This blog entry might seem “out there,” but I would like to explore the effects of achieving balance in the way you use your body (balance of using the right and left side of the brain) in achieving emotional balance. What prompted this topic was my hurting my left wrist the other day. I am right-handed, so I did not expect hurting my left wrist to affect anything other than typing. I was shocked to realize how much I have grown to use my left hand for all sorts of things that you would expect a right-handed person to do with her right hand! That got me thinking about how much more balanced my use of my hands has become in recent years, and I wonder how that ties into the emotional balance that I have been achieving (albeit inconsistently) over the last year or so.
When I did a search through Google on the topic, most of the hits were related to yoga, which did not surprise me. Yoga is all about balance – you do an asana (position) on one side and then the same asana for the other side. I also found a website about balanced breathing, which my yogi told me about a few years ago. If you want to perk yourself up in the mornings, do deep breathing through your right nostril only. If you want to calm yourself down, breathe only through your left nostril. Try it – it really works! Of course, “normal” breathing uses both, which achieves balance.
Being from the Western culture, I was hoping to find a more scientific explanation for my theory, and I found it here. As we all know, the left side of the brain controls the right hand and vice versa, so, according to this article, people who mostly use the left side of their brain are exercising the more logical, rational, analytical, and objective parts of their brain. They are also more likely to view the parts, which is definitely me – I am very detail-oriented.
Check out the characteristics of the right-brain, though (using your left side): intuitive, holistic synthesizing, and looks at the wholes. Those are three characteristics that I was not strong in when I began my healing journey but that I have greatly developed over the last seven years. Is it a coincidence that I have apparently been using my left hand much more than I realized? I don’t think so.
I found an interesting article about the right- and left-brain on About.com. This article verifies what the other said and talks about how someone who is right-handed can still have a right-brain dominance:
So if I’m Left-Handed, Does This Mean My Right Brain is Dominant?
No, hand dominance is not directly related to brain dominance. And, remember, just like you don’t do everything with only the one hand, so your brain doesn’t do everything with one side, although there is generally a preference. However, a significant number of artists have been and are left-handed, more than would be suggested by the one-in-ten occurrence of left-handedness in the population. While those who are left handed do exhibit a greater propensity for right-brain dominance, being right handed does not preclude your right brain from dominating. ~ About.com
That article also included a fun quiz to determine how balanced your right- and left-brain are, which you can take here. The quiz is intended for painters (which I am not), but you can still apply it to your own life. Here was my result:
Your score is 55%. Your right and left brain work together equally.
Interesting! I am certain this would not have been the case a few years ago.
Photo credit: Hekatekris