According to wellness expert Peggy Hall, to keep our brains healthy and active, we must do things in a way we normally don’t. She suggests occasionally using the non-dominant hand for everyday tasks. Learning something new or doing something routine in a different way stimulates the brain and creates new neural pathways, improves coordination and mental focus, increases learning and memory, and wakes up all the senses.
Today, I decided to be left handed, instead of right handed. To remind myself not to use my right hand, I wore a bright blue band on that wrist. Tasks that I normally don’t think much about, like brushing my teeth and applying make up, required extra concentration today. I found that if I consciously allowed my left hand to lead the way, I could flow with it and accomplished what I needed to. Except for writing. After one attempt, I decided to save writing in my journal for tomorrow. Since I use two hands to type, that was not a problem. Texting, however, I do with my right hand only. Switching to my left slowed me down but I managed. I also struggled with opening doors for clients today, as the keys just didn’t feel “right” in my left hand!
Several family members are left handed and I have a new appreciation for them. Our world is oriented for righties, not lefties! I asked my sister, Debbie, what challenged her most growing up left handed and what was the most fun. Challenges included writing in a spiral notebook and on a chalkboard. However, she liked the uniqueness and creativity that came with being left handed, and the surprise tactic of shooting with her left hand in basketball.
I’m relieved to go back to being right handed, although I can imagine all the new pathways that formed in my brain today! The additional benefit with switching hands was that I slowed down, raised my awareness of each moment, and focused more on each task before me. I had a lovely day.