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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Non-dominant hand day

Here’s a challenge. For a whole day, try using your non-dominant hand for tasks that you would usually use your dominant hand for.

Why? Because it will take you out of your comfort zone and away from your habitual ways. Admittedly you may not be able to do everything with your other hand, such as brushing your teeth, writing or chopping vegetables, but opening things, using your computer track pad/mouse, drinking or eating are all possible.

Firstly, it will cause you to slow down. Bringing your attention to the task at hand. You will become aware of your habits which can help you identify bad habits, or areas you may want to work on. Most importantly it will give you a different perspective and force you look at the world in a different way, making you more empathetic. It will be challenging and for those who are right-handed (like me) you will soon realise what a right-handed world we live in. Those who are left-handed may find it easier in this respect as you have a head start.

Forcing your non-dominant hand to perform an unfamiliar task requires the brain to map new neural pathways. This will result in increased cognitive function. It also forces you to use new muscles, helping you to be more dexterous, agile and strong. For anyone who has tried to learn a musical instrument, you already know what a challenge this can be.

Start out small and if you feel like it, work your way up to the big things like writing. You can try half a day, a full day or dip in and out whenever you like. It will be challenging but it can be fun and adventurous also. Go explore.

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