Brain Gym for Pandemic Anxiety

Improvement Insights Blog

Brain Gym for Pandemic Anxiety

The pandemic has created a lot of anxiety and panic. There’s a simple way to relieve the stress. Here’s how:

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and QI Macros [software].

“Some years ago I actually saw a presentation about people having panic attacks, and they had actually MRIed or something the brain to see what’s going on. It turns out that the left hemisphere was all lit up: everything was going on. The left side was going crazy and the right side was dark: there wasn’t much going on at all.

“Well, that’s a panic attack. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think during this pandemic there’s been a lot of that going around. I found that there was a very interesting, easy way to solve this problem: something called Brain Gym.

“You can actually go out and Google that if you’d like, but the idea behind Brain Gym is to get your left hemisphere and your right hemisphere to talk to each other. Now, you can go for a walk, that’s one thing, but simple things in Brain Gym will enable you to actually start to get that communication going.

“So if you feel stressed or like you’re stuck about something, Brain Gym is easy. You simply take your right hand and touch your left knee, back and forth like this for 15 seconds or something. Then you can always do it behind your back. Touch your foot to your hand. The only way you can do this is if information flows across the corpus callosum and makes things happen.

“One of the Brain Gym techniques I really like is called “The Owl,” and to do that you simply put your left hand on your over your right shoulder turn your head to the left, and as you rotate your head to the right you pull across that your shoulder muscle with your left hand. When you get over here you reverse: you put your right hand on your left shoulder and you rotate it back just like an owl would move its head. But you’re meanwhile giving yourself a little massage and you’re making information move back and forth across the corpus callosum, and this will help reduce panic, anxiety and just about anything you want to name.

“This is something you can do at your desk, you don’t have to stand up and bounce around. I also sometimes use affirmations while I’m doing this because those are useful, so “Every day and in every way I’m healthy and well,” and “Every day and in every way I sleep soundly through the night.” These are the sort of things you can do. When I’m done my shoulders feel so much better and I’m relaxed, and I think my brain is working a little bit better. This, I’ve found, is a great way to start the day.

“So that’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s create a hassle free America. Let’s go out and improve something this week.”

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