In today’s blog post, we’re taking a little inspiration from one of our mantras and movements created to help you achieve your most Splendid self. We believe deeply that connecting mantras with movements is one of the best ways to set intention into action — and get one step closer the person you really want to be.
Take a moment to think about how many tasks you perform with your dominant hand without even thinking about it. Before stepping out of the door to take on the day, we’ve brushed our teeth (let’s hope), combed our hair, and sipped our coffee, all without taking note of how we did it (hint: we probably picked everything up with our dominant hand). It’s routine, it’s ingrained — and don’t worry, we think it should stay probably that way. But what if you took one activity and started performing it with your non-dominant hand? (Take a minute to check out the full mantra and movement here)
Sure it might feel awkward. And no, you probably (okay… definitely) won’t perform it as well. What it will do, however, is help to make you unfamiliar with a simple movement you do each and every day. You’re suddenly paying attention to a task that is normally on auto-pilot.
It might also help you practice self control.
In an experiment that studied the effect of self-control and aggression, researchers had participants with a tendency for aggressive behavior use their non-dominant hands for habitual tasks for 2 weeks — think opening doors, using the computer mouse, using utensils, etc…
After 2 weeks, researchers found those who had practiced self-control during that time, in the form of using their non-dominant hands, helped them control their aggression better. By tapping into the impulses behind ingrained habits, in this case immediately acting on aggressive behaviors, the participants were able to take control over this behavior.
Okay, so you might not have an anger problem. But you can still learn from this experiment. Let’s say you were trying to kick your snacking habit. If you’re a righty, what would happen if you tried snacking with your left hand only? The discomfort using your non-dominant hand acts like a big orange traffic cone standing in the way of your ingrained behaviors and knee-jerk movements.
So if you’re a righty, try being a lefty. And if you’re a lefty, try being a righty. Who knows? It just might be the tool you need to push you on that next step forward.