Not so long ago, we were writing essays in school by hand, writing out greeting cards, writing letters to pen pals and relatives. But these days, it seems everything is typed up on a computer screen, composed via a form on a website or punched into a smartphone. Technology may have really sped up our lives and created a lot more convenience, but it also means we miss out on some of the fantastic benefits that writing by hand brings us.
Benefit #1: It helps us memorize information
Taking notes on a laptop may be fast, but research has shown that those who take notes by hand actually remember more of the information than those who don't.
Benefit #2: It engages our brains
Writing requires us to use more of our motor skills, and a collection of links around your brain called the “reading circuit." Remember how when we were babies, our parents were obsessed with developing our motor skills? And that included how we held and moved a pen. Handwriting activates more parts of our brain than typing does.
Benefit #3: Writing calms us down
Writing is thought to calm our brains down, and even more so if we are writing positive sentiments like what we are grateful for, or affirmations we want to imprint on our minds.
Like the age-old detention tactic of asking kids to write a hundred lines about why they must not do something, writing the same line over and over can help your brain to create a neural pathway that helps us become more receptive to the thing we are writing. For the best effect, choose a nice weighty pen, like a stainless steel pen.
Benefit #4: Slows down mental aging
Because writing by hand can help us to retain information better, it has an effect on the way our brains work. It keeps them fit, in the same way that doing circuits as physical exercise keeps our bodies fit. Practicing brain-flexing tasks like writing by hand can help keep our minds sharp.
Benefit #5: It unleashes our creativity
Since writing puts to work more parts of your mind than typing, it encourages more creativity.There are also subtle aspects of writing by hand that are more artistic than typing because each person's handwriting is completely their own. This gives us our own writing identity, similar to an artist who has their own unique medium.
Benefit #6: It can ease depression and anxiety
Writing out your thoughts and feelings can be a cathartic experience, and some therapists advise people to write about their worries and concerns. It is thought that by getting feelings out of the body and mind and down onto paper helps us to acknowledge them and be better able to start processing them.
Benefit #7: Enhances our focus
Handwriting requires our complete attention, unlike typing on a computer, which we can do without even looking at the keyboard half the time. And while we are typing on a computer, we are only a click away from the internet, or Facebook or TikTok, which creates the sort of distraction we just don’t get with handwriting. Not to mention that if the pen you choose has a fidget element like a bolt action pen, or even a mechanical bolt action pencil, that too can act a bit like a stress ball in that it allows the brain to focus.
Benefit #8: Stimulates both sides of our brain
We use different sides of our brain all the time but one said may be dominant at any one time, depending on whether we are being calculative or artistic. But writing by hand, especially in cursive, actually taps into both sides of our brain, because of its loopy, artistic nature. Stimulating both sides of our brain through writing is extremely beneficial for your artistic/problem-solving abilities.
Benefit #9: It can help people with Dyslexia
It is thought that writing in cursive can help combat dyslexia by improving brain and memory functions.
Benefit #10: It’s an art form
Handwriting looks way better on an Instagram feed than words on a computer screen. In fact, have you ever tried taking a good photo of a computer screen?? And some pens themselves look great in the photos too. A titanium bolt action pen is picture perfect.