Redressing an Imbalance in the Brain Hemispheres
How to loosen the Grip of the LH.
In one of the videos on the Channel McGilchrist there is an interesting question from a viewer about "How to break the death grip" of the left brain hemisphere, which seems to be a recurring question in several of the Q&As and videos on Dr. McGilchrist’s website, and something that has kept our mind churning for some time. And maybe a fruitful path to start approaching this topic is to ponder three fundamentally different strategies for re-balancing the mind and for making the LH (Left Hemisphere) "back off":
1. Train a form of self-insight in the LH to limit itself
2. Do focused Right Hemisphere activities structured over time
3. Aim for the middle, activities that involve both hemispheres more jointly.
And probably a mix of all three could be a good approach as well. Ideas for these three points could be:
1. Self-Limit LH: Create and "wire" rational arguments that convinces the LH that it has important blind spots and limitations. Maybe just remembering examples of what happens with RH stroke patients could be a place to start, that might help loosening the grip of the LH.
2. RH activities; One participant on the website, Douglas1212, had a great list in one of the forums with examples like: "religion, dance, music, nature, gardening, painting, walking, humour, drama, poetry, literature, care for others". Maybe one can add some habits like: “spending minimum 2 hours in nature every week”, “playing an instrument for 10 minutes every day”, do spiritual practices half an hour at the weekend", "having at least one deep flow conversation pr. month" and so on.
3. The Middle; No good ideas here yet.. but maybe things like creative writing could work well. Any activity where one might recognize the "battle of the hemispheres" for dominance, and train the ability to stay in the middle.
These are just some early ideas and suggestions of how to practically start working on becoming more cognizant of one's own brain functioning, which hemisphere is in charge, and how to stay "on top of it" over time - actively using both hemispheres at the same time and being aware of it, just like the big Renaissance Masters and Painters!
Great to a find a substack highlighting Iain McGilchrist's work. I have been thinking about how to wake up the RHs in others as well as ourselves. This is what I came up with "Then the “waking up of the masses” becomes the task of literally waking up the right hemispheres of people under the spell of mass psychosis. This cannot be simply achieved by argumentation with facts and logic, because this just feeds the left hemisphere over-activation, but must be done by appealing to the right hemisphere via re-connection to love and common humanity, through metaphor, comedy, poetry, music, awe and beauty."
I think Thai Chi is a good middle ground, or the dialectic phase John has, journaling after the meditation are all probably middle ground. I think spiritual goals, and journaling dreams probably crystalize the right hemispheric.