We live in an extremely digitalized and virtualized world. We are slowly forgetting about pen and paper, and all we know are touch screens, Wi-Fi, and social media profiles. However, there is nothing that can be compared to the surprise and beauty of getting a handwritten letter delivered in your mail, opening it and reading it.
Handwritten letters are extremely personal, and they can never be compared to a message sent through e-mail or a few lines over your chat application.
Personally, I am handwriting my letters for about 2 years now. I prefer buying nice envelopes and stamps and sending my letters to my dear friends all over the world, some family members and girlfriend. Writing my letters by hand gives me a certain satisfaction that no tablet or laptop keyboard can give. I’m going to list below a few of the main pros of sending handwritten letters:
1. Boosting your ‘happiness’ levels
Actually, research in the field of psychology suggests that people who still write letters by hand are happier than people who don’t. According to Kent State Professor Steve Toepfer, people struggling with feelings of depression and anxiety will decrease these symptoms if they start writing thank you and gratitude letters by hand. More details on the study can be found here.
2. A memory for a lifetime
A handwritten letter can be kept as a memorabilia, and passed down to generations. Just imagine the bliss and the joy of giving your child to read a letter handwritten by his/her grandmother decades ago. It is definitely worth starting to handwrite your letters and give your dear ones something to talk about for generations.
3. A proof of love & care
When your dear one receives a handwritten letter, this is certainly the sign of a higher love and care. Handwritten letters are utterly personal, and they will represent a memory to cherish forever. Send handwritten letters to your parents for the Holidays, to your child who is in college, or to your friend of a lifetime. No matter where they are, a handwritten letter means more than a thousand gifts…
4. Letters to keep up tradition
For hundreds of years people have been sending handwritten notes and letters, for all occasions you can imagine: anniversaries, weddings, get well, thank you notes, etc. By sending handwritten letters to your loved one, you will certainly help keep alive the long lost art of writing letters by hand. You will keep alive a tradition of centuries! By attaching an old family photo to a beautiful handwritten letter and sending it to your dear loved one…you will definitely manage to touch the deepest soul strings with this surprise.
5. Affordable solution with a deep impact
Letters are quite cheap to send. Even though you think that sending an email is free, it will never have the deep emotional impact that only a handwritten personal letter can create. You can buy a stack on envelopes for a few dollars, and a stamp costs merely a few cents. If you send letters abroad it might be a little more expensive, but again, you will definitely make a huge impression with your nice gesture.
6. Offering personal consolation
If someone dear to you has passed away, the most affectionate way of expressing your consolation is through a letter. Just write a letter to the next of kin of the person who passed away, and you will be able to truly show that you are there and that you feel compassion for them. If you cannot travel to the funeral, for example, instead of calling or sending an electronic message, you should try writing a few comforting words in a traditional letter.
7. Improve your creative thinking and writing skills
Writing a letter will force you to think deep and be creative when formulating the sentences. You cannot afford to make mistakes, and you cannot afford to be hasty. Take your time to formulate the sentences in your head, and use your best pen and quality paper to express your thoughts. Your effort will be much appreciated.
8. Handwritten letters give you the courage you need
If there is someone in your life to whom you need to say ‘I am sorry’, “I love you’, ‘I wish I was there for you’…these words are hard to be spoken. These words will also not have a powerful effect if written through an e-mail. By using a handwritten letter to express all these deep feelings and emotions you have towards a person, you will be able to finally get off your shoulders a burden, and express what you truly feel. Only handwritten letters give you the courage you need to write things you would otherwise not speak out. Try it and you will see how easy and comforting it is!
9. The versatility is endless
I’ve seen letters of doctors sent to their patients, children writing thank you notes to all sorts of organizations, people writing love letters to each other, handwritten letters in poetry style with traditional wax stamps…and many other. To see just how versatile and interesting handwritten letters can be, you should definitely check out the collection of letters available here. These letters will surely make you want to immediately start writing to a loved one.
10. When you send one…you’ll get one
Make the first step of writing a letter to someone dear to you, and you will receive a response. You will get to know that wonderful feeling of checking your mail every day, and of rushing up the stairs, close the door, sit down and quickly start reading your personal letter. It is indeed a magical moment, and you don’t want to miss that…
11. Let the artist come out
A handwritten letter can be personalized with your own work of art: calligraphic letters, beautiful drawings, clippings, drawing your own emoticons, or even including a memorabilia such as a pressed flower from your own garden. It is the little things like writing your letter by hand that will make someone’s day much more than sending hundreds of links to funny videos or a long block of text over Facebook chat.
As you can see, there are quite a few reasons that speak in favor of handwriting your letters. This practice will give you one more reason to visit the store and buy yourself nice writing paper and a quality pen. When did you last use a pen to write your creative thoughts or beautiful message? When did you last visit a store to check out the plenitude of beautiful, colored and creative envelopes? You can now purchase them and start your own new hobby: writing your letters by hand.
You can get new pen pals, or write to friends overseas. You can write a thank you note to your favorite teacher or surprise your parents with a beautiful handwritten letter. You can say ‘I love you’ to your dear one through a handwritten letter, or you can express you gratitude to your favorite doctor. There are so many people in your life who deserve something more personal, more special and creative. So why not open up and fill their souls with joy and tears of emotion? Be different. Send them a handwritten letter…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kenneth Waldman is a freelance writer who draws his inspiration out of the traveling and meditation.