Most of us know there are two main sides to our brains and that each side has a different main function. We may even consider ourselves more “left” or “right” brained as an individual. Some of that delves into general personality as well, but just like any muscle in the body that may need conditioning, your brain may also be in need of a good (and case specific) workout!
The extremely complex and truly not completely understood human brain is physically separated into two distinct hemispheres (sides). Of course the two sides work together, but they also have differing controls. If you consider yourself more “right” brained, you may be very artsy, creative, and a visionary. You may be able to step back and see the big picture in a way that is easy to comprehend. This side of the brain controls intuition and creative thought and helps to interpret language and emotions. If you consider yourself more of a “left” brained individual, you may be amazing at math, you may be quite analytical and tend to be logical and sequential. Planning and perfection are important to you. No matter which side of your brain seems to be dominant in your case, the real magic lies in working to enhance the opposite side! When the brain becomes more balanced, life in general becomes more balanced. You’ll be able to better relate to your coworkers and will understand and communicate better with your family. Your life will expand in ways you never thought possible, but you won’t know how great it feels until you try it. Think of what it looks like when your lights are on dim and you turn up the dimmer switch. This is the same feeling you’ll get when you start training your non-dominant side. And it really doesn’t take much to train it. Just a few minutes per day or whenever you think of it!
I have personally been working to balance my brain for the last 10 years or so. I was very much left brain dominant for most of my young life. After working on this for so long, I can honestly say that I am a totally different person. I feel in balance, level, well-rounded. If you tend toward left brain dominance like me, work on bringing in things like art, music, creative writing, visualization, yoga, meditation are key. Start performing your tasks illogically by breaking your regular pattern. Take a completely different route to work, get dressed with your eyes closed, try using your mouse on the opposite side. At first it may feel a bit outside your comfort zone…but remember, just outside that zone is where the miracles are! One of my favorite exercises is drawing with my left (non-dominant) hand. It only takes a few minutes but it challenges the right brain so much that your results are compounded.
If you tend toward right brain dominance, work to incorporate a crossword and a sudoku puzzle each day. You can also stimulate the left side of the brain using alternate nostril breathing (we talked about this in more detail in a previous article). Simply plug one side of your nose and take a few breaths and then plug the opposite side and take a few breaths. This is also great thing to do when you need to stay focused and think on your feet! These challenges will build your multi-tasking skills, and attention to detail, as well as bring about quick logical thinking.
Once you find yourself excellent at both Chess and art, you’ve done it! Your neuron building exercises have paid off. Scientific discoveries show that once you’ve trained your brain to be balanced equally, you are able to solve real world problems, plan a creative course of action, and stimulate positive attitudes at the same time. Just think of what our world would look like if we all had balanced brains!