laptops have made writing by hand seem pointless. However, according to studies, there are several brain-boosting benefits of writing by hand.

What are the Benefits of Handwriting?

Here are seven reasons to start writing by hand, whether, through journaling, writing thank you letters, or taking down notes in class.

1. Stimulates Our Brain

The human brain uses different sides when being analytical or creative. When we write by hand, particularly in cursive, we tap into both sides of the brain because of its loopy, artistic nature. How deeply we tap into each side varies for each individual, but stimulating either side with handwriting is highly beneficial for our problem-solving and artistic abilities.

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2. Enhances Our Memory

According to Oxford Learning, the act of putting pen to paper improves memory retention. It stimulates areas of the brain that helps students increase their comprehension skills. Writing by hand also involves more senses and motor neurons compared to typing on a keyboard or screen.

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3. Slows Down the Mental Aging Process

Practicing brain-flexing activities, such as writing with a pen in hand, play a role in keeping the mind sharp. Further, a 2012 study revealed that duplicating shapes support brain development among young children.

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4. Sparks Our Creativity

Because writing activates more areas of the brain than typing, it allows more creative juices to flow. Likewise, writing by hand is more artistic than typing because each person’s handwriting is different, giving us our own writing identity. The latter is similar to an artist who has their own unique style or medium.

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5. Calms Our Body and Nerves

A stressed brain leads to a stressed body. Thankfully, writing calms a restless and anxious mind, which makes the activity ideal for winding down before bedtime. Dr. Marc Seifer, a graphologist, and handwriting expert, claims that “Jotting down a sentence like, ‘I will be more peaceful’ at least 20 times per day can actually have an impact, especially on those with attention deficit disorder.” Moreover, writing by hand can help keep us more focused on a task, which pulls our mind away from distractions.

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6. Eases Depression and Anxiety

When negative emotions run wild, writing down our thoughts can have therapeutic effects. Writing by hand, especially in cursive, is rhythmic. As a result, our erratic thoughts calm down, which may ease feelings of sadness and anxiousness.

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7. Combats Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in reading, learning, or interpreting words and other symbols. According to a former teacher and language specialist, writing in cursive may combat dyslexia by improving our brain and memory functions.

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Who would have thought that writing by hand offered such advantages? It certainly makes many of us want to grab a pen and paper to start feeling the brain-powering benefits.