For the Health of It!

Ditch the Keyboard, Pick Up A Pen Once In a While

For the Health of It! Guest Commentary
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Dr. Adrian Pujayana

IF you are under the age of 30, chances are you’ve been a computer user most or all of your life. Besides learning to handwrite the alphabet and answer essay questions at school, it’s probably been some time since you’ve composed an essay or write a full letter BY HAND!

Living in the tech era has many advantages, such as never having to roll your car windows up or down by hand, living with air conditioning and having access to any music, entertainment or information any time you wish. The downside is that our cognitive faculties — our ability to use our imagination and construct ideas — can get lazy. When was the last time you composed a letter or wrote an essay? Here’s why this is important:

Writing by hand is a lot more work — your brain initiates an idea or a thought, or a sequence of phrases. Your nerves transmit impulses to your hands and onto paper. You have to structure your thoughts more deliberately and perhaps need to prepare a written outline in order to make the essay coherent, even legible for others to read.

It takes more time to put your ideas into a readable format, and editing your draft means cutting, pasting and sketching on your page. It requires a different but refreshing utilization of brain activity than going straight to the keyboard.

It’s probably not convenient to write full dissertations and multiple essays on paper in today’s fast-paced environment. However, taking an occasional departure from the typical helps maintain your brain’s function and exercises your ability to compose and organize your thoughts differently than going straight digital.

Here are some handwriting ideas that will help exercise your penmanship — and your cognitive faculties:

1. Keep a written journal or notebook. Write in paragraph form on a regular basis.

2. Write an opinion piece. Take any topic, such as favorite movies, songs, goals, and explain your position.

3. Write about writing. If you don’t have any particular ideas, observe your surroundings in present time and write about that. Include details such as time of day, temperature, sounds, present situation or observations.

4. Write a review.  Maybe before reviewing a product or a book you just read, or a restaurant you recently visited, take time to write about it in your notebook before Yelping it.

Take your pad and pen and just start writing! You’ll enjoy it, really.

And FYI, this column was entirely handwritten before it was typed. Good luck!

Dr. Adrian Pujayana has been providing drug-free solutions for health and wellness to adults, athletes and youth since 2000 through his private practice at Family Chiropractic Center of South Pasadena, a place for strength training and nutrition based health care. For comments or questions, email him at southpaschiro@gmail.com.

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