The Best Way to Boost Your Memory Is Already In Your Hand

By Lindsey Holmes for The Huffington Post

Illustration of a human brain

Want to sharpen that noggin? Pick up a pen.

Chances are you still scribble down a few notes each day. And extending that practice into longer, physical writing may sharpen your memory exponentially.

Studies have found that students who wrote their notes outperformed students who typed them. Note takers were better able to retain information and grasp new concepts because writing put them on a different plane of thinking and required more mental effort than typing, according to psychologists. Devices just didn’t cut it.

“The very feature that makes laptop note-taking so appealing — the ability to take notes more quickly — was what undermined learning,” educational psychologist Kenneth Kiewra told the Wall Street Journal.

Getting away from a digital dependence — for anything — is a challenge in this tech-saturated culture. Even if jotting down an item is something you do on a regular basis, employing the art of handwriting for anything other than a reminder on a sticky note may seem outdated and obsolete.

However, in addition to boosting your memory, there are other positive perks to spending a little extra time with a writing utensil. Research shows writing down your worries and physically throwing them away can clear your mind. Putting pen to paper in the form of expressive writing may also be linked to improved stress levels.

Ready to integrate more physical scribbles into your life? Here are a few ways to do it (and a few more scientific reasons why you should want to):

  1. Doodle.

Show this to your boss the next time it appears like you’re slacking off. Research suggests that giving your pen free reign to paper during a meeting can — surprise! —help you pay attention.

Read more here.

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