In today’s world, we are inundated with a constant flood of emails, texts, and messages on social media. In fact, in America, the average 18-29 year old sends or receives 100 texts a day. As you can probably deduce, studies show the prevalence of the handwritten note has been on something of a downswing in recent years. the average home was only receiving a personal letter once every seven weeks, down from every other week in 1987.

Just because something isn’t popular doesn’t mean it isn’t good for you. In fact, there are more reasons to start sending out handwritten notes than you think.

Writing By Hand Is Good For Your Brain
The physical act of writing has all kinds of positive impacts on your brain. Some research has shown that writing something down activates parts of your brain that typing doesn’t. You’re also more likely to remember something you write by hand as opposed to typing it, which means you’re creating memories for yourself by taking the time to write someone a letter.

Expressing Gratitude Is Good For You
It’s not just how you write, but what you write that matters. Expressing gratitude regularly in your life can give you a more optimistic outlook and improve your mood. Plus, research has shown that receiving a letter makes the recipient happyas well, so a simple thank you note can pull double duty.

A Handwritten Letter Means More
You could fire off a few dozen emails in the time it takes to draft a letter, and that’s not even taking into account finding stationery, buying a stamp, or dropping off the letter in a mailbox. Letters also must be carefully drafted — when you’re using ink there is no backspace key. Letters are also tangible, as you can keep them in a shoebox for a rainy day, look over them, and be filled with nostalgia and memory, which makes sense considering the fact that it’s easier to recall something read in a tangible form. In addition, the very fact that we receive personal mail so rarely grants them more personal value than an email.

If you’re looking for a new habit this year, consider handwritten correspondence — you’ll be improving the quality of your life as well as the person who receives the fruits of your labor.