Can clenching fists improve memory?
Believe it or not, scientists at Montclair State University in New Jersey say their research suggests that clenching your fists can actually help your memory. And they don’t stop there. They contend that each clenched fist has a different benefit–clenching your right fist for 90 seconds can help with memory formation, while clenching your left fist improves memory recall.
The study involved 50 right-handed adults who were given a list of words to learn, and were then divided into five groups. One group clenched their right fist for 90 seconds before memorizing the list of words, then clenched the right fist again before recalling the words. Group 2 carried out the same test, but with their left hands. The third and fourth groups clenched one hand prior to learning the words, then the opposite hands when recollecting the information. The final group did not clench their fists at all.
The results indicated that the group that clenched their right fists during memorization and their left during recollection performed the best on recall tests as compared to the other groups.
Past research indicates that hand right-hand clenching activates the left side of the brain and is associated with happiness, while left-hand clenching activates the right side of the brain and is associated with sadness. Scientists acknowledged, however, that the field could use more research, including brain scans while clenching fists to track blood flow within the brain.