I have long learned that the right brain is responsible for creativity and the left brain is responsible for logic. But during a recent talk I attended on innovation, the speaker who had interviewed a notable neuroscientist for his book, revealed something completely new that explained why sometimes I feel I am left-brained but then many times I feel I am right-brained.
The Right Brain
The right brain is responsible for anything new. It is engaged in learning new things, ideas and activities. It is the one responsible for our incessant search for something new that leads to restless behavior. No wonder it is oftentimes associated with creativity because the creative process is something that creates. It is something that seeks to invent. It deals with change.
However, the right brain was also found to be where most depressive hormones reside. Hormones that were responsible for negative feelings of depression and anxiety were found in the right brain. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the creative process also brings with it a roller coaster of emotions – mood swings if you will. It also verified how change often leads to anxiety and stress.
The Left Brain
When something starts to become repetitive and routinary, the brain activity related to that shifts to the left brain. It saves a template of the activity to make it stronger. The left brain is then responsible for pattern recognition and matching. No wonder, we all associate logical tasks with the left brain. Tasks such as analysis and math all require the recognition of patterns.
Another thing fascinating is that all the feel good hormones are lodged in the left brain. Hormones responsible for comfort, happiness and familiarity (aka a sense of security) are present in the left brain.
Get the Connection?
So do you see it? Every time you are doing something familiar, or you are in a familiar place or situation, you feel secured, comfortable and happy. That’s where the term comfort zone originates from. But try to add something disruptive to that pattern and feelings of anxiety, unease – and if not handled well, depression may soon creep in.
Yet, it is when we face changes, be open to disruption and tackle the unknown that our creative powers are unleashed and we discover new things, come up with innovative solutions and explore the boundaries of our resourcefulness.
It all boils down to how well we can manage ourselves. Change is necessary. Being creative is the starting point of innovation. Innovating leads to change – more often than not for the better. Patterns are present to keep us grounded, logical and rational. Yet every now and then, we must break out of our comfort zones and explore the creativity in us so we can grow more as persons and fully realize the full potential we have been bestowed with.
At the end of the day, no one is singularly left-brained or right-brained. We all have whole brains and it is up to us to exercise both hemispheres as we explore the vast potentials we are capable of.