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

Rewiring a More Balanced Brain

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Feb 14th 2013

 

rewiring brain For centuries people have been coming out of the woodwork writing books and making speeches alluding to the mysteries and wonders of everyday life. Yet, it doesn’t come natural to us to incline our minds in this direction because our brain’s primary function is to keep us safe. That means it has to give more focus and attention to the negative or dangerous things out there. When you layer on past trauma, which comes in the form of any emotionally disruptive experience in life, the default to the negative is even that much greater. How do we retrain our brains for greater balance? 

One thing to understand is that what we pay attention to in life reinforces our neural connections. Habitually watching and listening to the news is a great example. It's important to know what's going on in the world, but maybe not as effective to hear it in the sensational way the networks provide it. They play to our senses to provide ‘eye-popping' and ‘sizzling' upbeat tempo information so we'll stay glued to the screen, so...they can sell advertisements. They know how our brains work. The greater the drama, the higher the ratings, the more they can charge. 

But, the lousier we feel. 

What do you place your invaluable attention on in life? How this affect how you think and feel? 

Taking an inventory about how and where you place your attention might be the most valuable thing you can do as you can almost chart in what direction you are training neural wiring. 

How about intentionally training it in the directions that are adaptive for you? For example; 

 

  1. With people, can you figure out who is nourishing and who is depleting and spend more time with nourishing people? 

  2. With the news, can you choose to limit your time with it?

  3. When negative content is circling in your head, can you stop, take a few deep breaths, note the content and then make a choice to either work through it, table it for later, or refocus your attention on what matters. 

 

We have the ability to train how our brain automatically reacts to life. 

Whenever we’re aware, we’ve stepped into a choice and it’s our responsibility to be active participants in our own health and well-being.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates 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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