Are You Right or Left Brain Dominant?
Ah - the human brain. It’s kind of a mystery. But it’s in charge of everything you say, do, and feel. All your thoughts happen here. All those inner dilemmas occur within the brain. It’s pretty wild when you think about it.
The brain itself weighs an average of 3 pounds - that’s 3 pounds of neurons and over 100 trillion connections.
And here’s a mind twist: the brain also named itself. Strange, huh?
Within the brain exists two hemispheres. Each of these halves is in control of set activities and functions. Despite this, these two halves function together. Without the other or if there was to be some sort of cut down the middle, you’d have obvious impairments. In fact, scientists and researchers have studied some of these conditions at length - which likely gives way to what we do know about the brain.
So, what’s up with the two hemispheres? Can you be right or left brain dominant?
The Two Hemispheres
If we break it down simply, right-brain dominant individuals are creative. They are imaginative. They tend toward holistic thinking, arts, and rhythm. They are good with non-verbal cues. And they use their intuition.
Left-brain dominant individuals tend to lean toward logic. They thrive with rational thought and organization, such as sequencing, linear thinking, mathematics, and facts. These kind of people are more analytical in nature.
But here’s where it gets confusing. The left brain actually controls the right brain. And they are intricately connected to one another. The left side of the brain even controls the right side of the body and vice versa.
And interestingly, you don’t usually use one side of your brain at one time. They work together. For instance, the left brain might handle difficult mathematical equations, but the right brain is able to come up with possible outcomes or estimates, as well as compare the outcome.
So, Does it Matter Whether You’re Left or Right Brain Dominant?
Not really. It’s neat to know how the brain works and functions. But just because you think you’re more right brain dominant, doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of highly logical thought.
In fact, the brain is constantly changing and adapting. It all depends on the thought processes and learning you put yourself and your brain through. And you should constantly be challenging it. It’s how you remain sharp, thwart dementia, and age well.
Keeping Your Brain Sharp: How-To
Exercising your brain is critical to keep your body and mind sharp well into your later years. It’s all part of proper mental health care. Like your body, you need to exercise your mind.
So, how can you do that?
1. Read or write every day.
And saying you “don’t like reading or writing” isn’t a good excuse. There are tons of topics to read or write about. Choose something that interests you. Read up on it! Or write down your thoughts - do a brain dump. It’s mentally cleansing and gets your brain thinking.
2. Keep on learning!
Just because you’ve graduated school doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Learn a new skill. Again, read up on something that interests you. Take a pottery or other class. Challenge yourself to learn a new language. Learning creates new neural connections and solidifies them. It makes your brain work and keeps it in tip-top shape.
3. Try out puzzles.
Go for crosswords or sudoku - something that requires a bit of problem-solving.
4. Participate in memory games.
Testing your memory is one of the best things you can do for your brain. It keeps those neural connections strong and sharp!
5. Use your senses - all of them.
Keep that sensory input coming. Also - the more sense you utilize when learning something, the more likely you’ll be able to remember it. A study proved this via memory and the sense of smell.
6. Repeat things to remember them.
Just met a new person? When you say hi, repeat their name. It’ll stick better.
And on top of all these mind games and tricks, you can do more.
Exercise is critical for overall health. Get those 150 minutes in each week! Being a non-smoker is associated with good health, as well as good mental resilience. Socializing is of the utmost importance when it comes to mental health care. It contributes to self-esteem. It gives us purpose and allows us to make meaningful connections.
Lastly, believe in yourself. This one is interesting! When middle-aged and older individuals were exposed to negative stereotypes, they performed less well on mental tasks. Yet, they were better at mental and memory tasks with positive reinforcement. Don’t let anyone fool you. You’re great - just as you are. And you can do anything you believe you can.
Bottom Line: Keep Exercising Your Brain - It Matters!
Plus, it can absolutely deflect the hum-drum feeling that life can sway toward sometimes. Learning something new can light that fire underneath you again, as well as ensure your brain is keeping up.
So, whether your left or right brain dominant, it might not really matter. What matters more is staying sharp and resilient as you age. Don’t become boxed in because you might think you’re more right brain dominant over the left. The sky is the limit. Go after what you want. And most importantly, enjoy this life. You only get one!
Related Article: How Somatic Gratitude Connects the Body to the Mind