Why Handwriting is Still Important in the 21st Century and the Everyday Skills it Influences
We now seem to connect through virtual worlds. Whenever we want to communicate with someone, we send a text message and even our downtime is spent online.
More and more, we all depend on technology to get things done. Pens and paper are being replaced with keyboards and computer screens. In that case, what is the role of handwriting in this new world and should those skills still be taught?
Handwriting and the Effects on the Brain
Several studies show that learning handwriting at an early age activates three parts of the brain that are crucial for reading and writing. It also helps us become better readers and teaches how to connect and integrate thinking and movement.
Handwriting is a vital contributor to cognitive development and helps us use different brain areas across a variety of functions.
It Boosts Creativity
Handwriting ideas enables you to think from a variety of perspectives. It allows you to express yourself in more depth than we usually would on a day-to-day basis. It provides structure to thinking and ideas.
We are forced to stretch our minds to think from different angles and select the thoughts that we know will brighten our writing, and bring it to life. This process doesn't happen when we type on a computer.
Handwriting can liberate the mind. It provides a process where anxious thoughts can escape from a perpetual and repetitive cycle. When those thoughts are put on paper, we don't fall into the habit of writing what we feel over and over again but instead channel them into solutions.
The action of using our hand to write down notes makes our brain retain that information a lot better and for a longer time. Research shows how writing out letters by hand activates a neural pathway related to learning and memorizing successfully. This improves our memory and allows us to become a better learner, as we retain information more deeply while writing.
Relieves Depression, Stress and Anxiety
One of the benefits of writing by hand is that it helps slow down your thoughts and produces calmness. Sometimes, our frustrations and struggles may feel as if they are jumbled up in our minds, contributing to anxiety, stress and depression. When we write those thoughts down, we organize our thoughts, which is why counsellors and therapists often recommend writing as a way to gain perspective.
Handwriting helps improve concentration levels, which is why it's especially beneficial for those who suffer ADD or ADHD. Writing makes us use a specific part of the brain to filter information that may not be entirely relevant. It makes us think about what we're writing and leaves little room for distractions.