The Role of Handwriting in a Digital Age

The world around us is changing. We’re surrounded by screens on a daily basis in an inescapable – sometimes exhausting – way. There are TVs, office computers, home computers, laptops, tablets, electronic billboards and cell phones tempting people with mindless scrolling at the end of the day when they need a break from the other, bigger screens.

There’s no denying this accessibility is significant. It opens up doors to new opportunities, knowledge and ways to connect, communicate and help each other. It also draws attention to a key component of our process of promoting positive self-change here at The Change Companies©.

Why do we still have physical Journals? Why do we still encourage putting pen to paper?

Studies, like this one from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, have shown that writing by hand, on paper, engages more parts of the brain. It activates regions of the brain that are involved in memory, learning, impulse control and attention. Handwriting moves writing topics from short-term to long-term memory more efficiently than by typing it out on a computer.

What’s a benefit to typing – the speed – is a converse to a benefit in writing by hand. Writing by hand is slow. There’s more intention and deliberation involved. This encourages participants to write more mindfully. This can create work that is more thought-out and impactful. A study done by Indiana University posited that handwriting unlocks neural activity in the brain, similar to results from meditation – leading to a more relaxed, creative state.

The result? A physical product that end users engage with more mindfully and actively. They can hold this product in their hands and refer back to it when they need a reminder of why they’re pursuing this positive change or goal, or to see just how far they’ve come.

This is why – in an increasingly digital age – The Change Companies© publishes Interactive Journals, encouraging participants to put pen to paper to guide them toward positive life change.

You might recommend your clients handwrite their reflections or responses to certain prompts. Encourage them that it’s okay to not worry about spelling or grammar. Allow them to fully immerse themselves in this process. You might find it helps them unlock a more reflective and honest thought process about their mental state, a challenge they’re working to overcome or a change they’re considering.

Let us know how you already use this method in your practice today. Or give us a call to see how we can help you incorporate this more at (888) 889-8866.