Therapeutic effects of handwriting espoused

Image: 123rf

As the world marks September 1 today as World Letter Writing Day, experts have encouraged more handwriting because it is therapeutic.

In an era of texts, e-mails and SMSes, handwriting and sending letters and post cards seems to be a forgotten culture. Psychologists still believe that writing your thoughts and feelings down stimulates your mind more than an e-mail. 

Clinical psychologist Reabetsoe Buys argues that writing things down allows you to process your thoughts and feelings in a different way.

“When we hand-write it activates different areas of our brain. It allows us to process the information in a different way, so it ends up being therapeutic because expressive writing on its own is a therapy. If you let out your thoughts and feelings, it actually helps you to release those things just sitting inside of you. It does not solve all your problems but it has been proven to help relieve stress and [create an] overall sense of wellbeing,” Buys said.

Buys encourages people to embrace the old tradition of communication because people used to treasure those letters they received from family and lovers. 

“When you write an e-mail you write and go back and change it, but when you are writing on paper you take your time gathering your thoughts on what you want to communicate and how do you want to communicate it..." Buys said.

Lillian Henderson,  marketing director for south, east and central Africa for pen maker BIC, believes that handwriting is still relevant in the digital world.

“It is important to still write and put your thoughts and feelings on paper. We need to encourage a lot of writing and journaling, especially to younger generation who are so used to shorthand and texts. There’s incredible power in the pen or pencil,” Henderson said.

She said the company has not been affected by digital migration because the use of pens goes beyond writing.

“As a brand that plays a role through all life’s moments, BIC encourages the public to take a moment to reflect, engage their creative side and pen a letter of their own in celebration of World Letter Writing Day through our challenge #WriteWithBIC. The challenge is to get writing!”

The South African Post Office confirms that stamps and written material are still in demand. Dibuseng Mamabolo, acting head of corporate services at the SA Post Office, said: “Stamps and the delivery of written material is one of the post office's core functions. We deliver more than two million items per day, and we sell roughly 12 million stamps per year...”

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.