The two hemispheres of the brain function differently but there is integration of the left (verbal and analytical) and right (visual and intuitive) as they work together and complement each other (Weatherspoon, 2019).  The Feature Articles this month show ways the left and right brain work together to form habits and enhance personal development.  Below I share my thoughts on creating habits, writing by hand, and why people who doodle pay more attention.

Creating Healthy Habits That Last

Creating habits for an integrated life is one of the most important concepts to as you pursue your personal development journey. Personal development is about the integration of your beliefs, values, and principles.  Information, knowledge, people, places, and the experiences of life guide this integration.  What does it really mean to live an integrated life? It means you are using all these elements in your personal development journey.  Creating habits for an integrated life begins with choosing the right goals. These goals need to align with your core values.

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both. – James A. Michener

Consider the idea that all habits are seen as patterns. You can learn new habits, put them into practice. Creating habits for an integrated life means finding the right patterns to adopt. 

Read the full article: Creating Healthy Habits That Last
Read more on the topic: How To Make Good Habits Stick: 11 Secrets From Research

Writing by Hand Boosts Brain Activity and Fine Motor Skills

Write or type??  Type or write??  Which is your preference?  

Handwriting is one of humanity’s most amazing and most influential inventions. It is rooted in artistic representation— images etched in sand, rocks, and walls that eventually morphed into letterforms. When we write by hand, we are still performing that ancient act of using our hands to recreate what’s in our minds (Bash, 2016 para. 3).

Writing by hand…
**releases your creativity because your brain is given time to explore ideas and to expand on connections between different images and thoughts.
**forces you to sort out what is important and what is not. 
**helps the brain connect images and words in your memory.
**stimulates both sides of your brain. 
**helps you to create flow. Flow is simply a mechanism in which ideas start blending and connecting. 
**improves your fine motor skills. 

Writing by hand, strengthens the ability to concentrate, creates a clearer mind, and even boosts memory. The outcome of writing by hand is the ability to focus, understand, and learn (Carlyle, 2019; Gayomali, 2015; Neera, 2020).   

Writing by hand is more than a physical effort of putting pen to paper…it is a workout for your brain.

Read the full article: Writing by Hand Boosts Brain Activity and Fine Motor Skills
Read more on the topic: 16 Powerful Benefits of Writing by Hand

Why People Who Doodle Pay More Attention

Creative thinking is the ability to see things in a new way. It is about learning and acquiring knowledge. Creative thinking is about how you perceive a subject or a situation. What you are doing when you are doodling is immersing yourself into a new form of thinking; an experience that will open your mind and transform your learning. Doodling allows for exploration of personal creativity and provides a unique learning experience.  Developing a personal visual vocabulary help process information.

According to Sunni Brown, author of “The Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently“, doodling is thought to stimulate areas of the brain which normally remain dormant when you’re just in linguistic mode. This can help you to analyze information differently. When you doodle “you are lighting up different networks in the brain” and “engaging different information.” This can lead to “ah-ha” moments when the solution to a problem you’ve been struggling with suddenly becomes evident (Fabrega, n.d.).

Read the full article: Why People Who Doodle Pay More Attention
Read more on the topic: Doodlers, unite!!

Habit formation is a system of patterns and a mechanism for accountability to reach your personal goals. Through a blending of logic and creativity, the right and left brain working together, patterns develop and habits will become second nature.

More March Featured Articles include:

16 Facial Expressions Most Common to Emotional Situations Worldwide
“This study reveals how remarkably similar people are in different corners of the world in how we express emotion in the face of the most meaningful contexts of our lives.” NOTE: For those who may be interested there is a link at the end of the article to read the full study.

Learn Better with 10 Ways to Be a Better Learner
Jeff Cobb (2012) published 10 Ways to Be a Better Learner.  This book is brief, action-oriented guide, grounded in research, to help you become a better learner.  Here are links to additional resources for each chapter. 

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