Handwritten Notes Strengthen Human Relationships and Your Health

According to an article by Guy Trebay, published in the New York Times, there is a growing sense that the old, reliable handwritten note is making a comeback.

Expressing gratitude by sending a handwritten note to someone you care about might seem to be somehow an anachronistic custom, especially considering the digitalization of all our communication.

There is also scientific evidence that „gratitude interventions“ like e.g. sending someone you care about a handwritten note, are having relevant positive health benefits, resulting in greater life satisfaction, optimism, prosocial behavior and well-being.

Here are some quotes from the article that explain the reasons for this comeback: “It is so important, in a digital world, to have the dignity to sit down and write something in your own hand,” said Cristiano Magni, a New York fashion publicist “It not only strengthens the bonds between people, in your personal life and in business and it also rings an emotional chord.”

“As you grow older, it becomes more important when someone recognizes the effort you have made on their behalf and reciprocates in the form of a written acknowledgment,” said Ms. Madden, who manages a portfolio of family-owned properties “By sending handwritten thank-you notes people want to reemphasize the personal relationship.”

“People want to draw a distinction between the tossed-off, compressed nature of electronic messages and a form of ritualized communication that gives material evidence that the person really did appreciate something.” “feeling the paper, seeing the imperfection of the writing, reading the message in another person’s voice, you actually feel like you have a piece of that person in your hand.”

Sources:

  • The Found Art of Thank-You Notes, NY Times, April 4th 2014
  • Emmons, R.A., & McCullough, M.E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens
  • Your Health, Your Brain & the Power of Gratitude — A Key to Happiness