Cross-training Your Brain

I, Ron White, am skilled at training the brain and helping people find different techniques to maximize memory. I would like to offer some assistance in getting you to cross-train your brain to use more of it.

Are you dominant on the left side of your brain or the right? You may think you know, since left-brain thinkers are more creative while those right-brain thinkers are more analytical, but it is not always clear-cut. In fact, most people are a combination of both, and I would like to help you get the “neglected” side to work for you as well.

What is clear, however, is that the dominant side of your brain has a big influence on how you process information as well as how you socialize.

According to Dr. Carolyn Hopper, the Learning Strategies Coordinator at Middle Tennessee State University and author of Practicing College Learning Strategies, “a breakdown of right- and left-brain functions can even help students capitalize on their learning styles,” as well as help adults in their work and everyday lives.

Just as you exercise your body to keep fit by working different areas at different times, you do the same for your brain muscles. Brain exercises keep you mentally sharp, improves your stamina, and expands your memory.

Begin by sorting out which hemisphere of your brain you normally use, and what you want to sharpen.

Left Brainers: Linear Thinkers

  • Process information linearly – step by step
  • Love details – but often forget the punch lines of a joke
  • Outline tasks before you begin them – love making lists
  • Are more logical – taking things in sections before looking at the whole picture
  • Want to know HOW to do something to get to the end result
  • Often focus on one task before starting another one
  • Work well with symbols – math, technical things, formulas and languages
  • Better at remembering names and dates – loves Sodoku puzzles
  • Better at expressing themselves verbally and in writing

Right Brainers: Holistic Thinkers

  • See the big picture first – considering the finer points later, if at all
  • Impatient with details – Are not one for details first
  • Want to know WHY they are doing something before they begin
  • Impulsive – fly by the seat of their pants and make last minute decisions
  • Natural multi-taskers
  • Visual learners – remember faces over names, more apt to be artistic or creative
  • Rely more on emotions and intuition than facts
  • Better at expressing themselves visually – remember better if they take notes or from visualization

Very few people are totally left or right brained. Think of it this way – a person with total left-brain qualities would be more of a robot, paying attention to details and going about things totally logically. A totally right-brained person would be completely impulsive and ignoring details. They would use their emotions and senses to make any decision, not basing anything on logic or following any procedures. Wow – imagine the chaos in a world dominated by either of these extremes!

Most of us utilize both sides of our brains at one time or another, but do have a dominant side they rely on more. You could be great at languages, but keep a messy house – or love to paint and sculpt, but also enjoy sitting down to a Sodoku puzzle.

Interestingly, writing involves both left- and right-brain functions. While spelling and grammar fall under the jurisdiction of the left-brain, the right side is responsible for coherence and meaning—getting the writing to make sense.

Cross-training your brain requires stepping outside of your comfort zone and working at strengthening the less dominant side of your brain. You can create some type of mental exercises that will allow you to open up your weaker side and expand your brainpower.

Begin by searching for activities that you will enjoy. Look at this regime as more of a game than exercise (most of us hate that word). Start with something simple and work your way up, building your brain muscles to enhance your mental stamina and efficiency.

For people who do a lot of mental work (doctors, accountants, researchers) you may want to work on becoming more spontaneous and play down mental games. Do something physical instead of mental, or take up art, sculpting or music. People who tend to look at the overall picture first should try working on something that required more detail – like a puzzle or game with strategy.

You should work both sides of your brain and your mental exercise program should work both the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere.

These exercises will improve your memory, help you in your study skills at school, and enhance your mental state in your work life. You will be better able to remember the small details that often slip by, see the world in a more balanced light, and improve your memory in even the small things – like what you were supposed to get at the store, or your son’s soccer game.

There’s never a negative to improving your brain!

Resources:

Release Your Mighty Memory: http://www.mightymemory.com

Lifescript – Healthy Living for Women – Right Vs. Left Brain: Which Rules You? http://www.lifescript.com/Soul/Self/Growth/Right_Vs_Left_Brain_Which_Rules_You.aspx?gclid=CPT5-4PLmagCFZQbKgod6xzB5g&trans=1&du=1&ef_id=nCRNpaNlWh8AAIPE:20110413132141:s

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