Archive - August 8, 2016

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The Brain’s “Bigger Picture”

The Brain’s “Bigger Picture”

Bigger Picture

Which Brain Part Do You Start With?

Or restated in a different way: don’t start with the “how,” start with the “what.” Many folks do visioning and problem-solving by having some vague notion of what they want, and then drum and drum the “how” to get there.

They start with the right hemisphere, to a small degree, and then go the left hemisphere and work it and work it and work it until they are frustrated, angry, anxious and spent.

Your right hemisphere is the largest structure of your brain. Its computing capabilities are so enormous that scientists have been staggered by its power. Its function is to get the bigger picture, to see the whole of the vision and it is the integrative, “put it all together” coordinator of the brain.

If you have an addiction problem with alcohol or drugs or other things that work like drugs on the brain, it is the right hemisphere that becomes impaired. That is why addicts have trouble getting the whole picture. The good news is that this part of the brain will recover with about 3 years of sobriety.

The right hemisphere, if you will use it, will not only give you the bigger picture; it will help you image and create this larger vision in such a way that the rest of the brain will follow and cooperate in creating the vision.

The rest of the brain will follow in filling in the pieces (the how) in a pretty effortless fashion. The right hemisphere is something like a magnet or attractor of the whole vision, and focuses all of the brain in that direction.

The left hemisphere is the detail oriented, problem-solving work horse of the brain. It is very busy keeping things organized and in place. It works on the pieces and parts of a vision. It is the detail keeper and works on specific tasks.

However, if you start with the left hemisphere, before the right hemisphere has done its work of integration, you get confusion, frustration, worry, impatience, downspiraling, and fatigue because its efforts have not experienced the integrative function that the right hemisphere provides.

So, step back, disengage, meditate, day-dream, doodle, outline, and relax. Don’t try to get the whole picture in a day, although that can happen.

Work with the idea of engaging the right hemisphere and getting the bigger picture. Tell the brain that’s what you want to do.

See anxiety, fear, and fatigue as signs to rest and take time to get this bigger picture.

Use the Emotional Gym and pulse, love, peace, gratitude, joy, and hope. All of these emotions are generated by the integrative processing of the right hemisphere.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute