Handwriting is fast becoming a thing of the past. Still, people need to understand why it is important to hand write as demonstrated in these 9 reasons showing the benefits handwriting has on our brains. Truth is that decades ago, the vast majority of us had no choice but to handwrite things. Whether it was a letter, message, note, a book or school work, writing things by hand was one of our few options. However, with the continued advancement in technology, that is no longer the case. Between laptops, tablets and smartphones, many of us now have digital keyboards at our fingertips to do the work.
Nonetheless, the benefits which handwriting has on our brains, should not be ignored. Numerous researches have shown the ways by which handwriting offers advantages to our minds. Unlike typing on a computer or other digital keyboard, writing the old fashioned way, trains our brains significantly. Both neuroscientists and psychologists agree that learning and writing by hand provides many benefits. Below, are some of the top 9 reasons why handwriting benefits our brains.
Makes Learning Easier –
Unlike writing via a typewriter, laptop or a smartphone keyboard, handwriting makes learning easier. That’s because when we write with our hands, a unique neural circuit is activated. The results is an increase in both understanding, perception and intelligence. According to Dr. Stanislas Dehaene from the College de France, words we write with our hands stimulate our brains much more than other forms of writing. The Dr. is a cognitive psychologist which has done several researches on the subject.
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Keeps Your Mind Sharper –
One of the problems facing baby boomers and most people as they get older, is keeping their minds sharp. This is when hand writing helps substantially. As we age, our brains don’t work the same as they did when we were younger. However, each time we handwrite with our hands, the positive effects are passed on to our minds. Handwriting aids in solidifying our memories while keeping our brains dexterous as well. A great tip is to scribble things down in a pad frequently. You should also keep a journal which may inspire you to write daily or more often. Doing this will greatly boost your memories and sharpen your mind at the same time.
Helps To Soothe You –
Experts agree that writing a soothing message or sentence, can actually have a calming effect on us. According to Dr. Marc Seifer, using this exercise can be compared to graphotherapy. He is the author of The Definitive Book of Handwriting Analysis, which was published in 2008. Dr. Marc is also a handwriting expert and a graphologist. If we write sentences such as “I will be more peaceful” at least 20 times a day, it can have a very positive effect. This is even more evident with people who have attention deficit disorders. As we write out these phrases, it ends up making us calmer while it rewires our brains.
Assists In Treating Dyslexia –
According to a New York Times news article which pointed to a study done in 2012, handwriting helps to treat dyslexia. The article, written by Maria Konnikova, focused on the study performed by Dr. Diane Montgomery from UK’s Middlesex University. She found that cursive writing helps prevent the inversion and reversal of letters. Since that’s an occurrence which is very common among those who suffer from dyslexia, the benefits are obvious.
Expands Creativity –
Unlike texting or using other methods, handwriting expands creativity. As we use our hands to write, a larger amount of ideas flow through our brains. This means that writing by hand, activates the creative parts of our minds which simple typing or texting doesn’t. This includes other things such as drawing, doodling and sketching as well. The one thing they all have in common is that they bring about a greater form of human connection from us.
Boosts Learning –
If you want to acquire new knowledge and learn to study, then writing notes is one of the best ways to go about it. The reason behind this is in part due to a section in our brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). Each time we hand write, it ends up stimulating that portion of our minds. As we write, our brains immediately begin to emphasize those things that we should focus on. The RAS filters in our mind processes this info as it boosts our brain activity. The actual physical act of writing things down, ends up promoting and stimulating our brains.
Handwriting Better Than Typing –
Believe it or not, each time we type something, we are actually using less of our brains than if we hand wrote it. The reason behind this is because there are regions of our brains which are affected differently. Movement activates the brain’s motor cortex. These same movements are not stimulated the same when we are texting or typing though. That means that while we are handwriting, we are using and activating a grander part of our minds than if we were simply typing it.
Helps Cerebral Hemisphere
Another great advantage people benefit from when they write with their hands is coordination. Handwriting, especially in cursive, greatly assists in coordinating with your cerebral hemisphere. Although some may consider writing in cursive outdated, it still provides a substantial amount of gains to the brain. Writing with your hands brings about focus to two parts of your brain. Texting and typing only uses one. Still, keep in mind that the results do differ from person to person.
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Enhances Memory –
These days, most of us find it easier to use a laptop or other devices to help us take notes; especially in classes. However, unlike those methods, taking notes with your hands has greater benefits. Jotting down notes augments a person’s ability to remember more of the information they wrote down later on. Numerous psychologist agree that in both children and adults, handwriting boosts their memory. Those who write with their hands, show stronger memory when it comes to the content they wrote down.