Using Your “other” Hand

Sometimes, people are forced into using the non-dominant parts of themselves. If we have an injury we might have no choice but to learn to lift things with the other arm or do things with a different hand. Come to find out, that might not be so bad. Using our non-dominant hand more actively stimulates both sides of our brain. One reason is that it takes more mental focus to perform a task that is less comfortable. Since most of us are more comfortable using our dominant hand, switching to the other one is a great way to fire up the neurons, build new-neural pathways, and build a cognitive reserve.  

There are several reasons to use our other hand, and a few of the benefits are: increasing your creativity, promoting more open mindedness and developing a capacity for patience. Consider allowing yourself the space to do something that doesn’t come automatically for you (brushing your teeth, holding your fork, or even writing with you other hand), and giving yourself the permission to struggle through the task without being self-critical. You might need to resist the urge to switch back to the comfort zone of your dominant hand. This is an exercise in your own tolerance as much as it is an exercise in brain stimulation. Developing your capacity to think is an important element of wellness.use-non-dominant-hand

So give it a try. Some of the things you can do with your non-dominant hand is:

  • Open a jar
  • Use the computer mouse
  • Open a door
  • Pour drinks
  • Hold utensils
  • Write
  • Turn a key
  • Butter toast
  • Peel a banana or orange
lorri sulpizio

About lorri sulpizio

Lorri is a former college-basketball coach and personal trainer, turned leadership professional. She is Director of the Leadership Institute at the University of San Diego and principal consultant at Lotus Leadership Institute. She loves anything fitness, reading and spending time with her kids and family.