Is there any better feeling than opening your mailbox to find an envelope with your name on it…and then opening it to find a genuine, handwritten letter? Receiving a letter tops my list of life’s simple joys. But you know what they say–you have to be a friend to have a friend.
Not only is letter-writing a nice way to disconnect from technology, there are emotional and health benefits surrounding letter writing as well. If that doesn’t convince you to pick up a pen and paper, I don’t know what will.
- Letter Writing Can Increase Overall Well-Being
Kent State professor Stephen Toepfer conducted a study of letter-writing and its resulting benefits. Study participants were asked to write a series of letters, and were told to express heartfelt gratitude as they wrote. Nothing silly or trivial, but real authentic thoughts.
The participants actually experienced an increase in overall well-being; their self-rated levels of happiness and life satisfaction climbed upwards throughout the duration of the study.
Toepfer could conclude that by writing three letters a week, and spending 15 to 20 minutes on each letter, people’s depressive symptoms can decrease quite significantly and their happiness and life satisfaction can increase.
- Letter Writing Can Help Writers Confront Their Emotions
We’re all emotional beings…yes, even those of you who don’t choose to show your feelings! Psychologists have long trusted letter-writing as an effective way to effectively sort through and deal with their emotions, especially negative ones directed at another person. By spending time to write a handwritten letter, writers can confront their unresolved feelings or fears. We can all use a little release sometime, wouldn’t you agree?
Additionally, penning emotions, attitudes, and feelings can help create a peace surrounding them. Letter writers are more likely to accept their state–whether it be physical, mental, or emotional. This can reduce anxiety.
- Your Loved Ones May Never Receive Handwritten Letters
A survey conducted in the United Kingdom found that one out of every five children in the UK has never gotten a letter via snail mail. Never! That, my friends, is a travesty. And 43% of the same group surveyed (1,200 children aged seven to 14) had never even sent a letter. A child education expert, Sue Palmer remarked that children who do not send or receive letters “miss out on key developmental benefits.”
By carving out just a few minutes of your day to write a thoughtful letter, you can encourage others to do the same and brighten their day in the process! Sounds like a good plan to me.
- Letter-Writers Strengthen Their Relationships
Because, as this article states, “sending a letter is the next best thing to showing up personally at someone’s door.” There’s a deep feeling of emotional connection between the sender and receiver that can strengthen bonds and increase perceived closeness. (As someone who’s in a long distance relationship, I can vouch for letter writing all day!)
Another benefit of letter writing in terms of strengthening relationships is the tangibility aspect. The ability to hold a letter close to your heart (literally) is so special! And unlike emails, which seem to get lost in the cyber web, you can keep a precious little shoebox of your correspondence. Love that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hey, I’m Blair! I’m the writer, creator, photographer, dreamer, and designer here. I’m so glad you’ve stopped by! Here on my blog you’ll find honest inspiration and encouragement, including posts about marriage and relationships, my favorite products, schedules and routines, organization, cleaning, cooking and baking, blogging as a business, being a puppy mama, and a whole lot of soul food.
A little about me (since that’s why you’re here): I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland cheering for the O’s and the Ravens, playing lacrosse, and picking crabs in the summertime. I played lots of sports, bossed around my two younger siblings, and itched to move to a new place.
I spent my four college years at Elon University in North Carolina. I loved my time at Elon and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a focus in Marketing and a minor in Spanish. (Wow, that’s a mouthful!) I met great friends, “found myself,” and grew in my faith over the course of those too-fast college years.
With a freshly-polished resumé and a new degree, I moved to Austin, Texas to pursue a career in marketing. Just six months later I abandoned my dream to be a businesswoman and was hired as the Early Childhood Director at a large church instead. After I moved to the great
country state of Texas, I learned about good BBQ, decorated my little apartment, and adopted an adorable Maltese-Poodle named Charley.
Less than a year after moving across the country, I fell completely in love with an incredible man who went on to become my husband. His name is Riley, and since both of our names are unisex, people mix them up all the time. We think it’s funny! For seven months in 2016 we planned our dream wedding–you can read all about our wedding and love story here if you’re interested.
After we got married, we moved in together in a town north of Dallas. At that time, I began to blog full-time. My blog has grown from a tiny idea to a great community, a source of income, and the platform for my podcast, Blogger Mentorship Program, and Etsy shop! I love what I do.
One more thing–the most important thing! I’m a dedicated Christ follower. Jesus has brought joy, restoration, and redemption to my life that I never thought possible. It’s an honor and a privilege to follow Him and I am forever blessed by His grace, patience, mercy, faithfulness, and love. My husband and I attend a small non-denomenational church plant in our city; we have fallen in love with the humble, raw, vulnerable, surrendered spirit of our church and the people who attend it.
My life sounds so perfect and neat all tied up in a few paragraphs on an about me page, doesn’t it? Allow me to pull back the curtain right away: the reality of my life is much messier. I think authentic is the best thing a person can be, so stick around if you want a daily dose of real, wild, messy, and beautiful.
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