Written by Lauren Rae, CPT and Wellness Coach at TRYM Fitness
There isn’t enough time in the day, and people are finding themselves more frustrated than ever. In the moments where people used to spend time working on their relationships with others, we're being bombarded with the distractions of social media, online gaming, and more. It’s a rare occasion that we pick up a pen or pencil these days for the simple purpose of exploring or expressing our God-given creativity. We jot down notes and create to-do lists, but the majority of information these days is logged onto cell phones, tablets, and computers. While this offers easy organization and saves paper, is the practice of writing for self-expression a dead art? Furthermore, could writing by hand connect us back to our brains?
Kevin Purdy, in his article titled, “The Pen is Mightier Than the Phone: A Case for Writing Things Out,” builds his support for note taking by mentioning that 87% of successful business professionals supplement their work with handwritten notes. It’s easy to build the case for professional growth as studies on the brain show that the act of your hand committing your thoughts to paper does more to lock the words into place since it activates a large portion of the brain’s thinking, language, and “working memory” regions than typing does.
But it’s just as important to mention the range of personal growth that accompanies putting down the phone and picking up the pen. Ever pick up your phone to commit a task to the calendar then find yourself on Facebook? The apps that make our lives easier also offer a great distraction.
If you want to dedicate more information to memory, sleep more restfully, execute strong ideas, tap into your creativity, and build a better relationship with yourself and your loved ones, try these three writing exercises and see how much potential lies in the simple stroke of a pen.
3 Exercises for Writing to Spark Creativity
While a text or tweet about how we feel about others is nice, it is often overlooked. Instead, pick up some pretty stationery or even just a sticky note and write something down that is worth a second look. Whether it’s a small reminder to say “Yes” to more opportunities, a note on the mirror to embrace the skin you’re in, or a card to let a friend know how important they are to you, these easy notes go a very long way toward boosting moral and warming hearts.
Brain Dumps vs To Do Lists
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with all of the things you still need to do crowding your mind with the stressful events of the day? And when you wake up do you feel the same pressure mounting while the clock ticks away into the day? To Do Lists are very important for organizing tasks, but a complete Brain Dump first thing in the morning or right before bed can be very beneficial to emptying your mind of all the expectations life presents.
Sit down with a pen and your notebook and just write for at least 5 minutes. Set your timer and that’s it! Only rules are that you can’t think about what you’re going to write and you have to write anything and everything that comes to mind—no sensor needed here! Just get out those creeping thoughts and things to accomplish on to the paper. Later you can go back and sort through pertinent information.
Sparks of Creativity
The tragic reality about tapping into your creativity is that more you grasp at it, the quicker it seems to evaporate. A moment of inspiration comes and you think, “Oh, I’ll just write that down as soon as I…oh, wait. What was I going to write down?” The truth of the matter is our true self brings forth these moments of brilliant authenticity when we stop dividing our attention between several other things.
Keep a notebook with you and when inspiration strikes, do not skip a beat before you log your thoughts. If you’re looking to dive a little deeper, try writing down a question beyond you and listen to the answer. (Writing the question with your dominant hand, then answering with your other hand is a technique used to access our creative brain.) Allow yourself to let go and let the real you shine through. Then connect that part of you with the paper and read what you’ve written out loud. Connecting 3 of our senses—sight, touch, and hearing—is a great way to connect deeper to cultivate creativity.