We’ve all heard that the pen is mightier than the sword, but how does it compare to the keyboard? Research shows that not only does it hold its own, but there are many benefits to this old school practice. Here are a few reasons to break out your notebook and pen.
A blank piece of paper offers an infinite amount of possibilities. Electronic documents, however, set up limits in the way they’re presented, making your work feel more permanent and intimidating. In one study by the University of Washington, children assigned to write essays by hand put down words more quickly and expressed more ideas than those writing at a keyboard.
Neuroscience research has discovered a distinct neural pathway that is only activated when we physically draw out letters. This pathway gets paved deeper with practice and is linked to our overall success in learning and memory. This is because physical action uses nerves and muscles, sending sensory feedback to our brains. Writing by hand sends more feedback than tapping a keyboard, allowing for an easier retention.
Relieves Stress, Depression, and Anxiety
When you write by hand, it increases activity in parts of the brain similar to meditation. It slows down thoughts, boosts mindfulness, and increases a feeling of calm. Writing can also help us trace negative thought patterns and see the false statements we’re convincing ourselves of.