Saturday, August 18, 2012

How a Pen Could Save Your Brain

How a Pen Could Save Your Brain
By: Cassie Shortsleeve / Source: Men's Health News

Pick up a pen—your brain needs it. The typical adult hasn't written anything by hand in almost six weeks, according to recent research by online stationery store Docmail. Even more: Two-thirds of the 2,000 study participants reported that most of their writing was just scribbles for their own eyes.

Here's why that's a problem: "Different forms of communication use different parts of the brain," so the less you write, the more your brain goes to waste, says Allen Sills, M.D., associate professor of neurological surgery at Vanderbilt University.

Biologically speaking, neglecting a part of your brain means slower connections in your dome. "Those files are going to be harder to download and access when we need them," Dr. Sills explains. (Want more must-know health tidbits delivered to you every day? Sign up for the Men's Health Daily Dose newsletter.)

Don't worry, you need not write a 10-page note every day to keep your brain sharp. But optimal brain health doesinvolve using as many parts of our brains as you can. If you stick to the familiar (typing all day), your brain is less stimulated, and more limited than it would be if you switched things up, Dr. Sills notes.

Your move: Email thank-you notes are trite, and you likely need a break from hammering away at the keyboard at meetings—so stick with handwritten thank-yous and meeting notes. Another idea? Write her a quick love note and leave it on the counter before work—you'll like the results, we promise. 

Edited by: Lawyer Asad