Try Brushing Your Teeth with the Other Hand

Posted by dianne on Mar 6, 2011 in Articles | | No comment

That’s the challenge a friend gave me last week, and it taught me something new. Brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand exercises the opposite side of your brain. I tried right away and was surprised at how difficult it was. It gave me a new appreciation for the work my little grandchildren do to learn these sorts of new motor skills every day.

The reason behind the challenge was to give me an example of the simple exercises we can do every day to keep our brains sharp. We know that games like bridge and Scrabble provide a challenge that supports our thinking, but simpler games like dominos or Uno work, too. If you are working puzzles such as crossword and Sudoku you are doing your brain a favor. You could also try jumbles, word searches or even jigsaw puzzles.

Trying new things is an important strategy for keeping your brain agile. New learning builds new pathways in your brain just as physical exercise build your muscles. Why would we need new pathways in our brains? New pathways prepare us in case our old pathways break down due to age, illness, or trauma. Regardless of what may befall me in the future, I am doubling my chances of still being able to brush my teeth. There is also evidence that people who experiment and try new things tend to be happier. And anyone who knows me knows I love to find new ways to bring happiness into our lives!

After brushing my teeth with my left hand for a week, I already noticed that it is getting easier. Next I am taking on Sudoku.

Comments are closed.