Unlocking Brain Power: The Surprising Benefits of Writing by Hand

Writing by Hand Benefits Writing in Notebook
Photo Courtesy of Pexels – lil artsy

Writing by hand in this day and age is practically on the road to extinction due to our dependence on technology to communicate. In 2010, the U.S. government officially removed cursive writing from the required Core Standards for K-12 Education and some states followed that directive. This is a sad thing because writing by hand has benefits for the brain that hardly come close to pressing keys on a computer or other device. Therefore, let me tell you why it has such value.

You may think it is faster and more reliable relying on apps or your computer for taking notes compared to writing the needed information by hand. However, an interesting study by Professor Audrey van der Meer, a brain researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and coauthor of the study published in Frontiers in Psychology, found that writing by hand with all the strokes it took helped stimulate greater brain connectivity.

In fact, that research study further went on to describe how brain connectivity changed for those subjects using a digital pen to write in cursive as well. The time it took the fingers moving during the formation of those letters was what helped brain activity for better learning, memory recall and spelling than pounding on keys.

For this reason, it makes sense not to depend entirely on technology for writing in order to benefit brain health, especially as we age. Something as simple as making a shopping list for food, journaling your daily life in a diary, doing crossword puzzles or expressing your feelings through a love letter can increase cognitive performance, especially if you add a picture or one comes to mind while handwriting for those activities.

You benefit emotionally as well when writing by hand. The psychological benefits of handwriting can be used as an emotional release for detailing pain, anger, frustration, confusion, disappointments, blissful moments, dreams for the future, and goals that can be a tool for finding answers to improve your mood.

Though you may value speed the computer and your devices have to offer, but adding some writing by hand to daily life also has benefits for the brain that need to be taken seriously.

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