How to train the right side of the brain

Written by ashley mackenzie
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How to train the right side of the brain
Colour or draw to get in touch with the right hemisphere of your brain. (Explore creativity image by Ivonne Wierink from

While the left hemisphere of your brain governs logical, sequential tasks, the right hemisphere is creative and emotional. Everyone uses both sides of the brain, but many people tend to use one side more often than the other, out of habit. Even if your left brain is dominant, you can train your right brain to start using it more. This will help you make decisions more intuitively and enhance your imagination.

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    Tell stories and have conversations with people. These may seem like common tasks, but they work the right side of your brain by tapping into emotion and empathy. As Daniel Pink, author of "A Whole New Mind," explains in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, humans don't relate to one another using graphs and charts; they engage in conversation and relate to each other. Writing a story with emotional impact also trains the right side of the brain.

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    Listen to music. The right brain will get a healthy workout processing the melodies and rhythms -- and it's even better if you feel something for the music. Connect to it emotionally and creatively by picturing images or a story related to the music. For instance, education professor Diane Connell at Scholastic website for teachers recommends listening to the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey" and imagining the astronauts and space.

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    Write with your left hand. According to life coach Martha Beck at O, The Oprah Magazine, the creative population has more left-handed people than average, because writing with your left hand fires your right brain. Write a question with your right hand and answer it with your left, without worrying about what you're going to write or the quality of your handwriting.

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    Make art. Don't let your logical left brain force you to draw perfect, photograph-quality images. Instead, set your creativity loose to draw fun pictures, even if they don't make sense. Alternatively, bust out the crayons to fill in a colouring book. If you have a website or blog, play around with its design, just for fun.

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    Write upside-down and backwards. Beck states that this perks up your right brain, which fires when you do something differently than usual.

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    Draw pictures and employ other visuals throughout the day. According to Connell, the right brain prefers visuals over auditory clues and is skilled at visual spatial tasks.

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    Walk in unusual ways around your house. For instance, walk backwards while swinging each arm with its nearest leg, instead of alternating. Try it with your eyes closed, Beck recommends. Anything that feels strange and challenging utilises your right brain.

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    Let yourself laugh. Pink describes laughing clubs where people gather to laugh for no reason -- even when their left brains tell them they're not being sensical. Laughing in the face of your left brain's logic is a daring way to train your right brain.

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