Most people know the concept of “right brain vs. left brain.” In essence, the idea is that each side of your brain handles different aspects of your thought process. The truth is much more complex than that, but conventional wisdom holds that the left side of the brain is where more logical thinking occurs and the right is where creativity and intuition reside. It’s not the most scientific way of looking at things, but there’s indeed a distinction between thinking logically and letting your imagination guide you.
Certain activities can help you exercise one aspect or the other. For example, crossword puzzles, sudoku, and chess can help you strengthen your reasoning and problem-solving skills. On the other hand, painting, playing a musical instrument or meditating can do wonders for stimulating your creative side. Is there anything you can do, however, to give your brain a workout in both ways? Many activities require you to use both sides of your brain at the same time.
One of the most common of these is reading. Deciphering language falls on the logic-based side of thinking while imagining the world created by the author’s prose falls on the creative side. Another good way to put your entire mind to the test at the same time is to do certain tasks using your non-dominant hand. This forces you to think more carefully about what you’re doing, as well as gives you a new perspective on normal tasks that have been burned into your mind.
Even though the mind doesn’t fit neatly into a black-and-white definition of “left” vs. “right,” it is true that there is a difference between thinking creatively and thinking logically. To learn more about activities that fall into each category as well as those that can be both, take a look at the accompanying resource.
David Rolls is the owner of MasterPieces, a manufacturer of high-quality jigsaw puzzles, games, toys, and sports items. Rolls has more than 25 years of experience in the puzzle industry and focuses on leading with innovation and cutting-edge designs.