writing benefits

7 Reasons Why Writing Benefits the Brain

June 10, 2024 1 Comment

Writing a diary

We currently live in a technological era where a majority of us are dependent on our smartphones, iPads, laptops or even smart watches.  Most of our thoughts/notes are recorded digitally.  Take a moment and think about when the last time you took notes by hand...aside from your own signature?  

There have been many types of research about how our brain benefits from handwriting.

We have compiled a short list for you:

1. Stress Relief

Writing really has magical powers! We learn better and faster by writing things down in our notebook rather than typing it out.  For stress relief, simply writing a sentence like "I will feel more peaceful" twenty times a day may, in fact, have a subconscious impact in people, particularly ones with attention deficit disorder.  It rewires the brain and calms the individual.

2. Handwriting will boost efficiency

Admit it! All of us are easily distracted now with social media amongst other things! We are constantly checking our computers, iPhones, podcast, etc looking at cats, funny Trump memes and so on. 

But don't worry, it's not all bad if it is done in moderations! A quick browse of BuzzFeed or Tumblr may even boost your productivity at work!  We all procrastinate a bit, and once you are finished with crazy cat videos, get back to your startup idea and try it with a pen and paper this time! You will appreciate the lack of distraction that we often times get tied up with. Plus, it's good to do something different....but that's for another article. Here we are focused on essay writers, actually just any writing!

3. Exercising Your Brain’s Hemispheres

Practicing cursive in your journal can really help kickstart your brain again.  By doing so, you are coordinating the brain's hemispheres.  It's like working out your muscles so it'll strengthen and grow.  The same goes with your brain which you can learn more how to "exercise it" as it varies from person to person.

4. Handwriting Enhances Learning Abilities

Jotting down notes in your journal is one of the best ways to study and acquire new knowledge. The reason is that writing by hand stimulates a part of the brain called the RAS, or the Reticular Activating System. RAS prioritizes what requires immediate focus and filters others out.  Writing activates your RAS to process knowledge into your memory. Studies have shown children's brains were stimulated much more when asked to write down words in their notebooks rather than simply focusing on them.  To learn more about the science of keeping a journal can make you mentally stronger, you can refer to more details here.

5. Handwriting boosts memory

When I was in college, half the class used their laptops for note taking.  That percentage has drastically improved since then.  I admit it's much faster to take notes on your laptop or even notes in your iPhone.  In reality, we retain a lot more information in our brain when we used the traditional note-taking methods in our notebooks. According to many psychologists, it is evident in both children and adults that taking notes does enhance memory.

6. Sharpen your aging mind with handwriting

“Writing by hand helps keep the mind dexterous and assists in solidifying memories,” says Kelsey Poe, Director of Marketing & Sales at CMP. 

Baby boomers who want to stay sharp as they age can practice writing exercises. We've talked about the benefits of keeping a handwritten notebook journal can really aide aging minds and boost memories.” For older people in memory care arrangements, regular writing activities like journaling can effectively maintain cognitive function and preserve memories. Studies suggest that the act of writing by hand stimulates areas of the brain associated with memory and comprehension, making it a valuable tool in promoting mental acuity as individuals age.

7. Handwriting vs. typing in terms of Brain stimulation

Handwriting is a clear winner when it comes to brain stimulation. We make use of the brain much more in writing than typing, just like comparing watching television and reading a book.

Because there is an action/movement when writing, so our brain's motor cortex is largely stimulated.  Whereas typing/texting does not have the same effect. 

Bringing back this old habit may be difficult to many, but start with the right mindset. Plan to write a page or two twice a week and slowly increase the writing to where it becomes a comfortable habit.

Real Marble Notebook Journal

1 Response

Sherri Toy
Sherri Toy

April 29, 2019

Excellent article!👍 I am in recovery from alcohol addiction. One of the tools we work on in our 12 Step program is writing a 4th step inventory. It is a mapping out of our past to get a new perspective about ourselves and others. Our old coping tool of drinking or using worked 4 us in the beginning to numb emotional pain. Once addicted to alcohol or drugs(gambling, sex, internet etc..) it stopped working & it “had us”. It is a biological phenomenon. 1 part of our 3 part disease(DSM 5). Other 2 parts: mental obsession & spiritually sick. Retraining our brain through writing and meditation changes the path of our neuropathways in our brain. We are then able to gain a new perspective & learn how to cope with life in a productive(vs- destrucive) way(learn a New Way of Living). The 12 steps & journaling are a life long process for we are never cured of our disease. If not in action, our brains revert slowly back to the old, disfunctional(fatal) neuropathways. The founders of our program discovered this way to “arrest” our deadly disease in 1935. It was Divine Intervention that brought 2 alcoholics together to find a Solution. In 2019 Neuro Science confirms this solution.🌟

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