Bedtime Strategies for 3 Different Sleep Issues

Bedtime Strategies for 3 Different Sleep Issues

Sleep hygiene a significant contributor to performance behaviors. Achieving optimal hygiene requires effort and perseverance. To illustrate how one might achieve sleep below are three stories about three different characters struggling with sleep: C. Want, C. Fear, and C. Loathe. “I want to sleep more.”  C. Want follows trends. Routines include variations of: caffeine to wake or to keep aroused, sugar for quick surges of energy, social media avenues to distract feelings, and typically saying ‘yes’ to everything. The body works naturally by following a biological clock that organizes by daylight patterns. Want an energetic rhythm. Set up necessary sleep hygiene for daytime napping and body-inspired bedtime cues. “I fear over-sleeping.” C. Fear delays going to bed. Routines include variations of: denying fatigue during evening hours, working more after dinner, laying in bed with the laptop or smartphone, and falls asleep on the...
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How To Improve Confidence by Estimating Time Accurately

How To Improve Confidence by Estimating Time Accurately

With setting goals a timeline and deadline is created. Estimating time accurately is a skill that begins with childhood activities including board games and getting ready for school. It may improve or weaken depending on the practice how frequently it's practiced. Skills improve with practice. The ability to make accurate estimates is closely tied to the ability to understand and solve problems. Learning to approximate activity lengths prepares for future goal setting. Poor time estimation weakens confidence because short and long-term goals are repeatedly missed. The mind processes stories with better recall then it does with time estimation. Estimating measurements is most often a mathematical skill, which improves with practice. Illusions often stand in the way. Stories may offer an illusion of time that exaggerates the effect of changing circumstances on future performance. Illusions, or the suggestiveness of imagination, has risks. The skill of intuitiveness is different because it uses a different part of the brain to measure risk. Still, it in't an exact science. "Nothing in life is as...
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What to Do With That Busy Mind That Disrupts Performance

What to Do With That Busy Mind That Disrupts Performance

Awareness determines how time is spent. Behaviors are a reflection of brain activity. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman researched this phenomenon and summarized that  "even in the absence of time pressure, maintaining a coherent train of thought requires discipline." How does the brain get disciplined? Changing a busy brain with rampant, scattered thoughts towards attending to immediate surroundings, internal cues, and relational patterns is effortful work. Awareness improves intellectual behaviors. In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Kahneman continues, "People who are cognitively busy are also more likely to make selfish choices, use sexist language, and make superficial judgments in social situations." Each of these indicate an inner-dialogue that excludes a mature sense of automatic behaviors and the act of regulating them. Awareness of natural and built environment factors, as well as body capacities within are additional sense factors suppressed by cognitive busyness. "Memorizing and repeating digits loosens the hold of System 2 (awareness) on behavior, but of course cognitive load is not the only cause of weakened...
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Why Alone Time May Improve Performance Outcomes

Why Alone Time May Improve Performance Outcomes

The word "alone" can mean different things. For instance, the single business, self-employed person may work alone. Going through a morning routine, doing a crossword puzzle, or cleaning the house are all activities that may be done during alone time. Often employees would be ecstatic to have alone time in place of work time around numerous or sometimes one person. However, there are other moments when being alone can be uncomfortable or down right scary. Being alone triggers spirit-based behaviors. Performance relies on the spirit of an individual. At GIG Design spiritual behavior is one part of design sensibility. It establishes actionable behaviors within purpose-seeking and existence. Examples of spiritual behaviors are hope, resiliency, and value-based support for discovering and acting on ways to thrive. Spirituality empowers meaningfulness within performance. Alone time is a health resource. We all experience it. What is done within that time may trigger growth and success. Questions to Ask: What is one role that has a clear direction...
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Master Stress-management With A Multi-Dimensional Approach

Master Stress-management With A Multi-Dimensional Approach

  When walking stairs the body needs to balance on one foot in order to lift the other in motion upward or downward. Eventually both feet land on one surface. Learning how to master taking a step is multi-dimensional. It requires physical, intellectual, and emotional performance. Mastering managing stress is multi-dimensional. The following story illustrates two different reactions to stress: One adult recalled that her father was a friendly, loud, active man who loved to play with her in a very active way when she was small, picking her up and tossing her in the air. Unfortunately, this woman was severely gravitationally insecure, so every time he did this she was terrified, and she hated having him come near her as she did not know when she would be tossed about. Her father felt rejected by her response and eventually gave up interacting with her, resulting in a significant emotional distance between them. She recalled one particular day, when in exasperation, her father told her,...
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A Swing In the Workplace Will Improves Beyond Employee Moods

A Swing In the Workplace Will Improves Beyond Employee Moods

Designers are slowly emerging with incredibly functional and stylish swings. A swing is a simple way to improve mood in the workplace. Swinging stimulates two body systems: vestibular and sensory. Each contributes to balance and spatial orientation for overall coordination. They also modulate mood states (Winter, Walmer, Laurens, Straumann, Krueger, 2013). When a swing moves in circles, twists or moves outside of the typical back and forth path it becomes a mechanism to excite. This effective alternative may replace caffeine or ignite motivation. Swinging got lost in interpretation as children's form of play.  If you work near a playground then take a recess to get through work. Jump on a swing before stress heightens emotional tension. Mood states when spinning demonstrated a lack in increased heart rate, confirming an absence of negative emotions (Winter, Walmer, Laurens, Straumann, Krueger, 2013). It also ignites the vestibular system's substantial effect on our mental state. Invest in performance by swinging often. Hang one from the beams in the...
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What Distorted Thinking Is and How To Stop It

What Distorted Thinking Is and How To Stop It

In the past there were few classrooms or households teaching exactly what a healthy relationship is. Parents may model valuable aspects but don't physically sit down with their children as teachers of Relationships 101. A healthy relationship from 'the inside out' identifies what communication can become. Healthy relationships begin with an honest self assessment. It requires being prepared for a life-long journey of education. It is effortful work, time and awareness to identify then replace distorted information that the mind believes as truth. There are many layers to replacing distorted thinking. Author and professor Benjamin K. Bergen explains in Louder than Words that we simulate experiences, actions and performances in our mind through a scientifically proven process called embodied simulation. "Meaning, according to the embodied simulation hypothesis, isn’t just abstract mental symbols; it’s a creative process, in which people construct virtual experiences—embodied simulations—in their mind’s eye." (Scientific American, 2012) Bergen identifies that we do this deep within our brain processes, during our waking and sleeping hours. Therefore, mental...
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One Simple Step to Get Your Sleep

One Simple Step to Get Your Sleep

Of course it is best to get those seven to eight hours of sleep in for the next day to run smoothly. The tricky part in achieving this is to pull away from that to-do list or mindless moments prior to bed time. To activate change the brain needs an inter-connection across the non-conscious and conscious domains (Charlesworth and Morton 2015). The body clock is one way to achieve sleep. Chronobiologists identified we have two types of body clocks. One reason getting to bed may be difficult is because your personal clock is socially directed toward your body's opposite needs (Keller and Smith 2014). This means practicing self-control when it comes to your attention and effort. To say, "I'm getting to bed early tonight," is a start, yet self-control requires physical methods to make a set bedtime a reality. Self-control weakens through the day. Our body performs through energy. We wake up with a full tank of energy then slowly exhaust it through mind and body activities. Since our brain...
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Key Aspects to Achieving These Seven Leadership Values

Key Aspects to Achieving These Seven Leadership Values

Occupational therapy practitioners are found in a variety of industries outside of health care, including automotive, architecture and non-profit sectors. Jim Burns is a major in the U.S. Army as well as chief of O.T. at Evans Army Community Hospital in Fort Carson, Colorado. He quoted Max Depree to support his opinion of what the key aspect of leadership is: selfless service. "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality; the last is to say ‘Thank you.’ In between the two, the leader must become a servant." Burns integrates an abridged version of the U.S. Army's leadership development philosophy in his philosophy of these seven values: Discipline, Motivation, Altruism, Physical Fitness, Continuing Education, Creativity, and being Respectful. Values emphasize behavior patterns, goal setting, and communication. Each requires an internal force or the will to act. Collaboration and connection builds achievement. Social-being cues senses to form opinions. Design...
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Five Questions to Identify Which Stress Condition Is at Risk

Five Questions to Identify Which Stress Condition Is at Risk

One-fourth of all employees view their job as the number one stress in their lives. ¹  Yale University found that twenty-six percent workers report they are "often or very often burned out or stressed by their work. ² Health care expenditures are nearly fifty percent greater for workers who report high levels of stress. ³ The National Institute of Occupational Science and Health state that job stress is: the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources or needs of the worker. Identifying the varied signs of job stress are what occupational therapy practitioners are skilled at. Stress is rarely seen as serious by both employees and employers. It's become a societal norm that people simply refer to their day as 'so busy'. Research resolved speculation of body and mind side-effects as early warning signs of job stress, including: cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal and psychological disorders. Workplace injury, suicide, cancer, ulcers and impaired immune systems are more often...
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Design for Physical Environment, Work Attitudes, and Wellbeing

Design for Physical Environment, Work Attitudes, and Wellbeing

Interior design is a rewarding way to nourish behaviors. Rooms or offices designed with the user meets personal needs by aesthetics and task functionality. The insight of a designer facilitates the 'look' and furnishings, yet an opinion without understanding performance restraints functionality unique to the user. A relationships exists between the physical environment, work attitudes and wellbeing (Hammon and Jones, 2013). Aesthetics prime feelings and direct behaviors. When a steady grip is on a hot beverage then perception of peer attitudes sway towards warm, friendly (Bargh, 2008). The opposite is true with a cold beverage. Sight perception may trigger a responses for safety, avoidance, or adversity. A practical approach to creating or organizing a work space is to fist explore then identify work task elements. These may include time demands, stage of life, natural lighting, and body regulation. Secondly, observe reactions to color, form, object scale, and lighting. WholeBeSM Design Toolkit identifies specific performance elements unique to work roles, work space, and performance behaviors. Our performance...
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How to Improve Teamwork with Storytelling

How to Improve Teamwork with Storytelling

Storytelling is a Design Sensibility tool. Design-thinking includes openly sharing experiences on paper or with people for added dimension to problem-solving. The stories we tell our self may be novel or familiar to peers. Sharing perceptions of the way a problem appears or was experienced offers a connection that is unique between the story teller and the listener. Engage in teamwork by communicating personalized details. Long-term improvements to mood and health improve (Pennebaker, 1997) when vulnerability forms. Articulated words shape into octaves, fragrances, or whatever sensation the storyteller conveys. Action inherently designs a storyteller's surroundings (Epstein et. al 2014). Overcoming trauma creates stories of heroism. There are numerous words unspoken and stories bound to bones by clinging to fear of sharing. Aging is the framework to un-silencing believable forms words create. Active listeners seek to improve as a Survivor to overcome feeling like a victim (Grossman, 2006). Questions to Ask: Are you a survivor or victim in your work role? What...
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Seven Steps That will Reduce Debilitating Stress and Fear

Seven Steps That will Reduce Debilitating Stress and Fear

Last week a group of women revealed the frustration of relational stress. Following our discussion it was revealed the cause of high stress was poor communication. The computer, cell phone, landline, and various wireless signals are convenient replacements to connecting in person. Each severely lowers body movement, including a stroll or brisk walk to meet a peer within a building or even the body mechanics to drive to a meeting. Anxiety disorders are rising in the United States and social media is one mechanism that is pulling the trigger. 40 million American adults fall into debilitating uncertainty or fear (NIMH). Social norms are to seek visual or audible rewards from screens. Coping weighs on the amount of those rewards are received each day. Emotional processing is quickly steering away from inward reflection for outward expression by catloging feelings in ink, graphic, and other creative mediums. Screens and keyboards are slowly replacing nourishing handwritten thoughts, sketched imagery, and hand-crafted tokens of appreciation to mail by parcel....
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How Design Sensibility Impacts Performance Outcomes

How Design Sensibility Impacts Performance Outcomes

Dancing without music may appear as silly or odd. Dancing needs guided rhythm and music ignites an internal rhythm that may be expressed with movement. Design Sensibility unites mediums with sensations for best performance. The ability to improve performance through responses to sensations, complex emotional or aesthetic influences through the use of context, occupation and sense factors is design sensibility. Performance barriers may exist and misguide behavior responses including attention or situational discernment. Design sensibility offers the ability to detect an issue, identify an issue, then solve the issue. When athletes strengthen skill they first recognize their weakness. Scientists identify that when performance focused attention is externally rather than internally then performance is enhanced. If a sprinter's speed weakness then with design sensibility they may ignite a mindset to 'imagine the ground as a hotplate' in place of 'striking with your forefoot'. In parallel, an example to strengthen performance skill may be a mindset 'imagining words are ten dollars a piece' in...
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How to Avoid Missing What Someone Has Said

How to Avoid Missing What Someone Has Said

Active listening in it's most proper form fatigues the mind as the day moves forward. Performance functions at peak level when not multi-tasking, therefore engaging active listening is with in a posture and intent to hear and understand. Our ear's physiology is fascinating. It holds the smallest bone in the body. Sound separates into vibrations by hair fiber movement. Each ear has a relay station that splits into two pathway's to filter sounds. The paths cross hemispheres to recognize, distinguish, and filter auditory information. Sound localization, pattern recognition, timing, and balance are main processes of the ear. Our shoulders, neck, head, eyes and lips are the asset here. Social listening often includes head movement. Examples include nodding yes or tilting the head in compassion. These movements send messages to your brain that affect the inner ear. If word recognition is a noticeable issue then create the habit of intentionally positioning the body to observe every gesture. Free visual span from moving objects or...
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Three Tips For Embracing Uncertainty to Improve Performance

Three Tips For Embracing Uncertainty to Improve Performance

Being open to the messiness of uncertainty is often difficult. Performance behaviors are patterns, routines, and habits. With challenges a natural course of reaction is common. An issue may be some behaviors are causing breaks in relationships, purpose, and health. With time and effort behaviors may change to repair and support teamwork, productivity, and competitive advantages. Performance sharpens by accepting ambiguity. Embracing mystery will build relationships, enhance purpose, and improve skills. Sensations following feelings to what may appear as a fuzzy or messy issue are often uncomfortable. Fear or doubt causes periods of rationalizing perceived risk factors. Sociology and psychologist author Malcolm Gladwell, psychologist Daniel Kahneman, and business woman Arianna Huffington revealed how sensations effect rational. Build Relationships "Good teaching is interactive. It engages the child individually. " Gladwell coined the Stickiness Factor towards a tipping point. Here he identifies building relationships to a child's learning process, which also mimics adult learning styles. "It uses all the senses. It responds to the child...once the advice became...
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Abstraction Helps To Strategize

Abstraction Helps To Strategize

The word abstract describes an object, is an object, or describes a feeling. Our WholeBeSM method includes abstraction to trigger Design Sensibility. The universal root + definition of abstract LATIN | ab {from}  trahere {draw off} -» abstracts {drawn away} Considered separate from concrete existence Not actual but theoretical to remove to summarize in written form detached attitude or view that is intellectual and affective in form Pablo Picasso on Abstract: "There is no abstract art. You must always start with something." Abstract ideas Often an abstract idea ends once it's expressed by action. It doesn't always take form as in something to hold.  Perhaps, it's an expression that's heard or seen. Abstract in life is a method to personalize creative ideas. Start by detaching form from function.  Like, separating walking from legs. To exercise  abstraction, repeat walking then freely and quickly write what images or words come to mind. To use abstract in strategizing is to put two things together. Like...
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Beauty in Life

Beauty in Life

The idea of beauty is subjective.  WholeBeSM teaches the idea of beauty as a trigger to design sensibility. The universal root + definition of Beauty LATIN | bellus {beautiful, fine} an aesthetic allure in the harmony of color, form, shape a particular pleasurable advantage or item Helen Keller said, "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.  They must be felt with the heart." What you perceive as beauty is a direct result of your senses. They peak a dialogue between sights, smells, and sounds. It is arousal following a  harmony within.  It's achievement of gratification by the senses. Beauty in life is unique and individualized.  It is most often interpreted visually. Schedule the Equip Package for the WholeBeSM toolkit and coaching to use Design Sensibility in your daily performance. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-60245206-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); ...
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Concrete: Grow Together

Concrete: Grow Together

How is the word "concrete" used in daily life? The WholeBeSM method teaches awareness builds upon understanding things grow together triggers design sensibility. The universal root + definition of Concrete LATIN | concrescere {grow together} tangible, conclusive in material as an object real, conclusive in existence as definite solid mass created from separate elements Deniel Libeskind said, "And you have to remember that I came to America as an immigrant. You know, on a ship, through the Statue of Liberty. And I saw that skyline, not just as a representation of steel and concrete and glass, but as really the substance of the American Dream." Write something. The tool you use and the material written on were once separate elements. Now they are used as a concrete method of communication. Letters of the alphabet are elements that combine to form a word. The elements together make a word concrete in daily life. Speak aloud. The act of voicing what's in your mind begins with vague idea...
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Dialogue in Life

Dialogue in Life

When we think of dialogue we think of conversation.  However there is another way to use this word? WholeBeSM toolkits uses dialogue for triggering design sensibility. The universal root + definition of Dialogue GREEK | dia {through} legein {speak} a discussion between two or more people an exchange of views - opinions or ideas Louis Kahn said, "You say to a brick, 'What do you want, brick?' And brick says to you, 'I like an arch.' And you say to brick, 'Look, I want one, too, but arches are expensive and I can use a concrete lintel.' And then you say: 'What do you think of that, brick?' Brick says: 'I like an arch.'" Dialogue in life is listening and sharing.  It is receiving, considering, and reacting to information. When relationships fray, tension occurs. In these moments dialogue empowers or weakens the situation. There are different ways to exchange or recognize ideas and objects. You can visually recognize a chair.  You look at the material, color, texture.  By sight, the conversation...
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Gestalt Principles in Daily Life

Gestalt Principles in Daily Life

Gestalt isn't a regularly used term. Out WholeBeSM method repeatedly engages design sensibility to enable stress management. The following definitions explain why gestalt is so important and meaningful in your everyday life. The universal root + definition of Gestalt GERMAN | gestalt {form, shape} In 1920, German psychologists used this term when describing something that is greater or different than the sum of it's parts. Something that is unexplainable through depiction of it's parts. Unified in physical, psychological or symbolic elements to create a whole Charlotte Bunch once said, "Feminism is an entire world view or gestalt, not just a laundry list of women's issues." Artists and designers trigger "gestalt sightings" of something that isn't finished. However, your mind still connects it.  An example is: conn_ct_d   Your mind fills in the blanks. Our mind identifies a missing link and then completes it. This is something our  senses naturally do. Gestalt principles in daily life include continually filling in those blanks through being aware of...
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Integrity in our Daily Life

Integrity in our Daily Life

Integrity is used to describe a person, place or thing. The WholebeSM process teaches integrity to act as a catalyst to design sensibility. The universal root + definition of Integrity LATIN | integer {intact} being morally upright the state of unity consistent in principal Zig Ziglar said, With integrity you have nothing to fear, nothing to hide. With integrity you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt." Integrity in our daily life At some point in our lives we are tested.  In these moments our integrity is measured.  Integrity in our daily lives can be offensive to others. Examples of this are seen when activists stand by their principal, or artists remain sincere to their mission and are shunned. Our actions are based on our morals and determine our internal integrity. (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-60245206-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); ...
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Live and Learn

Live and Learn

To say, 'live and learn' is all toooo cliche, yet so true! Here's an example of a recent teachable moment plus five steps to reduce being unaware of what life may be teaching you. It began with how often I use my pool. You see, I moved into a new place just over a year ago.  Initially, I envisioned living near the ocean with a roommate to balance out the cost of additional preferences. I ended up with a better option: my own space with a pool. It took me nine months to use it! Now, this is odd because one way I calm myself is by touch, so my quick go-to may be a soft blanket, a hug or a bath.  Daily I gazed past the function of the pool with eyes only of admiration for its beauty. There was no thought to jump in when stressed. That is, until last week. The day after my blissful dip I couldn't help to question this blind...
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Loyalty in Life

Loyalty in Life

The word "loyalty" has deep roots. "Loyalty in life" involves perception and emotion. It's similar to allegiance and includes a sense of duty. At times our behavior isn't loyal to our values. Like snapping at someone you love because you are sleep deprived or hungry. This is an example of how loyalty can waver due to poor self-regulation. Sleep is one of the first things to go as a result of job deadlines, travel or family obligations. Anxiety becomes the antagonist to lack of loyalty! GIG Design's WholeBeSM process recognizes the following six core aspects: Physical Occupational Intellectual Spiritual Social Emotional The first step is to recognize your self-regulation issues. Loyalty in life directly affects your health, your relationships, and your success. Design Sensibility is taught with our WholeBeSM Toolkits. Read more about our services. //  ...
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Originality In Life

Originality In Life

The universal use of the word "originality" is as a noun. Our WholeBeSM toolkits trigger doing, being, and becoming original. The universal root + definition of originality LATIN | oriri {to rise} novice or beginning, initial individuality of aspect, thought, or imagination distinctiveness of style, and design Ansel Adams once said, "Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit." Originality in life Look at a flower. From a seed, a root will rise. Originality is the course a root takes. It's a novice in the dirt. The same is true of a habit. Originality in life is a method to creatively break a tiresome habit with a new one. Creativity grows in new circumstances. Originality in life requires accepting failure. Failure helps to create originality. To learn Design Sensibility for practicing originality in life purchase...
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Synesthesia in Everyday Life

Synesthesia in Everyday Life

Who uses the word synesthesia? What does it even mean? Our WholeBeSM toolkits teach living with synesthesia for triggering design sensibility. Below is our explanation of the meaning of synesthesia: The universal root + definition of Synesthesia GREEK | syn {together} esthesia {to perceive, feel} a phenomenon in the ability to receive dual sensory impressions where one sensory organ stimulates another. terminology to describe an effect by using cross sensory domains Michael Haverkamp on Synesthesia "If the texture feels rough, I see a structure in my mind’s eye that has dark spots, hooks, and edges. But if it’s too smooth, the structure glows and looks papery, flimsy." Synesthesia in Everyday Life Cross opposites and life gets interesting. Imagine the following: loud yellow; rosemary comb; quiet triangle. Synesthesia in everyday life leads an imagination to revolutionary measures. Synesthesia can be like chocolate snowcaps. To get the sense of synesthesia learn Design Sensibility through our WholeBeSM Toolkit and coaching with the Equip Package. photo courtesy of @tangojuliet...
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Unity in Daily Life

Unity in Daily Life

Unity is a common word these days. Our WholeBeSM toolkit unifies action with triggering Design Sensibility. The universal root + definition of Unity LATIN: unus {one} joined to a state of wholeness in British math, the number one Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "The reason why the world lacks unity and lies broken in heaps is because man is disunited with himself." Unity is not weak. There's no formula. It's not repetitive. Unity in daily life doesn't separate task from emotion. Unity in daily life is an assembly of elements that create balance. There's harmony and composition when unity is present.  Objects, emotion, and behavior form a togetherness that results in a driving force. To apply unity to performance behaviors schedule the Equip Package for our WholeBe Toolkit and coaching. // ...
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Self-talk Creates Reality

Self-talk Creates Reality

"I will celebrate a Hallmark holiday this weekend. I won't believe it's foolishness and a marketing gimmick for money. I want the day filled with love, however that comes to fruition. That's my self-talk about Valentine's Day. Self talk creates reality. Likely, Valentines Day is a 'water-cooler topic', often one inside the home. If your self talk is easy to persuade then your reality isn't on firm footing. Two years ago I learned about a Stanford professor's theory on the phenomenon of changing our behavior. He used "I will" + "I won't" + "I want" to describe willpower. Our emotional reactions will eventually follow those two words spoken aloud. This becomes the end goal. Do you will, won't, or want a different behavior? Self talk creates reality.   // ...
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Methods to ‘Calm Down’

Methods to ‘Calm Down’

Have you read the book, The Five Love Languages? A psychologist recommended I read it in preparation for dating. One friend learned I read this book and exclaimed: 'That book is the wedding gift I buy for everyone!' It's understandable because Dr Chapman teaches a simple, physical aspect to relationship - 'love language'. “...Expressing love in the right language. We tend to speak our own love language, to express love to others in a language that would make us feel loved. But if it is not his/her primary love language, it will not mean to them what it would mean to us.” Dr. Gary Chapman What does this have to do with methods to 'calm down'? Love needs 'language' to emphasize its relational, an expression, an action. Calm needs 'down' to emphasize the same. Mia Cinelli discovered pressure is one calming method that worked for her. Her idea is her unique calming language.  If that's not the case for you, what are one or two healthy...
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Sharpening Abilities and Skills

Sharpening Abilities and Skills

Stories of heroism often begins with a disadvantaged person who appears to be approaching an unthinkable or uncontrollable situation.  The characters in those stories typically overcome the obstacles to achieving that thing they are seeking. What is one situation you feel is a disadvantage? Change is inevitable. So, let the air out of your tires to move under that bridge that appears as an obstacle to getting to the other side. Use your number one strength to overcome the following obstacles: You have arthritis in your fingers, knees, and neck. A natural disaster destroyed everything you own. The person you trust the most confessed they abused a child. Questions to Ask: How did your ability prevail in each these scenarios? What motivates you to move forward through what appears as a disadvantage? What current resources are most likely underutilized for the ability to overcome a...
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How to Respectfully Unmask Genuine Feelings in the Workplace

How to Respectfully Unmask Genuine Feelings in the Workplace

Genuine feelings are often masked. This typically occurs when the perceived mood, time or environment may increase stress if honest feedback is shared verses being agreeable. Mood is subjective. When gauging the mood of an individual there's great opportunity of being completely wrong. With practice, time, and awareness to emotional responses there may be a brief, yet genuine exchange in sharing feelings. Skilled active listeners and emotionally healthy individuals are capable of detecting falsehoods in emotional responses. Sensory sensitive human beings are roughly 20% of the population (Acevedo 2014). A human's sense is fascinating. Those who have a difficult time trusting intuitive messages may read facial expressions or follow voice tone inflection to perceive one's mood. Active listeners may identify complexities rise when a genuine mood is masked due to perceived or actual behavior standards. Perceptions may be respectful or deceitful when behavior standards are diverse. When intuition is trusted it alerts apparent differences between reality and falsehood. Improving emotional wellbeing includes improving attention to...
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How to Blend Personal and Work Roles

How to Blend Personal and Work Roles

Are you in the right role? Role models are excellent resources to setting measurable standards. They help identify the set of skills and experiences necessary for a specific role. Identify the roles in the following story. Which shared similar skills as the king? There is a story of a king who went to his garden one morning, only to find everything withered and dying. He asked the oak tree that stood near the gate what the trouble was.  The oak said it was tired of life and determined to die because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine tree. The pine was troubled because it could not bear grapes like the grapevine. The grapevine was determined to throw its life away because it could not stand erect and produce fruit as large as peaches.  The geranium was fretting because it was not tall and fragrant like the lilac.  And so it went throughout the garden. Yet coming to a violet, the...
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Being Tolerable When the Unexpected Keeps Occurring

Being Tolerable When the Unexpected Keeps Occurring

Tolerance is more frequently used as a stepping stone for social issues. It initiates a conversation about change. Awareness of differences, integration, and celebration of these differences are all aspects of being tolerable. It can be a bad email, or a peer with an opposing viewpoint. Sometimes an extra task to support a sick colleague is the case. Often these are examples of being tolerable. But does it end there? Performing day-in-day-out tasks are often part of a day's plan. There was time for forethought and scheduling around and for these tasks. Adding tolerating nuances will use extra energy originally reserved for what was planned. An added deadline might be the final straw to emotionally snapping. Questions to Ask: What does tolerance look like in your workplace? What appears to repeatedly and unexpectedly interfere with planned work? How does this effect the energy reserved for planned work? Being tolerable of not controlling or having power over...
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Performance Growth Once Boredom Is Detected

Performance Growth Once Boredom Is Detected

Boredom is an experience many people avoid. This clinician researched "doing, being and boredom" in 1,500 young subjects. His summary: they were bored 42% of the time with only 10% of their time being spent doing 'productive' work. The difference appeared to be how the recipients used their time: passive leisure self-care education, and labor force. In the Lego Movie the characters created an activity because they became bored in their relationships. Angry Dad hated his son's creativity. It interred with Dad's idea of play. At the end of the movie Dad identified his idea of being playful was a still scene of perfection. The son's idea of play was doing play. Once Dad understood the difference between their play perspectives his compassion moved them from a relationship that idolized boredom to one that appreciated doing and being creative play. Creativity engages doing play and being open to learning, caring, and alternative work behaviors. Questions to Ask:  ...
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If Seeking Greater EQ Then Improve Self-Awareness

If Seeking Greater EQ Then Improve Self-Awareness

Dr. Steven Aung and Dr. Badri Rickhi are positioning mental health and spiritual wellbeing as a mind/body necessity. There are three recommendations they encourage for achieving improved performance: stress reduction programs, adapting the body to nature, and being aware of the senses. Rationale and emotions steer behavior reactions. A "window of tolerance" is what Dr. Bessel van der Kolk identifies as that short moment between being stimulated - feeling and rationalizing - to behaving a certain way. When the body is hyper-aroused then the brain disengages from that short moment of time. Neuroscience identifies self-awareness as the most effective way to build EQ. Silence or music engages self-awareness. Soulfulness engages neurological links that direct the mind into harmonic patterns. We process sounds in the same region of the brain that we process behavior change. Harmony becomes literal for both internal and external stimulus. QUestions to Ask: How do you manage stress? What does 'adapting the body to nature' mean to you? ...
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Overcome Anger, Fear, and Stress One Surprise at a Time

Overcome Anger, Fear, and Stress One Surprise at a Time

Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking Fast and Slow says, "You are more likely to learn something by finding surprises in your own behavior than by hearing surprising facts about people in general". Anger, fear, stress, or anxiety following a surprise affects every body organ as well as those in the surroundings (Siegal and Bergman, 2006). Surprises may bring out behaviors seeded from the inner 3 year-old.  Some surprises may lead to anger once the results are factored into a time line.  Therefore, it may require motivation to continuously observe performance behaviors. Yet, once in pursuit of the surprise a student to behavior change is born. Questions to Ask: How well do you adapt to surprises? What is a common reaction to a surprise resulting in excessive time to resolve a result? What is one way to change feeling angry due to a surprise? Kahneman recommends the first step to change is learning through observation. Seek the...
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How to Use Patterned Play To Overcome Adversity

How to Use Patterned Play To Overcome Adversity

Sometimes I find it strange when I'm surrounded by quiet people.  It seems that I am surrounded by "noisy brains". Of course, I need to quiet my head-talk to get to that thought. One comforting idea is, what if everyone replaced listening to their head-talk by watching a picture-reel. Imagine their words becoming images. We often mistake 'play' as a child's activity.  However, adults play too. Patterned play begins with being imaginative. The life cycle of play is a conceptive (mental) moment arching towards nourishment and habits of the spirit, creativity, and relationships. Shame is linked to experiences of creative failure. Adults who deny feeling ashamed invest in the pattern of play. Play is also coined as abductive reasoning. Questions to Ask: Define what 'play' currently is in your workplace? Are you able to form mental pictures? What is one performance habit linked to shame? Humans are wired with an ability to change. Begin imagining that picture-reel of changing that unhealthy habit. Mental...
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How to Gain Optimal Results in Every Situation

How to Gain Optimal Results in Every Situation

Imagine working with a colleague that opposes your political beliefs. What do you do? The larger part of social happiness isn't emotion. It's mental arithmetic. The sum of your expectations, your ideals, and your acceptance of what you can't change determines everyday habits and choices. This formula steers performance. Everyone's sum is unique. Two opposing behaviors may turn a situation into pointless discomfort. Compassion and active listening are fundamental relationship skills. Performance flourishes into empowerment by mental shifting. A flexible response to opposing political views may be to share feelings of discomfort. The time discussing politics replaces discussing work objectives or team-building while at work. Directing attention on feelings that oppose productive work relationships may offer a compassionate response. Switch the mind-set from what isn't relatable to what is. Columbia University psychologist George Bonanno reports when we switch a mind-set based on others preference it requires an ability to tolerate discomfort. This upside to negative emotions provides optimal results in every situation. Some nail this skill but typically only in one...
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Relationship Is Based On Respect Not Power

Relationship Is Based On Respect Not Power

Healthy relationships rely on effective communication strategies. The most effective communicators are also good listeners (Zemke et al 2000). With objective communication a relationship is based on respect not power, manipulation, or punishment. Below are objective communication examples. Effective communication tactics enable us to be better listeners while we help our client's achieve their goals. RESPOND EMPATHETICALLY Listen with full attention, eye contact and body language Acknowledge feelings with a word Give their feelings a name. Reflect back their feelings Give them their wishes in fantasy Start with an empathetic word ("this is tough/sad/too bad") and then ask gently, "what are you going to do?" or "What can you do?" Deliver empathy and state the limit ENGAGE COOPERATION Non-productive: blaming and accusing, name calling, threats, commands, lectures and moralizing, warnings, playing the martyr, comparing, sarcasm, prophesying, questions, bribing/cajoling Encouraging: describe the problem, give information, give choices, say it with a word, talk about feelings, write a note, change if/then to when/then, use 'after' (we will...), sing, use modified threats PUNISHMENT ALTERNATIVES...
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Peers In the Workplace That Are Recovering From Trauma

Peers In the Workplace That Are Recovering From Trauma

Peers in the workplace that are recovering from trauma will have difficulty verbalizing their emotions or even a simple thought (VanderKolk, 2014).  There is an uncertainty about life that confuses as they sort through their trauma.  With time and repetition, their communication patterns will slowly form into crisp, clear, confidant responses. Confidence often comes after strategy. Chess is a great example of strategy. Wikipedia enlightens on the historical game of chess, once called curling: a great deal of strategy and teamwork goes into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone for each situation, and the skills of the curlers determine how close to the desired result the stone will achieve. Workplace culture words optimize strategies. Teamwork helps but listening and comprehension is key.  A safe environment and it's objects enable trust. Interiors or dwelling spaces communicate a context to influence communication, confidence. 99% Invisible provides a concrete example of this. In his podcast on broken glass, Roman Mars concluded: ...architecture is personal.  The strangest part...
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Why Destructive Behaviors May Be Performance Supporting Tactics

Why Destructive Behaviors May Be Performance Supporting Tactics

Celebrating meeting a deadline met or coping with managerial tactics arouses feelings. Sensations become acute in these and numerous other performance moments. What is heard and seen are most discussed but there is also smell, tactile, exertion, instinct, and taste sensations. The exertion of heavy feet walking through an office or facial hair petting are two sensory tactics that calm the nervous system. The comfort of a soft-foam, fabric covered chair to sit in verses a firm, swivel seat may improve one's ability to focus on research work. Alternatively, the motion of rocking and swiveling may distribute sensations for reducing anger while in an emotional overhaul. Salty or sweet tastes often and unknowingly provide hormone or body chemistry support. All these pleasure-seeking sensations are coping strategies for managing feelings that directly effect the nervous system. Each response must not be too quickly classified as destructive or unhealthy if the central nervous system had the ability to speak with words. Sensory patterns may change with...
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Why Contextual Factors Improve Workplace Performance and Design

Why Contextual Factors Improve Workplace Performance and Design

Contextual factors is a term rarely used in the workplace or with employee performance. It is one of three factors that categorizes performance elements for improving performance outcomes. Any feature of yourself that is not part of a health condition or health status is defined as the personal context that influences performance (WHO 2001). Our performance and design coaches facilitate improvements through the following contextual elements: Expectations of Culture, Personal Beliefs and Customs, Behavioral Standards, Demographics, Stage of Life and History, Relationship to Time, and The Non-Physical: Simulated, Real-time, and Near-time. Gender and education levels are demographics that overlap into personal beliefs and customs. Context at an organizational level includes millennial, generation X, baby boomer, retired or volunteer life stages. 'Supervisor' may be a cultural custom or expectation of rank in workplace cultures. At the population level beliefs may be as an immigrant...
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This Chemical In Your Body Increases Creativity

This Chemical In Your Body Increases Creativity

  Science supports the ability to further improve creativity throughout our life span. Harvard Business Review defied disciplined routines to encourage creativity as the core to doing things efficiently and effectively. Creativity will "deposit confidence in our cerebral bank accounts," according to Forbes. It's a myth a person doesn't have a creative ability. The body produces a chemical for the brain and nervous system to communicate. Serotonin regulates sleep, body temperature and libido. It also increases creativity. The production of serotonin increases when: exposed to bright light, engaged in frequent exercise, diet including chickpeas and wild seeds in place of meat proteins, and self-induced changes in mood. Questions to Ask: What resources are used to maintain efficient and effective performance in your work tasks? What is the primary way you would increase serotonin production? On a scale from 1 (least) to 10 (greatest) is being...
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Six Key Employee and Workplace Contextual Elements

Six Key Employee and Workplace Contextual Elements

There are workplaces with a culture expectation of work tracked by shift hours or a behavior standard to cover all tattoos. A workplace belief and custom may be whispering through cubicle workstations. These are examples of contextual elements in the workplace. Context is one of three performance factors used to improve performance outcomes. Contextual elements identify opportunities for education, employment and economic support as accepted by the culture in which one is a member. Context is one of three performance factors to divide performance into behavior-specific elements. The elements categorized as contextual include: expectations of culture, personal beliefs and customs, behavioral standards, demographics, stage of life and history, and relationship to time.   Occupation and sense are the additional factors to organizing performance elements. The context factor digs into workplace policy and procedures, as well as the employee's present state of workability, perspective, and values. When employee...
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One Free Performance Resource For The Active Listener

One Free Performance Resource For The Active Listener

Often it is unsettling to listen to the ache in the voice of a peer sharing sorrowful or traumatic news. The pain conveyed in their dilemma may even be palpable. One effective way of coping as an active listener is meditation. The health benefits of meditation continue to flood data supporting how it is a necessary resource for developing brain function. Meditation supports emotional regulation because it functions as a brain support for coping with dilemmas including: pain tolerance, emotional control, feelings of tension, external distractions, fear of unknowns, physical issues, absenteeism, and awareness of genetic diseases. Questions to Ask: How is quiet time incorporated into the work day? What resources may support incorporating meditation into each day? Why might active listening to the mind be a support for reducing...
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REM and Non-REM Sleep Improves Three Performance Behaviors

REM and Non-REM Sleep Improves Three Performance Behaviors

If work performance is a struggle consider sleep hygiene through establishing nighttime and daytime habits. The body is capable of waking up to 10 minutes prior to the desired morning time without an alarm clock. Non-REM sleep is a slow-wave type of sleep and REM is characterized by rapid eye movement, dreaming and more body movement. Sleep deprivation causes the brain to activate sleep rebound or pressure responses. Sleep in a quiet environment with dark drapes and at a temperature set at 69 degrees to support the three actionable performance behaviors below. Intellectual Behavior Estimating time is a skill that improves as we age but sleep also triggers this skill (Aritake and  Higuchi 2012). Both non-REM and REM sleep supports intellectual performance. In addition to time management it supports short and long term memory. Physical Behavior Sufficient REM can nix the need for your alarm clock. Sleep disruption will respond with poor daytime performance (Trinidad and Miguel 2011). Reversely, inadequate daytime physical behaviors will impact as poor sleep hygiene. Emotional...
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When Work Routines Are Necessary or Not

When Work Routines Are Necessary or Not

Creating routines improves performance because by nature it becomes a habit. Being of a curious nature provides moments of drifting off a routine path. This initially offers excitement and may lead to altering a routine. It may also result in suffering. There's risk in drifting off routine, yet there is reward with sticking to them. Routines create commitment. It may be a cultural routine which often is temporary. However, routines are patterns of behavior that are observable, regular, repetitive and provide structure for daily life.* Psychology Today presented how people often change in unpredictable ways over time.  "Ultimately, of course, we bear the responsibility for who we are. But the way we influence who we are isn't by simply deciding to be different. We have to be clever. We have to pull levers—arrange positive influences—that actually yield the changes we want." This may be why a routine is temporary. Questions to Ask: Which internal influence draws out of a work routine? ...
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Work May Trigger Repetitive Conflicts

Work May Trigger Repetitive Conflicts

Work behaviors are a distinct part of you. We may have control over our home environments but our work environments are a collaboration of peers. The workplace has a culture of unwritten values creating its community. Regardless of who or what sets the cultural tone, there will be things that trigger you out of your control into an unhealthy zone  (CompPsych 2013). There are strategies to prepare for this. Its those other ways you occupy your time that directly effect your behaviors. Sleep is one statistically proven strategy (Foster 2013). What other ways do you occupy your time? Play, the commute to work, or self-care routines are some.  When we walk over the threshold into the workplace we bring all of life's current events with us. This is natural with health consequences if avoided (Duke 2006). Relief to exist in the workplace includes evolving and creating strategies unique to your needs. The body functions to take in information, process it, then...
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What Is In Sight May Distract You

What Is In Sight May Distract You

Try this: stand up, feet together, then close your eyes. Attempt to stay that way as long as your able to tolerate it while taking note to the feelings your body feeds you. Sight uses one of ten body structures in our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). It maintains and coordinates body functions. Researchers identified how sight effects organs phases of rest and activity. Below is the results (Willbarger and Willbarger 2012). Structure  | Rest & Digest | Fight-Flight Iris (eye muscle)| Pupil constriction | Pupil dilation Heart  | Rate & force decrease | Rate & force increase Stomach  | Increase peristalsis | Reduce peristalsis Lung  | Bronchial muscle contracts | Bronchial muscle relax Small Intestine | Digestion increase | Motility reduce Large Intestine  | Secretion/motility increase | Motility reduce Liver  | Antagonistic to glycogen | Conversion of glycogen ...
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Smoking and Anxiety

Smoking and Anxiety

When I overlooked health to discover the joy of smoking there was an immediate bond. Not only did I have no desire to quit but it was a behavior that integrated into every one of my day-to-day functions. Habits may be useful, dominating, or impoverished. They may also interfere with performance in areas of occupation.* To support smoking I would dwell or create environments for it. Specific products suited for the behaviors of smoking were also in my surroundings. And that exceeds just ashtrays. I could smoke anywhere but the ideal experiences were in the comfort of it's suited intention: to distress, to relax, to problem-solve. A space, plus its surroundings - people included - supported my performance needs of smoking and anxiety. Alternatively to smoking and anxiety are those healthy-habit seeking reasons to create intentional environments in effort to achieve lifestyle goals. Our behaviors seek support in surrounding products, environments, and relationships. Identify one unhealthy lifestyle habit that may be domineering your performance. What's...
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