Majority of us are right-handed; we are more comfortable using our right hand to perform mundane and complex activities, such as writing, eating, driving etc.
But what is unknown to many of us is that the use of the less dominant left-hand can help stimulate the growth of new brain cells and improve our overall brain capability.
How does this work?
The brain works like a muscle, therefore it improves through mental stimulation. So typically, the brain adapts, grows and rewires itself through the growth of new neurons through the continuous use of the brain.
It is not unusual for aging people to experience memory and motor skill ability loss. Unless caused by disease, this decline is often attributed to lack of brain exercise.
The use of the opposite hand can help in strengthening neural connection in the brain and grow new cells.
This is especially important particularly when you consider that the right hand is connected to the left side of the brain which is responsible for language, judgment, and intellect, and the left hand is connected to the right side of the brain which is the source of creativity, empathy, and perception.
Theoretically, using the left hand can help to unleash some hidden creativity and this stimulates and rewires the part of the brain responsible for this behavior.
There are also instances where therapists have instructed their patients to perform simple tasks with the use of their opposite hands, the aim of which was to access previously suppressed emotions.
Some of the basic day-to-day activities that you need to start using your opposite hands to perform, if you wish to grow new brain cells, include;
- -Brushing your teeth
- -Pouring drinks
- -Opening jars
- -Washing your body
- -Cleaning dishes
- -Occasionally using a computer mouse or remote control
- -Using a can opener
Below are some of the benefits of using the opposite hand to brush your teeth and perform some of the other above-listed tasks;
1. Increases creativity:
This is, of course, the most important benefit of using the non-dominant hand. As explained above, the right hemisphere of the brain which is responsible for creativity can be stimulated by working with the left hand.
Aside from this, studies have shown that when we use our dominant hand only one hemisphere is active, but when we employ the use of our non-dominant hand both hemispheres are activated.
Using your left-hand helps to stimulate the cells of your non-dominant hemisphere which is responsible for creativity.
2. Forces us to think:
Our brains work like our bodies, which means it gets weaker when it is not exercised or pushed. When we do the same thing over and over again, we employ the same old well-worn neural pathway.
The implication of this is that our brain does not adapt, get stronger or smarter by the day. This is similar to doing the same gym workout over and over again without increasing the difficulty level.
Not only will you not see any positive result you may even backslide a little as you get extremely better at doing what you have always been doing.
By shocking our brains and using our less dominant hand, we force this sensitive organ to look at things in a whole new way while being more conscious of the action. This is a good workout for the brain.
3. Improves brain capacity:
The brain is made up of two hemispheres that is connected by a band of nerves called the corpus callosum. The two sides of the brain interact and transfer information regularly.
Dexterity in the use of the two hands helps to create a greater transfer. This increase in the information transfer between the two hemispheres can result in greater intelligence and processing.
4. Encourages open-mindedness:
The hand we favor goes as far as influencing our life choices. Studies have revealed that we tend to favor things that fall on our preferred side as compared to those that fall on our less preferred or clumsy side.
The study showed that right-handers were more than twice as likely to choose items or candidates on their right sides than left-handers.
So with all of these above-listed benefits, it won’t hurt to try some everyday actions, like those listed above, using the opposite hand. It can be an experiment that would be worth it.