5 ways to train your right-brain
Daniel Pink wrote in his book A Whole New Mind about the rise of the right-brainers. Originally the left-brainers were needed in companies. People who could easily understand spreadsheets, think in words and are good in mathematics and so on. Many MBA’s and leadership programs are based on left-brain skills. However, these left-brain skills become more and more redundant as they can easily be automated or outsourced in today’s world. Instead, people with imagination, intuition, visualization and empathy are becoming more crucial players within companies. So, time to start to reactivate your right brain. Here are five tips.
You most probably daydream some now and then, but feel immediately guilty, unproductive and irresponsible. However, if you aim for positive constructive daydreaming you give your focused attention a break and allow yourself to realize things about the future. Next to that, daydreaming has the potential to improve your creativity: a right-brain activity. It is not a total downtime. If you do something low-key, on your automatic pilot, you will be able to start wandering.
Don’t let you stop by your limiting beliefs. Everybody can draw. We attend to say that we cannot draw because we are too much led by our left brain. If I draw something it has to look in a way I can put a label on it, it should be something ‘real’. Betty Edwards developed in the late 60s a method called drawing on the right side of the brain. One of the exercises which help you to draw from your right brain starts with crunching up a piece of paper. When done, you start to look at the crunched-up paper and starts to follow the lines of it and draw it, without looking at your pencil. You will only focus on the lines of the crunched paper, follow those and draw it. The outcome most probably won’t look like the crunched-up paper, but this is all about the process of using your right brain.
There is a specific psychological study of laughter, called gelotology. Research in this area showed that during laughing both the left-side and the right-side of our brain are in action. Or left-side will help us to analyze the words and structure of the joke. Our right-brain carries out the intellectual analysis so you will be able to “get” the joke. In his book ‘The left brain speaks, the right brain laughs’ Stephens confirms this as well. You can laugh more by adding it to your daily routine. For example, buy a calendar with jokes, so you start your day with laughter. Another method is to smile more often. Even though smiling is not laughing, you can use it as a warming up for laughing. Reading a funny book, watching a funny TV-program or following funny people online will help you as well to laugh more often and train your right-brain.
We’ve discussed already the importance of play in our article about playful learning. When we are young play if just common sense, but becomes less of importance as we’re getting older. If you don’t like games, you are still able to play. Think about playing at a piano or guitar. Or think about playful learning where gaming elements are used.
5. Start to look differently
Seeing the surrounding space instead of the item is an important way to train your right-brain. In the exercise ‘Connect the dots’ you have to identify something on the left side of your field of vision and something on the right side. Now start to move your eyes back and forth between the two. This will help you to integrate both sides of the brain.
Now you have five tips on how to reactivate and train your right brain. These activities will help you to become ready for the conceptual age where there is more focus on our right-brain. Which activities are you already doing? Which not? How well is your right-brain established?