Some mindful reading this week

For me, typing is thinking.

Things have been hectic since the Thanksgiving weekend. It's been a busy week at work and all chaos and surprises at FIFA 2022 world cup.

Like I always say, busy is good and I did managed to squeeze in some time watching Slow Horses on AppleTV+. The spy series based on the "Slough House" novel series by Mick Herron. The show is based in London, but they do manage to show some beautiful locations in England and some great acting.

Well in all this chaos, I did end up reading a couple insightful articles.

Breathing is involuntary and its the one thing that keeps us functioning. This article by Greg Miller about How you breath affects your brain takes you on an amazing journey on understanding how breathing influences a wide range of behaviors, emotions and how breathing right have several benefits.

It’s a behavior so automatic that we tend to take it for granted. But breathing is a physiological marvel — both extremely reliable and incredibly flexible. Our breathing rate can change almost instantaneously in response to stress or arousal and even before an increase in physical activity. And breathing is so seamlessly coordinated with other behaviors like eating, talking, laughing and sighing that you may have never even noticed how your breathing changes to accommodate them. Breathing can also influence your state of mind, as evidenced by the controlled breathing practices of yoga and other ancient meditative traditions.

If you are struggling to remember things short or long term this article by Corissa E Haury about Why writing by hand is still the best way to retain information is a great insight into doing some changes the way you work that will help you in the long term.

Writing notes by hand would have given me several different tangible resources that could help me find the critical missing information: a stronger memory of the meeting I was in, the gaps in the details of the discussion that occurred, and the notes themselves that would help me trigger a stronger recall of the events just by reviewing them on paper. Detailed typed notes would not help my recall and retention of the information in the meetings in the same way that notes written by hand would, though they would have been helpful.

I have friends and colleagues who till date write in a notebook in meetings and then would type them out and send an email on what was discussed.

When a young human is learning to read, they must first learn to recognize the different shapes called “letters” that belong to their native alphabet. A letter means nothing to a person who does not know what sound or function that letter is supposed to represent in language. So as human beings, before we learn what a word is, we first must learn that the graphical representation of a letter means something. We must also learn the differences between individual letters as well as variations in the shapes, sizes, and styles of those letters.

About typing:

We know that typing does not engage the brain with the same level of cognitive interaction as handwriting for various reasons. This has been a hot topic in the early education sphere around the world for over a decade as typed notes and digital notepads become more and more popular in classrooms. In fact, replacing handwriting with typing notes could be detrimental to early literacy skills because it lacks the creativity necessary for strong reading comprehension and faster note-taking.

I think yes in the early years replacing writing with typing may not be a good idea. However, today I don't write notes but more often type them.  I find myself slow and at times fumbling if I have to write. Typing is thinking. The more I type, the more it makes me think and I see myself going back to sections of documents making changes or adding/removing things.

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Jamie Larson