You have probably heard of the right brain and left brain. Our left brain is the center of analytical and logical thinking while our right brain is where intuition and creativity hang out. Needless to say, our left brain gets plenty of airtime in this world that favors the scientific method and objective thinking.
But it’s really important that your right brain gets some love too. It’s directly connected to your soul so it needs to be allowed to have space and time to do its thing — which means you gotta get ol’ lefty out of the way. Let me tell you, this is much harder than you think. Left brain activities dominate our society, including most uses of media like email, texting, videogames, and TV.
Right brain activities either allow your inner knowing to surface or your creativity to flow. Activities like doing any form of art (painting, pottery, etc.), flowing movement (dance, yoga), creating things (knitting, scrapbooking, woodworking), reflecting (meditation, walking, etc.), and even playing (frisbee, basketball).
When your left brain is not actively engaged, trying to figure something out, the right brain can tap into your inner knowing, subconscious awareness, and the wisdom of the universe. That’s why it is SO IMPORTANT to build these kinds of activities into our lives. You actually will be smarter if you use your whole brain!
But people are so stressed and busy that these right-brain expressions are usually the first to go. The problem with that is that it’s not sustainable. The left brain was never designed to carry the load so when we overuse it, it gets tired — our thinking gets less logical, our view gets less objective. But what do we do then? We usually power some caffeine and push the left brain even more. This can work as a short-term strategy but should not be your go-to as a daily practice. The better response is to let it rest and let the right brain take over for awhile.
Give it a try this week and see what happens. When you are feeling tired or fuzzy, intentionally choose a right brain activity. Do something restful, creative, or playful. It doesn’t have to be complicated — even 15 minutes can be helpful but at least 30 is better. Try to build in some good right brain time into every day, even if you have to cluster them before and after work.
Right brain activities can be simple like closing your eyes and listening to music or doodling with colorful pens. I have the mandala app on my iPhone and it is the most wonderful thing! Or they can be more involved. Here are some of my favorites:
- Surfing or swimming
- Singing for fun
- Painting or drawing (I love just doing colorful shapes — no pressure to make it look like anything)
- Cuddling with my kitties
Several of these have become things I do with my friends, husband or daughter which adds the bonus of building community too.
Make a list of right brain activities that you enjoy and then make an effort to build them in to your day. I think you will be surprised how much more relaxed you feel and how much more effective your left brain will be too.