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:
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.
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. In all honesty...these are very useless activities which I am also guilty of.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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