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

One Strategy to Put Your Technology on a Leash

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Jul 8th 2013

smartphone stressToo many blogs, including ones I’ve written, have talked about how we live in a time where we’re enslaved to technology 24/7 and what we really need are technology breaks. People have suggested taking retreats from technology for a day or week at time. Others have suggested turning off your technology or leaving it at home when you’re going somewhere. I know someone who puts her Smartphone in her trunk when she drives because she knows how addictive it can be. 

But assuming we’re becoming more and more integrated with technology, what can we do to take back the reigns while still remaining connected to it? 

This is exactly what this post is about.  

Right now, your Smartphone has been programmed to ring every time there’s a phone call or have some notification sound when there is a message from a text, chat, Facebook, Twitter, update, whatever. We have to remember, the people that create Smartphones aren’t interested in your well-being, they’re interested in you being constantly connected, because inevitably that leads to money. 

It’s not malicious, it’s just business. 

Here’s what you can do:

Right now take 1 minute to consider who are the people, personally and professionally, whose messages are important to you. 

Now, go into your phone’s settings and put a special ringtone for those people. For all others use the default tone. 

This may sound simplistic or you may not want to take the effort to do this, but it can save you a lot of stress. The amount of processing the brain has to do to continually be pulled to the phone while trying to pay attention to other things is taxing. 

What else? We miss out on so many things in life that could be nourishing or bring meaning when we get continually pulled to unimportant notifications? 

Now, if there was a way to turn off sound to everything except those specific people that we want to be notified by, that would be even better. I’m not tech savvy enough to tell you if that’s possible or how to do it. But if it is, wow that could be a revolutionary strategic move. 

I’m still a believer in finding time to put technology down, but we can also optimize our relationship to it by finding strategic ways to be in relationship to it. 

Take a few minutes right now to either change your settings, or if you’re unsure how to do this, find someone who is tech savvy who can help you do it. 

This small act could really change your life. 

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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