Just as you exercise your body to keep fit by working different areas at different times- one day you work on your abs, the next on your pects – you do the same for your brain muscles. Brain exercises expand your memory keep you mentally sharp, and improves your brain functions.

When you want to cross-train your brain to strengthen the less dominant, or weaker side you do brain exercises that require the weaker area to work up a sweat. You should find an activity that stimulates the connections on the least dominant side, building up stamina as well as brainpower. Start out with something simple and work your way up, just like you would any exercise (Excuse me for using that “e” word, think of it more as a game.).

“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,” says Dr. Carolyn Hopper, the Learning Strategies Coordinator at Middle Tennessee State University and author of Practicing College Learning Strategies.

That would require your knowing which side of your brain is dominant, and what actually makes up the functions for each side. Once you have established which is your dominant side (you may think you know, but you may be surprised) you can work at making each side more equal. To find out which is your dominant side there is a short test you can take (don’t worry, you don’t have to study) The Art Institute of Vancouver has titled The Right Brain vs. Left Brain Creativity Test.

Once you have established your dominant side, check out the list below to find the activities that make up the functions on that side of the brain:

Left Brain Dominant/Linear Thinkers

  • Process information linearly — step by step
  • Often focus on one task before starting another one
  • Love details — but often will forget the punch lines of a joke
  • Better at remembering names and dates — loves Sodoku puzzles
  •  Better at expressing themselves verbally and in writing
  • 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
  • Work well with symbols — math, technical things, formulas and languages

Right Brain Dominant/Holistic Thinkers

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

You may find it interesting that 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.

Those who are doctors, accountants, and researchers you may want to work on their spontaneity and more playful, less mental games. Do something physical instead of mental, which does actually utilize brain functions as well – or take up art or music. People who tend to look at the overall picture first should try working on something that requires more details, like strategy games or puzzles.

This is Ron White, two-time USA Memory Champion, I am skilled at training the brain to help people find different techniques to maximize memory. I have found that by finding ways to utilize both sides of your brain equally you cannot only improve your memory, but other brain functions as well.

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

Right Brain vs Left Brain Creativity Test: http://www.wherecreativitygoestoschool.com/vancouver/left_right/rb_test.htm