Infographic: How writing affects your brain

This infographic explains how writing helps your memory, how your brain reacts when it hears a story, why clichés are forgettable and more.

Did you know writing affects your brain in a way similar to meditation?

When you write, your breathing slows and you enter a “zone,” which allows your words to flow more freely, an infographic from says.

The infographic illustrates how writing affects the brain, and shares other interesting facts, like why stories are so memorable and clichés are not. Here are a few takeaways:

1. Writing helps your memory. When you write with pen and paper, you stimulate your brain’s reticular activating system (RAS). This system filters all of the information your brain needs to process, and tells your brain to pay more attention to your writing.

2. Listening to a story is as powerful as experiencing it. PowerPoint presentations with bulleted slides only engage your brain’s language-processing areas. Stories engage other parts of the brain associated with experiencing the story’s events. For example, if you’re listening to a story about running, your motor cortex will engage. If the story describes someone’s leathery hands, your sensory areas will activate. Your brain reacts as if you are living the story, not just listening to it.

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3. Clichés bore your brain. At one time clichés may have caused our brains to react as described in No. 2, but due to overuse, the brain now only registers clichés as words. When we hear a cliché, other areas of the brain, like the motor cortex or sensory areas, do not engage.

Take a look at the infographic for more:

(View a larger image.)

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