In the age of electronic ‘everything,’ the art of handwriting has slowly become less and less present.

There are a few of us who still use paper calendars or daily journals, write handwritten letters, notes, and thank you cards, but the majority of people rely on their electronics to stay on course and correspond in their everyday lives.

I won’t lie to you; I email and text all day, and I also utilize an electronic calendar which I update from my bullet journal. You may think this is inefficient or double work, but for me, the process of creating and updating my bullet journal is therapeutic. Handwriting in my journal is personal, relaxing, and allows me an outlet for creativity that electronic calendaring just doesn’t have.

Indiana University performed a study that suggests, the act of writing by hand releases creativity and neural activity increases in certain parts of the brain which they say has the same effect as meditation.

Handwriting sharpens the brain, improves our learning ability,  and influences us to think more positively. According to the studies, sequential hand movements activate large areas of the brain responsible for language, thinking, healing, and memory.

In a time where everyone is in a rush, handwriting forces us to slow down and relish the moment. Dr. Claudia Aguirre, a noted neuroscientist, says, “Perhaps the greatest thing about handwriting is that the very act of doing it forces you to focus on what’s important. It is, in essence, a moment of mindfulness.”

My penmanship isn’t the best and at one time I felt intimidated when compared to others. I remember being a freshman in high school; I hesitated to share notes or writing letters because I was embarrassed by my writing. Now I write by hand, and I don’t care what anyone thinks about it. I believe when someone receives a handwritten note or letter from me–knowing I took the time to write it out and mail it, it shows that I care enough about them to connect on a more personal level.

Writing by hand is a very powerful tool–one you should utilize for relaxation, learning, creativity, and connection. It offers perceptions into you and those who are reading.

So grab your pen and paper and get to writing.