There’s a strong belief that by improving your handwriting you will also improve certain brain functions.
Have you ever noticed how your handwriting slightly changes depending on your emotions or the purpose of writing?
It is believed that your handwriting can tell a lot about your personality and even momentary feelings. There is a branch of pseudo-psychology called graphology that studies handwriting and its connections to personality. Although it’s not scientifically proven, you can’t fail to notice the amount of accuracy in graphologists’ readings.
According to graphologists, messy handwriting can indicate high intelligence, creativity, introversion, or eccentricity but also emotional load, violent temper, mental issues, or low self-esteem. Although often it can just mean poor fine motor skills or rushed writing.
There is also a strong belief that you can not only “read” your personality from your handwriting, but that you could also change some aspects of it by changing your handwriting. The way it’s believed it works is that by changing handwriting you change neural pathways in the brain to create new beliefs, habits, reactions, and thoughts. This is called graphotherapy. Graphotherapist is a person that studied both graphology and psychology. He works with clients to help them alter their handwriting to facilitate change in their thoughts and behaviors.
Here is a great book you can read if you’d like to know more about graphotherapy and how changing your handwriting can affect your personality and life. It’s called Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life by Vimala Rodgers.
And if you want to learn more about graphology here is a comprehensive guide called Handwriting Analysis by Andrea McNichol.
Benefits of writing by hand
While we’re still learning about graphology and graphotherapy, there are some benefits of handwriting that were definitively proven by scientists.
We know that writing by hand encourages the formation of new synapses in the brain.
You should also know that when you want to memorize new information writing it by hand will speed up the process of memory formation.
And if you have an issue to solve, write your train of thought by hand. You’ll be surprised by how different your thinking becomes when you write it down.
You can also solve your creative block by writing about it.
Writing by hand activates different regions in the brain from those needed for thinking or even typing. This opens an opportunity for new connections and insights.
Improve your handwriting in 30 days
To improve your handwriting you need consistent and focused daily practice.
When it comes to bad handwriting, there are several features that make it look bad. Those are uneven rhythm, inconsistent letter size, disfigured letter form, and too strong, too light, or varying pressure.
You can fix all these by strengthening your hand muscles, choosing your preferred writing style, and then practicing writing every day.
Hand strengthening exercises
Strengthening your hand muscles will allow you to write longer and better. Strong hand muscles can help you maintain a consistent rhythm and apply even and appropriate pressure.
Several times a day take a couple of minutes to work on strengthening your hand muscles.
Bring your hands up in front of you. Hold your fingers straight and your thumb stretched out to the side. Touch the fingertip of the index finger with the fingertip of your thumb making a circle with the fingers. Bring your thumb back to the side and repeat the same for each finger. Repeat 5 times with each hand.
Rubber band stretching
Take a rubber band and place it around the outer tops of your fingers and start stretching and releasing for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other hand.
Rolling the pencil
Bring your hands up in front and turn your hands so your palms are facing up. Place a pen across all your fingertips. Using your thumb roll the pencil to the palm and then back to the fingertips. Repeat 5 times with each hand.
Hand strengthening kit
There are many tools and kits on the market. But I found that this hand-strengthening kit consists of all the tools you’ll need to strengthen all the muscles of your hand. It comes with finger bands, hand rings, and eggs in three strengths, and therapy putty in six strengths.
Choose your style
The first thing you need to do is choose a handwriting style you want to learn. There are three styles to choose from; cursive, pre-cursive, and print.
After you chose a style, browse around to find letters you like. For this, you can use one of the many font options or find writing samples to emulate. Prepare by printing or writing (tracing) each letter of the alphabet; in uppercase, and lowercase of your chosen style.
Cursive is the most difficult style to learn to write beautifully. But even practicing and trying to learn it can have incredible benefits for the brain.
This is the most common style of writing. It’s a cross between cursive and print. Some letters are connected and some are separated. It’s a speedy and sustainable form of writing. It’s fairly easy to make it look beautiful.
Print style is the one where letters are disconnected. Each letter stands for itself. This style is the easiest to learn to write beautifully.
Practice writing by doing a few short writing sessions throughout the day. Take 5 minutes in the morning, then 5 minutes two-three times during the day, and then 10 minutes in the evening.
Frequent but short bursts of writing will speed up the skill-acquiring process faster than practicing writing once a day for 30 minutes. You’ll also avoid experiencing muscle cramps and pains from prolonged writing. At least until you strengthen your hand muscles and build up your writing stamina.
While practicing it will be much easier and more precise to practice on a ruled paper particularly designed for that purpose like this one.
If you have ruled paper and pencil ready, and you chose your font you’re ready to improve your handwriting.
Start with practicing individual letters. Write one row of each uppercase letter and two rows of each lowercase letter.
Repeat this at least twice a day for five days.
The more you practice writing letters the more you’ll develop muscle memory. It’s important to do this part right because it’ll make rest much easier.
This step is only for cursive and pre-cursive styles.
Practice joining letters by writing three-letter words. Here’s a list of all the three-letter words in English you can use.
Do this at least two times a day for two days.
Now that you laid your foundation it’s time to practice, practice, practice.
Practice writing texts you find interesting. Favorite passages from a book, song lyrics, interesting articles, or quotes.
For the next 23 days, practice every day at least three to four times a day.
Last tips to improve handwriting in 30 days
Switch between pen and pencil to get used to writing with both.
Write slowly in the beginning. At this point, precision is more important than speed, so take your time.
Track your progress. Write one sentence on the first day of your practice and then write that same sentence after 30 days.
Keep writing every day to continue improving.
If you’re looking for a community on your handwriting journey, then you can join r/handwriting subreddit where you’ll find plenty of advice, encouragement, and motivation.