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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Rewiring Your Brain for the Digital Age: A Good Thing?

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Jun 24th 2010

brain computerI have just been in the process of deciding on a publisher for my upcoming book. In this process I learned of some exciting developments in the publishing world with the integration between books and the web. For example, you can now build in pictures in the book that you point your phone at and that pops up a video of me explaining a certain mindfulness practice. Pretty cool. At the same time I was introduced to an article in the NY Times that speaks of the potential neurological price we pay for our increasing connection with digital products.

Now, I see a tremendous amount of benefits to plugging in, but I also understand that we're "overplugged." If you follow my blog, you've seen me write about the benefits of unplugging.  

However, this NY Times article reminded me that on a personal and cultural level, we very well could be rewiring our brains to become able to handle more stimuli at once. But is that a good thing?

There's that saying, still waters run deep and shallow waters are noisy.

Are we creating a noisier culture and noisier brains? It's healing approaches like compassion and empathy that come from places of depth. If our waters are shallow it's more difficult to access these palliative approaches.

Try: If you haven't clicked on the link above about unplugging it may be worthwhile to check out. It is about giving yourself a 12 hour challenge of unplugging for the sole purpose of seeing what your experience is. What's different? What do you notice that you didn't notice before?

When it comes to emotional struggles connected to stress, anxiety, depression, and addictive behaviors, the mind and body benefit greatly, some might say they even need to learn how to just be and not be doing all the time.

The fact is, we all have a tremendous amount of wisdom stored in the essence of our DNA, but it's very hard to access when our minds are so busy.

There's no reason to fight plugging in, it's the wave our culture is riding, but there is the ability to discern when it's beneficial to be unplugged. Thousands of years of experience from the world's wisdom traditions share this with us. The idea of Sabbath wasn't created for nothing. It's worth listening.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interactions provide a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.


Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

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