My Mind is like a Polluted Island of Plastic

Photo by Antoine GIRET on Unsplash

Picture this, it took me two years to realize the entire front yard of my California home was a 3 foot tall rosemary bush.

I’m a cook. Obsessed with growing and buying herbs. I walked by this bush everyday. If I was paying attention, I could actually see the bush while sitting on my couch.

The point is, I never noticed it for two years. I was so chained to my phone that I didn’t notice what was growing right in front of me.

It wasn’t until I did my first 24 hour phone detox that this bush appeared in consciousness. I was in disbelief. I took my arms and ran them through the piney green branches and got blasted with the energizing, citrusy smell of fresh rosemary.

My eyes pierced from smiling so hard and the laughter must have filled up my neighborhood. How the heck did I miss this for two years?

If the brain is like an ocean, and thoughts and emotions are like waves and tides, then my brain was living on a polluted island of plastic.

No matter where I was, my mind was elsewhere. I could be on a boat sailing to a beautiful sandbar to day drink with friends and my mind would still think about that polluted island of plastic.

The polluted island of plastic is, of course, my thoughts about what’s happening on social media. The pollution is not being able to control my thoughts. It’s being somewhere beautiful but thinking about something else. It’s no way to live a life.

But using social media for hours a day made sense at the time. I was making a living on social media. It was my job and my hobby.

I wasn’t thinking about the endless notifications releasing artificial hits of dopamine that physically changed my brain.

It wasn’t until I detoxed, that I realized it was a major problem. It wasn’t until I couldn’t put the phone down, that my thoughts felt like a polluted island of plastic.

From the wise words from NYU professor Scott Galloway; if you think you’re not addicted to something, try not doing it for a few days.

I couldn’t not use my phone for an hour straight. I couldn’t focus on what was right in front of me without checking my phone. I knew something had to change.

That’s when I discovered we can literally train our brain. It doesn’t even require a 24 hour detox. It’s as simple as incorporating a 5 minute exercise into your daily routine.

When we do a bicep exercise, we make our biceps stronger. The same actually works for the brain. When we do a creative thinking exercise, we become more creative thinkers. A google search will show you tons of scientific evidence on this.

So why not incorporate a mindfulness exercise, to be more in the moment. If not for yourself, do it for others. It’ll make you a better listener. It makes you a better friend.

And it prevents you from turning your brain into a polluted island of plastic.

I encourage everyone to wake up and smell the rosemary. To take a little time out of each day to do a simple brain exercise. To ride the endless waves of life without your mind getting stuck thinking about that polluted island.

It’s my life mission to make sure our minds get stronger as we get older. We have countless articles on that cover thoughtful topics such mindfulness, and brain exercises.

I strongly encourage you to take a little action on deliberate brain exercises. It’s never too late to start. And when the tide shifts, it’ll make it a more enjoyable ride.




Director of Content at Blue Door Media. We email a newsletter twice a week focused on mental fitness. Join us, the Door is Open:

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Danny Trifone

Danny Trifone

Director of Content at Blue Door Media. We email a newsletter twice a week focused on mental fitness. Join us, the Door is Open:

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