The Science behind putting Pen to Paper


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It seems everyone loves those first untouched pages of a writing book, however it’s not necessarily a love of paper that attracts us, it’s science – humans are designed to write things down.

From a scientific perspective, writing:

  • Accelerates information processing
  • Increases memory and learning
  • Improves critical thinking
  • Has a unique relationship with brain that creates patterns

From a wellbeing perspective, writing:

  1. Provides clarity and purpose
  2. Simplifies and transforms ideas into workable actions
  3. Creates calm.

Brain scans show that the handwritten formation of letters and symbols activate massive brain regions, that are responsible for thinking, learning, memory and information management, which are not activated by the tapping of keys. Interestingly, research illustrates that this is further enhanced when we link our letters vs. print each one.

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Lifestyle Tips
While science demonstrates unequivocally the unique benefits that writing has on our memory and learning, more important to today’s busy woman will be how writing increases your productivity and wellbeing.

  1. Maintain a daily to do list. Preferably write it the evening before, so you can go to bed in the knowledge that your day is organised.
  2. Map your week in advance. Include work hours, exercise time, household activities time such as cleaning, shopping, tidying, a date night, time for a wine with friends, weekend brunch with family… if you need to bring work home, schedule it for a certain time in the evening, rather than having it having over you that you need to get it done.
  3. Choose your evening meals for the week, on the weekend. Write them down and ensure you have all the ingredients you require. This saves time and needless energy deciding what you will have each evening when you get home.
  4. Problem solve on paper. One of the key reasons we become overwhelmed and stressed is because we attempt to solve our problems in our head. You will bring logic and critical thinking to a situation that you write down.
  5. Write down your goals for the year, in bullet point form each day. Notice how committed to the goal you become by putting them on paper. Further, humans have an inherent ‘future orientation’ so you will become energised when you do this.
  6. Write evening gratitude. Thinking it is not enough. Writing engages your attention, it commits items to memory, it forges new brain circuits that form patterns – you will become a happier more positive person when you actively write your gratitude on paper.

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Sarah Laurie
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