HOUSE: I love the cranky bastard.
During last year’s season finale of the TV show House, though, I learned something … and that is the absolute power our right brain has over our lives.
The parallel is drawn between House’s patient, whose right brain doesn’t communicate with his left brain, and his own dissociative hallucinations. The patient’s left hand (right brain) seems to have a mind of its own. His hand throws things at people, slaps people, and even pinches himself. Yes, weird.
The right brain, home of our subconscious mind’s functions, controls not only our left-side motor functions, but also 95 percent of our behavior. Hey, did you think “you” made that choice today, or did your right brain choose? (For hard-core neurologists, you know this isn’t 100 percent true, but bear with me for a moment!)
The patient’s left arm (right brain) was unable to use language to communicate, so it used emotional responses. Slapping, throwing things, and scratching through his own skin. His right brain was trying to tell him a message.
Here’s the kicker: When we are under stress, our left and right hemispheres seem to lose neurological connection as well — left brain and right brain fail to communicate. We become like that patient; our subconscious mind may actually have a solution to the cause of our stress, but can’t communicate it to us.
This is the definition of Stress. Are you stressed about your job search? Chances are your left and right brains need some reconciliation.
Meditate. Ha. Many people have tried that, and after dressing in black robes, burning incense and chanting OM for about 5 minutes, their legs hurt and they go get a Ben & Jerry’s.
Here is a quick little tool that non-meditators can use to repair the communication with the “smarter half” — pretend you have a lemon in your hand. Feel it. Smell it. Taste it. Use a real lemon if you have no sense of imagination left from all those Starbucks mocha low-fat cups.
Throw the lemon from your left hand to your right hand about 10 times, keeping your gaze straight ahead.
Then imagine that you have put the lemon on top of your head. Your eyes should be focused straight up. As high up as they can look. Hold that for a moment … then come back to neutral.
Notice how much calmer you are, maybe even more confident. You may begin to think more clearly, and even be more effective in your job search. Practice connecting up the function of your left brain and your right brain … you can exercise your body, you can exercise your brain, and with just a little practice you can improve the connections among them.