Healthy topics and ideas from Ruddy Adam in a new guest blog!
Why We Should Stimulate Our Right-Brain as Much as Possible
Although the Lord initially designed us to be more right-brained than left-brained, because we live in a world that demands a large majority of left-brained thinking, most people have become not just left-brain dominant — but extremely left-brain dominant. This is not good for our thinking, our mental outlook, or our health.
We therefore need right-brain activators, such as the proper music (almost all music except out-of-tone Country, Rap, or heavy bass), mentally relaxing activities (socialization and casual conversation, to name two), positive visualization, positive meditation, positive thinking, positive verbal externalization (saying good, positive things to other people), occasional impulsive acts, habitual lifestyle variance, and drawing on our brains to come up with new ideas and new things to do, to eat, to entertain us, to talk about, to write about, to laugh about.
The above things not only stimulate the right-brain — they are good for the whole-brain.
Laughter is especially good for the whole-brain, and watching others laugh is exceptionally good for the right-brain. So being able to tell a funny story that makes others laugh is one of the best things we can do for our brains, both the listener’s and the teller’s. Being around someone who laughs and can make others laugh is exceptionally good for stimulating the right-brain.
A constantly Serious Sam or Sally is not good for your brain. Someone who drowns you with details, especially irrelevant, useless, or trivial ones, is not good for your brain. Avoid such apes! Anything not good for your brain is not good for your overall health.
Very succinctly: The left-brain is the side of reason, order, planning, details, intensity, and seriousness. The right-brain is the side of ideas, imagination, impulsivity (actions that have no planning or forethought), generalities, relaxation, and fun.
How the left-brain and right-brain work: Though they are indeed two separate brains, they work together as a team, yet one is normally dominant, just as your right-hand or left-hand is.
However, just as some people use their left-hand as well as their right (ambidextrous), some people use their left-brain as well as their right (ambinous or both-brainer). And just as ambidextrous people are rare, so are ambinous people.
Although some people are definitely born both-brained, nowadays it’s difficult to stay a both-brainer, because our society puts so much demand on using the left-brain. This is the central reason we need to draw on our right-brains as much as we can.
Because we live in such a left-brain dominant world, we must purposely take the time to stimulate our right-brains — to keep them from getting rusty, because a rusty right-brain is bad for our whole brain in general, our mood and memory specifically, and our overall health.
The less we use our right-brain, the more difficult it is to activate it. The more we use our left-brain, the more dominant that side becomes.
Think of tying your right arm behind your back for a few months (as many people have done for years with their brains). When you untie it you’re not going to be able to use it — at all. It will take weeks to get it functional again, and months of work to get it back to normal.
Similarly with our brains, let one side become extremely dominant, and the other is going to become much less able to work, much more passive. That is the case in our left-brain dominant world. The vast majority of people are left-brained, and no telling how many millions are stuck on the left-side with little ability to use their right-brain for anything other than normal functions, such as walking, going through doorways, driving, etc.
Try to remember the last time you yourself came up with a new idea for your life, for your business, for your evenings at home, for your entertainment, for a meal, for a place to go, for a compliment to give to other people, for new and different music to listen to, for the way you comb your hair, any of which would have to come from the right-brain.
Indeed, fresh ideas come primarily from the right-brain.
Most people over forty haven’t had a new idea for the above things in many, many years; they have to copy what others do, say, and think, because they are not capable of calling on their right-brain to come up with new ideas. And at that point, their brain begins reducing its choices in life (mental reductionism), by saying and thinking things like this: “I like this and only this.” “I don’t want to try anything new. I don’t like new things. I don’t want to change. I don’t like change. I already know what I like.”
As we’ve already learned in prior studies on the brain, mental reductionism is a symptom of an unhealthy brain, and results in an unhealthy body. Good mental traits are to recognize that we’ve all reduced our choices in certain things, think how to expand our choices, then work to do so.
People with very passive, inactive right-brains accept propaganda very easily, because they have to parasite off of other people’s ideas, and if those ideas happen to be lies and distortions of the truth, they tend to accept them anyway. There is little mental discernment without an active right-brain. These are two more reasons we need to stimulate our right-brains.
Let us recall: The brain loves variety, and it hates staid, static routines — in most cases.
To clarify, the brain likes a moderate amount of order when we rise from a night’s sleep. Then as the day goes by it likes that order to dissipate. About six-hours after rising, the brain likes some spontaneity, and as the day eases into evening it definitely likes regular variance: a variety of meals, of music, of colors, of traveling routes, of routines, of entertainment, of thinking, of conversation topics, of types of socialization, of friends, etc.
Doing absolutely nothing, just sitting and being bored actually stimulates the right-brain — and gives the whole-brain a valuable rest. Our brain is no different from our body; it needs rest, breaks, respites throughout the day, just as your body does.
Pointless, rambling thinking stimulates the right-brain.
When you have no specific purpose to your thinking, and merely ramble around different thoughts, it has a dynamic effect on the right-brain — stimulating new ideas to come popping out. Try it. Just sit or lie and force your mind to ramble aimlessly about different things. Unless you’re stuck on the left side of the brain, you’ll see new ideas begin to pop into your mind. If you are stuck on the left, as we say, it may take a while, and can take a few tries to get the idea-tunnel cleaned out and flowing.
A fun and easy way to draw on the right-brain is something that you can do by yourself or with your family. Think of the character, the looks, and/or personality of family members and/or friends, and then come up with nicknames for them that fit one or all of those characteristics.
If you do it with your family or just your mate, write down a few nicknames for various family members and compare them. You can do the same with famous people, politicians, actors, athletes. This is really a good test to see how well your right-brain is functioning. The more difficult it is for you to come up with names, the more left-brained dominant you are.
Definitely a fun and informative activator for the right-brain.
A well-stimulated right-brain tends to make for a healthy and happy brain, and that greatly increases the chances for a healthy and happy person. Happy, positive people tend to live on average 7-years longer than unhappy, negative people.
The Working Actions of the Left- and Right-Brain
The right-brain feeds ideas to the left-brain through the transfer stem (corpus callosum) that connects the left- and right-brains; the left-brain organizes those ideas and thoughts, and then puts them into action. The right-brain can potentially feed the left numerous ideas at once.
On the other hand, to get an idea or thought the left-brain must go through the transfer stem and pull out an idea from the right-brain and then go back through the transfer stem again, organize itself, and then put that idea out audibly (or in writing, as the case may be).
In other words, left-brainers have to make two extra steps to pull up an idea and then get it out. And unless they are exceptionally smart can only pull up one at the time, and if they are exceptionally smart, they may be able to pull up two — at most. Very few humans are exceptionally smart, however. So most left-brainers are stuck with grabbing one idea at the time.
No matter how smart they are, right-brainers can still shoot numerous ideas directly to the left. What an advantage!! This is why very dominant left-brainers are so detail oriented, and can’t tell you what time it is without first going through a litany of details that often have nothing to do with the time, if I may exaggerate to make a point. And it is why right-brainers can give you the overall picture very quickly — and move on to something else.
You’re not nearly as likely to contemplate committing suicide talking to a right-brainer, as you may be with a left-brainer, if I may exaggerate to make another point.
After grabbing an idea from the right-brain, the left-brainer will then put that one, single idea out in a detailed manner.
For instance, after asking a very dominant left-brainer who is, for the most part, stuck on the left-side, how their day was going, you might hear something like this: “Well, after getting out of bed and stretching, I then brushed my teeth (as they do everyday). I then went to make some tea (as they do every morning). After boiling the tea for exactly three-minutes, I then poured it into a cup, put in some cream and lemon, sat in my usual seat, and took a sip (just as they do every morning). I saw a fly across the room, so I raised myself from my chair and ran across the room to swat it — but I missed the little devil by a hair. Next I…., etc., etc., etc.” Help!! Please!!
You get the point. Left-brainers can bore you into a deep state of depression telling you what are generally the same actions they do every, single day — the details of which no one wants to know. All the while they’re droning on — you see the wallpaper begin to peel off and the wallpaint begin to shed tears, as they keep reeling off one boring, useless detail after the other.
Right-brainers will say after asking them how their day has been, quite simply and succinctly, “I had a nice day. It was a beautiful day.” Wow! Again, what an advantage!! And on top of that, no one has thought about suicide while listening to a litany of tedious details.
You can see the advantage the right-brainer has with friends, family, and all sorts of acquaintances who are far more likely to enjoy their company than they are someone stuck on the left side of the brain.
We’ve heard it all our lives, and it’s true. Too much work makes Jack and Jill dull people. Well, it’s the same with the left-brain: Too much of a dominant left-brain causes Jack and Jill to be dull, boring people. It also causes depression and other illnesses. More reasons why we need to stimulate our right-brains as much as possible.
On top of that, right-brainers tell better stories, supplying details only when required, and exaggerations where they might make the story they’re telling sound better or where some exaggeration might make a point funnier.
Left-brainers, on the other hand, rarely if ever exaggerate, and often don’t understand exaggerating to make a point or to make a story funnier and more interesting. After hearing someone exaggerate to make a story funnier and everyone else is laughing, a left-brainer might say — with all seriousness, complete with furrowed brow and worried demeanor: “Did that really happen? Could that really be?” Brutal!!
When we force the right-brain to activate, the left gets a badly needed break. Even when we are awake and working, the brain needs turning off for a few minutes every so often. This allows us to focus better, and helps us prioritize more efficiently — something an overworked, dominant left-brain has a difficult time doing.
I often see very dominant left-brainers down in the cracks and creases of life, working their little detail-oriented selves over things that don’t matter one hoot — working, working, working until they are walking gourds. They can’t stop for a second until they’re finished and some left-brainers never finish. There’s always a piece of lint to put in the correct place, always another thread to stack up, another project that must be done.
These reasons and others show us how important it is for the health of our brains and our bodies to stimulate the right-brain as much as possible. It is therefore greatly beneficial to us all to put forth a concentrated effort to do and think about things that will activate the right-brain as often as possible.
For Our Health: Ruddy Adam