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7 Reasons Writing Is So Good for Our Brains

7 Reasons Writing Is So Good for Our Brains

Through our technology dependence, from smartphones to laptops, we seem to have a keyboard attached to our fingertips at all times. Have you thought about the last time you wrote something by hand? Research shows that our brains benefit from handwriting in multiple ways.

I talked with Dr. Marc Seifer, a graphologist, expert in handwriting, and the author of The Definitive Book of Handwriting Analysis (published in 2008). According to Seifer, the following are the main ways in which handwriting helps our brains.

1. Handwriting has a soothing effect

By writing a soothing sentence, we exercise a type of graphotherapy, says Seifer. Writing down something like, “I will be more serene” twenty times every day may, in fact, exert an effect, particularly in people with attention deficit disorder.

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“This makes the person calmer and rewires the brain,” he adds.

2. Handwriting coordinates the brain’s hemispheres

Writing something in cursive, as outdated as it feels, coordinates the brain’s hemispheres. However, the depth with which we use the two parts of our brain differs from person to person. Don’t confuse cursive with writing your signature, though!

3. Handwriting boosts learning

Handwriting notes is one of the best ways to study and acquire new knowledge. The reason is that writing by hand stimulates a part of the brain called the RAS, or the Reticular Activating System. According to Lifehacker, the RAS filters all information that needs processing by the brain, prioritizing the things in your immediate focus at the time of writing. This is boosted by the physical act of writing. A 2010 study showed the areas of the brain that are related to learning were stimulated much more when children were requested to jot down words like “spaceship,” instead of simply focusing on the word.

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4. Handwriting will keep distractions away

Your computer is a master at wasting your time, either by enticing you to look at pictures of cats or stalk your exes. Distractions are the reason software like Minutes Please and Facebook Limiter exists. Having said that, there are good things on the internet as well. A study in 2012 suggested that 5-minute breaks to browse BuzzFeed or Tumblr may even boost your productivity at work. However, when you are done with GIFs and you can’t escape working on your dissertation again, try doing it with a pen and paper. You will appreciate the lack of distraction that is all too common on the internet.

5. Handwriting keeps aging minds sharp

Handwriting is an awesome tool for baby boomers who want to retain their minds’ sharpness as they age. “Writing by hand helps to keep the mind dexterous and assists in solidifying memories,” says Kelsey Poe, Director of Marketing & Sales at CMP. “Keeping a handwritten journal can really sharpen aging minds and boost memories.”

6. Handwriting enhances memory

Let’s assume you are in class, taking notes. Perhaps it will be quicker to use your laptop, but have you considered that jotting your notes by hand may enhance your ability to remember all that information later? According to many psychologists, handwriting better enhances memory, an effect that is evident in both children and adults.

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“There is considerable research showing that among developing children, the ones who write by hand have stronger memory,” said Seifer.

7. Handwriting activates your brain more than typing does

Handwriting makes you use more of your brain. The regions of the brain that are associated with reading are stimulated while writing by hand only, and not while texting or typing.

“One of the key differences is movement. That implicates the brain’s motor cortex, so … you are activating a larger portion of your brain than when simply typing,” said Seifer.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr Financial Times photos via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 7, 2018

10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

How big is the gap between you and your success?

What is the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people?

It is as simple as this: successful people think and talk about what they are creating, and unsuccessful people focus on and talk about what they’re lacking.

So how do you bridge that gap between wanting success and having your success? Let’s make an important distinction. You see, there is a big difference between “Wanting” and “Having” something.

Wanting: means lacking or absent. Deficient in some part, thing or aspect.

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Having: means to possess, to hold, to get, to receive, to experience.

You can have one OR the other, but not both at the same time with any particular object of your desire. You either have it or you don’t.

When it comes to your subconscious, if you’re focusing on the “wanting”, i.e. the not having, guess what, you will build stronger neural networks in your brain around the “wanting.” However, through the power of your subconscious mind, you can focus on the “having” as if it has already happened. Research has shown that your brain doesn’t know the difference between what you’re visualizing inside your mind versus what is happening out there in your reality.

This is a regular practice of elite athletes. They spend as much timing creating the internal mental imagery of their success playing out as they do actually physically practicing. This helps create both the neural pathways in their brain and the muscle memory to consistently deliver on that success.

Here are 10 “brain hack” steps for success that you can take to create your version of a happy life. Make these steps a regular habit, and you will be astonished at the results.

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Step 1: Decide exactly what you want to create and have

This is usually the biggest problem that people have. They don’t know what they want and then they’re surprised when they don’t get it.

Step 2: Write down your goal clearly in every technicolor detail

A goal that is not written down is merely a wish. When you write it down in full detail, you signal to your subconscious mind that you really want to accomplish this particular goal.

Step 3: Write your goal in simple, present tense words

…that a three year old can understand on a three-by-five index card and carry it with you. Read it each morning after you awake and just before you go to sleep.

Step 4: Backwards planning

See your goal achieved and identify all the steps required that it took to bring it to life. Making a list of all these steps intensifies your desire and deepens your belief that the attainment of the goal is already happening.

Step 5: Resolve to take at least one step every day from one of the items on your list

Do something every day, even if it is just one baby step, that moves you toward your goal so you can maintain your momentum.

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Step 6: Visualize your goal repeatedly

See it in your mind’s eye as though it were already a reality. The more clear and vivid your mental picture of your goal, the faster it will come into your life.

Step 7: Feel the feeling of success as if your goal were realized at this very moment

Feel the emotion of happiness, satisfaction, and pleasure that you would have once you have achieved your goal. Visualize and feel this success for at least 20 seconds at a time.

Step 8: “Fake it till you make it!”

Confidently behave as if your subconscious mind was already bringing your goal into reality. Accept that you are moving toward your goal and it is moving toward you.

Step 9: Relax your mind

Take time to breathe, pray or mediate each day. Disengage the stress response and engage the relaxation response. A quiet state of mind allows your brain to access newly formed neural pathways.

Step 10: Release your goal to your subconscious mind

When you turn your goal over to the power of the universe and just get out of the way, you will always know the right actions to take at the right time.

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Starting today, try tapping into the incredible power of your subconscious mind.Start with just one goal or idea, and practice it continually until you succeed in achieving that goal. Make it a game and have fun with it! The more lightly you hold it, the easier it will be to achieve. By doing so, you will move from the “positive thinking” of the hopeful person to the “positive knowing” of the totally successful person.

Hit reply and let me know what you’re creating!

To your success!

Featured photo credit: use-your-brain-markgraf via mrg.bz

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