Over the years, I’ve emphasized the importance of using one’s right brain as well as the left to facilitate successful professional traits such as creativity and innovation. In this article, I’m going to explain how dancing can move one into the right brain allowing a more creative flow that I refer to as slowing down to power up. So let’s review:
The left brain is all about the logical, data side of things. So for all you engineers, programmers, lawyers and project managers… that’s the book learning plus what you know to be fact. Whereas, the right brain deals more with the free flowing abstract part of the world that helps us find solutions to complex problems, keep stakeholders flexible, encourages awareness of potential risks as well as helping one to forecast into the future with greater accuracy. Of course, data points are necessary to feed into this creative flow. Thus the right brain as well as the left brain both must be engaged. I call this end result, balanced brain thinking. So how does one get to this great state of mind?
In the West, we are trained to use the left brain, so most of us have this part down fairly well unless you happen to be one of the rare birds who fly to the tune of dance, art, music or creative writing since these are the creative pursuits. People that are already creative types use the right brain normally and would need to work at getting into the left brain. This type of person would need to do order exercises, but that’s a different discussion. So back to where we were. In order for a left brained person to access their right brain, they need to do right brain activities like the ones just mentioned and dancing is one of them. Here’s what happens:
When we are to using the left brain, we are also in a state of mind where the brain waves emitted are at a very high frequency per minute. In other words, we are taking in a lot of data, trying to filter it, usually with not so good a result; that said, many people are used to making decisions at this distracted state of mind. Ok, that’s why bad decisions are so prevalent in our society in the workplace. People are trained to just use the left brain. And projects go south fairly often. By simply slowing down, we also slow down our brain wave functioning and in so doing, we actually are able to focus into a problem or situation much better. At a slower brain frequency (known as the alpha level), we actually have a greater power of the mind. Getting into an artistic pursuit helps you to do that. So in comes – or perhaps waltzes in – dancing.
Those who dance regularly know the wonderful calmness that comes over them when they get lost in the music, the rhythm of the dance. It is precisely during this type of activity that the mind is at its best to make decisions and deal with problems. So, yes, really; if you have problems put it before your mind and then go dancing allowing the solution to gel. Then, before you know it the answer will most likely appear to you or said another say, you might feel like you have known the answer all along. Try it and see what happens. Dance your way to a calmer state of mind, power up at work and be more successful in your career all at the same time!