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5 Reasons Writing by Hand is Good for the Brain and for Well-Being

Student writing by hand in the classroom

Kids today are born tech-savvy—they’ll never have to be taught to use a keyboard or how to operate a tablet.

Which is great news, because education increasingly incorporates technology into the classroom. Technology has become essential to how we access information and how we organize our lives. But just because something is new and useful, doesn’t mean that the old way is no longer relevant.

This is especially true when it comes to writing. Even in the age of technology, there are still plenty of times when putting pen to paper is needed—such as when writing an essay portion of an exam. However, as it turns out, writing isn’t just required for school: writing is an activity that has been shown to have numerous benefits to the brain and the body.

Whether journaling thoughts, chronicling the day, attempting poetry or starting a novel, old-fashioned pen and paper has an immense impact on emotional well being, helping students organize their thoughts and even improve their moods.

Despite being viewed as an old-fashion activity, writing by hand is still considered a valuable skill that has many cognitive benefits both in and out of the classroom.

Some Benefits Of Writing By Hand:

  1. Stress relief

    The act of writing itself can reduce stress, which helps improve focus and attention in the classroom.

  2. Creativity and Learning

    Making writing a regular habit has been shown to increase creativity and deepen thinking, keeping the brain sharp.

  3. Memory

    Writing by hand is also shown to increase memory and retention. The act of putting pen to paper activates areas of the brain that helps student increase their comprehension. It also involves more senses and motor neurons than when typing on a keyboard.

  4. Feelings

    Writing about feelings can improve mood and give a sense of well-being—putting pen to page helps flesh thoughts out in an orderly manner, leading to burdens feeling lighter.

  5. Gratitude

    Some studies show that writing about being grateful, especially before bed, can help improve sleep, which leads to better classroom performance as well as a sense of well being.

So put the keyboard away and grab a pen and paper! It doesn’t matter what students write so long as they take advantage of the benefits of this old-fashioned (but still relevant!) school and life skill.

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