There are some good reasons why handwriting practice is good for our cognitive performance, no matter how old we are.
As we are living in an information page, where thousands of new articles and blogs are published every day, here is a simple rule of thumb to follow. Don’t believe in anything or any claim if facts, statistics, and science do not back it. Why? Because there is too much noise on the internet, in the form of misinformation and plain lies in the name of facts. Here, we will discuss another claim – there are many ways handwriting practice can boost our cognitive performance. We will not only make a claim but also provide you with the science behind it.
First question: is it true that handwriting practice boosts cognitive performance?
If you believe in science, yes, there is a link between handwriting practice and our cognitive performance. The recent scientific studies claim that there is a definite effect of handwriting experience on functional brain development.
We know we are all too busy with typing on a keyboard or our latest touchscreen devices, but the good old manual handwriting is more beneficial for our brain, which is also considered as an effective exercise for our brain.
Even though handwriting practice is beneficial for all age groups, it is extremely effective for young children. Practicing handwriting can help improve cognitive performance and motor skills. It also enhances idea composition and expression.
This is exactly why many experts and psychologists are not very impressed with the use of keyboards in schools. According to professor of developmental psychology at the University of Geneva, handwriting is much better for children than typing, as it is a complex task and involves more than one skill.
But the positive effects of handwriting are not only limited to children as it is also very beneficial for adults. Here are some ways why handwriting is good for our cognitive performance no matter the age.
1. Handwriting Practice Delays Aging of the Brain
You may be eating healthy to delay physical aging or using skin care products to keep your skin young, but what about your brain? Our cognitive functions decline as we age, but this can be improved significantly by doing brain exercises. Practicing handwriting is just one of such exercises.
Handwriting is a workout for your brain. According to many top physicians, handwriting is a great exercise to keep your brain sharp as you grow old. This is because handwriting involves memory, motor skills, and other brain functions.
This makes handwriting a cognitive exercise for people over 50. Also, if you are learning something new in the later part of your life, try to learn from handwritten notes. According to a study published in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, adults easily recognize new characters (in case you are learning a new language) that are handwritten compared to printed notes.
This applies to students and anyone who is learning something new. Prepare handwritten notes as this will help your practice handwriting but also learn faster.
2. Handwriting Practice Helps You Learn More
Our success in real life is often directly proportional to how much we know and how much we learn. Some people also believe that learning is winning. If you agree with this idea, start practicing handwriting because it improves learning.
According to scientific studies, if you want to learn something quickly, write it down. The process of writing by your hand stimulates the part of the brain which is known as the Reticular Activating System (RAS). It is a sort of filter that focuses only on the stuff you are writing, resulting in a more effective learning process.
With the enhanced learning and ability to focus, your cognitive performance also improves. When we learn more, we get smarter, don’t we?
3. Handwriting Practice Brings Calmness to Your Life
A stressed mind is not at all good for cognitive performance. But don’t worry, handwriting practice can calm you down.
How? It’s very easy. Just write down something that is relaxing or reassuring. A sentence that calms you, like “I am feeling relaxed and peaceful” ten or more times. Practice it and you will find this as a great stress buster. You can also start your day by doing this.
4. Handwriting Practice Helps You Get More Creative
According to Dr. Marc Seifer, a handwriting expert and the author of the best-selling book The Definitive Book of Handwriting Analysis, handwriting stimulates creativity.
Why? The scientific explanation of this is that handwriting is a comparatively slower process than typing. This allows your brain to produce more creative thoughts.
5. Handwriting Practice Improves Your Memory
Your cognitive performance is directly related to your memory. The sharper your memory is, the better your performance. One of the best ways to improve your memory is to practice handwriting.
Writing important things not only helps you remember them for a long time, but it also gives a boost to your overall memory. It increases memory retention not only in children but also in adults.
The Final Words
Simply put, there is simple science behind the positive effects of handwriting on our cognitive performance. Writing stimulates the use of our cognitive functions, which keeps our brain sharp. The more we use our brain, the sharper it gets.
Studies show that when we write, a bigger number of various processes take place in our brains. A 2016 study also indicates that writing triggers the same part of the brain that is used when we are reading. Moreover, this is not the case when we type.
According to Dr. Marc Seifer, there is a huge difference between typing and handwriting. One of the most important differences is the movement. As we move our hands and fingers when we write, it stimulates the motor cortex in our brain. The same does not happen when we text or type.
All in all, handwriting is better than typing not only for children and students but also for adults. It is not a theory anymore, but it is a scientifically approved fact. If you are looking to enhance your brain functions and cognitive performance, start practicing handwriting today.
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