What are the Best Right Brain Exercises?

Thomma Grindstaff

The best right brain exercises are those that enhance an individual's capacity for creative thinking and intuitive and visual processing. They include activities such as painting, music and sports. Cognitive exercises that spark spontaneity in thought processes are also excellent for improving right brain acuity. By engaging the right brain in regular workouts, an individual will increase his or her ability to be more spontaneous and generate original ideas.

Playing music is an excellent right brain exercise.
Playing music is an excellent right brain exercise.

One of the best ways to develop the creative brain is to engage in artistic activities. Sketching and painting promote right brain fitness by strengthening an individual's visual imaging ability. When a person sits down with a sketch pad and draws or paints whatever comes to mind, whether images or patterns, then his or her imagination and creative thinking are stimulated.

Right brain exercises can boost a person's creative thinking.
Right brain exercises can boost a person's creative thinking.

Another of the most effective right brain exercises is for an individual to try his or her hand at making music by singing or by playing an instrument. Music is a great way to develop brain fitness, and many people consider it to be lots of fun. Music, as a subjective art form, helps right brain development by encouraging individuals to cut themselves loose from rigid left-brain thinking, immerse themselves in the moment and enjoy the music.

Any kind of artistic activity is good exercise for the right brain.
Any kind of artistic activity is good exercise for the right brain.

Writing or telling stories is another one of the most helpful right brain exercises. When a person starts from a hypothetical situation and builds on a storyline and develops the characters that arise from it, he or she is using and strengthening imagination, one of the most powerful right brain functions. Sharing stories with others promotes right brain fitness by honing the sharer's sense of spontaneity.

The right brain is responsible for recognizing symbols and imagery.
The right brain is responsible for recognizing symbols and imagery.

Sports are not only great exercise for the body, they're also great right brain exercises. Participation in sports develops spontaneity and visual imaging ability. In the course of a game or other sporting event, athletes often need to make quick decisions about what to do next. They accomplish this not through left brain analysis but through the right brain faculty of visualizing their next action based on what's happening in the game.

Some of the best right brain exercises are brain teasers, or cognitive exercises. They promote brain improvement through the use of creative visualization. One such exercise is to make a game of reading a map. Right brain health is promoted when a person studies a map, then attempts to visualize himself or herself finding a particular place cited on the map. Other right brain games enhance mental acuity by making use of skills such as multi-tasking or strategizing to accomplish a goal.

There is disagreement among medical researchers as to whether brain exercises can actually help strengthen either hemisphere of the brain.
There is disagreement among medical researchers as to whether brain exercises can actually help strengthen either hemisphere of the brain.

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Discussion Comments

Animandel

My mother always wanted me to learn to play the piano. Her reasoning was that playing would help me be more creative in other areas of my life. I never learned to play well, but maybe it helped me in other areas of my life. How can you really know?

Sporkasia

Drentel - There have been studies that have concluded that kids who play sports do better in school. Of course, the kids have to study as well, but playing sports improves their ability to learn in some subjects. I think sports get such a bad reputation because some kids aren't good at managing time, and don't study when they play sports.

Drentel

That's interesting about sports being good exercise for the right brain. Everybody knows the exercise that comes with sports gets the body in shape. Now we know athletes are exercising their minds as well as their bodies.

Who knew football qualified as a brain exercise game? That pokes a hole in that dumb jock theory.

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