You’re chaperoning your son’s 5th grade class field trip. The NASA exhibit in front of you is capturing your attention and your thoughts start to run wild. While your left brain analyzes the trivia about astronauts landing on the moon, your right brain is putting together the crinkly sounds you hear when you touch the silver space suit on display.
Suddenly, you’re catapulted back in a dark movie theater. It’s 1986, and you’re watching “Space Camp”. Your memories come flooding back: you smell Aqua Net in the air, you feel the giant shoulder pads across your shoulders, and you are CERTAIN there will be a message on your answering machine from Joaquin Phoenix waiting for you at home.
Thank you, Right Brain!
Our brains are complicated and deeply integrated systems. When we allow for fluid cross-communication between both hemispheres, it's like they are Wonder Twins, fist pumping their way to better insight. Our decision-making abilities become enhanced and our emotions become clearer. Our memories can work for us to help plan better futures.
(Though I’ve moved on, Joaquin. Thanks anyways.)
After practicing as a family medicine physician for 15 years in a conventional setting my left brain had plenty of opportunities to be used daily, however my right brain suffered. Even though I understood the importance of work-life balance and having hobbies I still felt unhappy and disempowered and as if the art and humanity disappeared from my career.
I knew I needed to do something, so I began walking outside on my lunch breaks. Walking turned into running, which allowed for integration of both hemispheres of my brain. To my delight, I noticed my cognitive flexibility expanding.
Running burst open the doors for me to learn how to look inward and give myself permission to incorporate creative things that I once loved in my life. My logical left brain got a daily “timeout” so my creative right brain could explore and expand.
What happens when you tap into creativity?
When you exercise your Right Brain, you will
Recognize a deeper self
Feel unwavering resiliency
Infuse your work with more delight and joy
Boost learning in new ways
Speak with compelling fascination
Gain cognitive flexibility
Be open to trying new things
Trust your inner voice
Be more productive
You don’t have to be a runner to be creative. You certainly don’t have to be Mozart or Davinci either! But the more you practice creativity in your personal and professional life, the more you’ll start having fun decreasing your stress.
*Stay tuned for my next blog about creativity for all of you shaking your heads, firmly convinced you are “not creative”