One of the downsides of life in western society is the constant drive that seems to be required for us all to get ahead. So often our creative sides are not allowed to emerge because the need for logical and structural thinking dominates the workplace and everyday life in general. In the race to reach our goals, achieve our dreams – or even just keep up with ‘The Jones’ – busyness and left brain thinking can take over.
Most people know that the left side of the brain is the thinking side. It’s the half of us that analyses situations and takes logical actions to solve problems. But an imbalance happens when we spend too much time inhabiting the left sides of our brains and not enough time engaging with the right side. The right is the part of us that loves music, art and nature but is often squashed by our day to day needs to be rational and grown up!
Combining the two for greater harmony
People are usually either very creative and right brain dominant or very logical and left brain dominant but the key to living harmoniously is using both sides of the brain. By doing this you can connect with everyday life in a different way and make decisions that reflect your dual nature. On retreat we often call it living like a ‘human being’ instead of a’ human doing’. So, here are a few ways we’ve discussed with guests on our Bali retreat to help them blend their left and right brain for a more holistic way of living.
Play the opposites game
Next time you’re faced with a decision try taking a mindful pause and considering what would happen if you were to do the complete opposite of what you’d normally do. Fashion designers are well known for doing this when they reverse patterns or create new looks by doing the unexpected. I’m not saying you have to follow through with the opposite action but by considering it, you’ll be opening your mind to new ideas and giving yourself a chance to access a whole new side of yourself. It could even be something as simple as changing the colour coordination you choose to wear.
Turn ordinary moments into extraordinary experiences
If you’re the type to follow a strict routine then this one is perfect for you. Next time you’re going about a task or errand that you’ve done many times before, take a moment to step backwards and consciously take a look at the situation. Assess the moment and search for something extraordinary that you’ve never noticed before. Whether it’s the way the colour of the leaves in the trees have changed without you noticing, or the simple growth of your child’s hair. Taking a moment to notice the extraordinary in an ordinary situation will not only open up the right side of your brain, but likely flood you with gratitude for everything you have accomplished and never noticed before.
Storytelling and perspective shifting
One way to connect to your right brain is to access the tool of narrative storytelling – so next time you’re explaining something logical or systematic to someone in your life try using an analogy instead of direct instruction. When I say analogy I mean using a metaphor or something memorable to deliver your message. One simple example that comes to mind is using the analogy of the way bees are attracted to honey. This is a good one to use when you’re in the midst of a tense work moment or a teaching situation with misbehaving children. The saying goes; “Remember, you’ll catch more bees with honey than you ever will with vinegar.” This analogy is a simple way to communicate your point without a lengthy explanation. Thinking up new analogies will not only make your communication more fun – it’ll connect you to a new perspective in every situation.
Passionate curiosity – The key to holistic thinking
Passionate curiosity was a phrase coined by Albert Einstein. “Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life” His incredible brain was finely tuned to combine both logic and rationality with creative thinking to come up with literally world-changing theories so I thought he’d be worth a mention!
When you choose to become passionately curious, you start thinking in terms of what might be possible. You develop a fresh lens and look beyond your own way of thinking coming up with new ideas and being open to getting inspiration from others.
If you’re looking to live a life that’s less stressful and more creative and happy the above tricks and tips could be a good way to shift your brain from left to right and back again. After all, isn’t life sort of like a giant puzzle just waiting for us to find the right pieces to fill in the gaps?
Escape Haven Bali Retreat, supporting women on year making wellness experiences.
We invite you to come and experience for yourself our award winning Bali retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and shrug off all the roles that you wear and all the balls you juggle in your busy life, we’d love to pamper you. From transformational yoga and meditation classes, to exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness in our tropical gardens to restorative healing and pampering sessions, how much or little you do is all up to you.