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10 Reasons You Should Write More Handwritten Letters

10 Reasons You Should Write More Handwritten Letters

1. It’s a memorable way to touch the people you love.

A thoughtful letter can be treasured for years. Visit just about any history museum and you’ll be struck by the impact a letter can have. Countless possessions throughout history have decayed into dust, but fragile pieces of paper have been protected for generations because powerful words are worth reading again and again.

2. Research says it can actually make you happier.

Steve Toepfer from Kent State University studies “author benefits” – the perks you get from penning letters. Toepher says by making a habit of writing thoughtful letters of gratitude, “you’ll feel happier, you’ll feel more satisfied, and if you’re suffering from depressive symptoms, your symptoms will decrease.” This isn’t as strange as it sounds. Telling your friends how much you appreciate them helps you count your blessings and notice some of the beauty in your life.

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3. It confirms the importance of a relationship.

Taking the time to send a thoughtful note shows you cherish a relationship and want to invest in it. This can not only strengthen a friendship or a marriage, it’s also a clever way to grow loyalty with clients and business partners.

4. It’s a classy thing to do.

We write to remind people they’re special; but let’s face it, letters make us look pretty special too. Handwritten letters are a classy friend’s game. Set yourself apart as a lady or gentleman by sticking a stamp to your words of encouragement.

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5. It helps you pause long enough to say things that matter.

Texting and email are mostly reactionary. You need information, so you reach out. Writing letters is much more deliberate. You do it to give, not to receive. You write because there’s something you need to say, not something you need to know.

6. It creates a wonderful surprise.

Remember when getting mail was fun? You never knew what you might find. Now, it’s mostly a pile of bills and junk. You can be the girl who rescues her friends from the drudgery of modern mail! Put something fun in their mailbox and you just might make their day.

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7. It’s a tried and true tradition.

When you send handwritten letters, you’re participating in one of history’s finest rituals. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” captured the spirit of the American Civil Rights Movement. Major Sullivan Ballou’s letter to Sarah revealed the conflicted emotions of a soldier who loved his country and a husband who loved his wife. It’s even said that a letter from a young girl convinced U.S. President Abraham Lincoln to grow his iconic beard. Our ancestors recognized the importance of writing letters, and so should we.

8. It speaks to older friends and relatives in a medium they cherish.

To some young people, mail can seem outdated or boring; but for mature generations, it’s a tradition rich in sentiment. Even if your older relatives know how to text, they still love slicing open a handwritten letter.

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9. It’s a chance to show off (or improve) your handwriting

Most of us spent hours in school practicing our printing and cursive; but now that we’re “grown ups,” we never get to show off our skills! For you talented calligraphers, handwritten letters are your 15 minutes of fame. Or, if you’re like me, writing letters gives you a chance to improve your lovable scribbling.

10. It’s easier than you think.

Well-written cards can be some of the least expensive and most meaningful gifts you will ever give. With a few strokes of the pen, you have the power to encourage a loved one, inspire a friend, or kindle a romance. The hardest part is getting started, so let’s make it simple. Who do you appreciate most in life? If you could only speak to them one more time, what would you tell them? Write that down right now. Don’t worry about penmanship. Afterwards, all you’ll need to do is find the right card, transcribe your message, slap on a stamp, and remind that bored little flag on your mailbox that it was made for a purpose.

Featured photo credit: Handwritten Letters/Kelsi Laine via kelsilaine.com

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Kyle Young

Operations Manager, GoinsWriter

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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