THREE TOOLS TO RE-ENGAGE THE RIGHT BRAIN AND EXPERIENCE LESS STRESS + MORE BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE
Embody your Body
SKILL: When we feel emotions, they are inseparable from the physiological changes that occur in the body (i.e., a “broken heart” or a “gut feeling”). When we ignore our intuitive feelings and emotions, we lose our sense of self. Tuning your mind to consider the signals you receive from the right-hand side of your brain can help you to ground your experiences with the world. The result is you feel less stressed and more relaxed. Simply put, connecting with our bodies and their genuine emotions is how we know we are alive!
SCIENCE: The left-hand side of your brain takes in information through words, facts, and logic. It’s where we tend to focus most of our attention day-to-day. Your right brain, or right hemisphere of your brain, on the other hand, absorb information through feelings, visualization, and intuition. It has a direct connection to our body or “embodied self.” Unfortunately, it often gets less attention than your left brain and can end up feeling a little neglected!
SKILL: Sometimes, we become too focused on what’s happening right in front of us. Perhaps we are stressed by a situation at home or work, or there are niggling problems or health issues plaguing our attention. It’s easy to get stuck, and when we get stuck in our immediate thoughts, we lose sight of the bigger picture and miss the signals that could help us with our troubles.
Insights (“aha moments”) occur when we relax our focus and become receptive to seeing the whole – the “larger vista.” This is akin to a camera lens zooming out to take in the whole picture.
SCIENCE: Insights associated with activating the right hemisphere of the brain (the right anterior superior temporal gyrus) happen when we don’t directly focus on them (a left-hemisphere attribute). So, if we switch off and relax, it’s surprising what “aha moments” can occur!
More than Words
SKILL: There is deep wisdom available to us by means other than language. When we’re too quick to apply words, we start to reduce and deconstruct. Or, as Nietzsche put it – to “make the uncommon common.” To be clear, we are not advocating an abandonment of language and reason. Instead, we also need to practice accessing our innate creative knowledge! Therefore art, music, and movement – all forms of artistic expression – are incredibly important. They are not just an extravagant luxury; they are imperative to us as humans.
SCIENCE: The right prefrontal cortex profoundly connects to the limbic areas of the brain, which are visual, sensory, and emotional. Creative expression targets the right hemisphere and allows us to escape the left hemisphere-dominated language areas of the brain. However, there are creative elements associated with both the left and right hemisphere – poetry, with its use of metaphor and non-literal language, is one example!