When Teen Dating Adds Stress to Work and Home Life

When Teen Dating Adds Stress to Work and Home Life

Blending parenthood and work roles is often challenging. A culture of support helps when teen dating adds stress to work and home life. Many of today's employers recognize this. An annual list of the top 100 best companies is available for executive mothers seeking employers that support the blend of work and parent roles. Businesses that recognize parenthood is a non-gender role, as well as an 18+ year job offer support programs, peer coaches, and a platform of resources. Stress is reduced when the workplace culture embraces how we are all responsible for guiding and protecting our youth from any type of violence. We all have a direct and indirect influence on parents, mentors and educators working to reduce teen dating violence. Organizations with a mission to reduce violence and abuse recognize this. Kids are consistently at risk of becoming a partner in an unhealthy relationship that leads to abuse. Combined effort in work and home cultures will reduce teen dating abuse. 1 in 3 adolescents...
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Why Inhaling Lavender or Coffee Effects Work

Why Inhaling Lavender or Coffee Effects Work

Inhaling scents directly effects moodiness. A scent like coffee may become a game changer in the workplace. Yet, which scents are truly helping or hindering work? Unity, health, and confidence may be produced by just one scent. We may create a common place by using external factors because they effect each of our internal factors. This second annual bean report in celebration of Easter reveals inhaled effects from the scents of lavender and coffee. A bean and a bud captures the essence of Easter in a variety of ways. The emphasis here is the need to do: plant it to produce. Did you know 'GIG' is the acronym for 'Good Is Ground'? Similar to beans and buds, when the terrain is fitting the crop produces. Scent aids in changing behaviors. A drafted scent can produce improved performance. Within your office are scents producing something in each person. Exactly what? Find out with a workplace study. Use half ounce or larger glass jars and fill one with coffee beans and...
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Eighteen Tips to Be Resilient for Healthier Holidays

Eighteen Tips to Be Resilient for Healthier Holidays

Holiday's are here! To support the cause of avoiding ditching healthy me-time, play-time, and we-time we're dishing eighteen tips to be remarkably resilient. RAINY DAYS MAKES WAY FOR INDOOR PLAY Who said it has to be sunny to move and shake over the holiday? Holidays aren't an every day thing so be inventive. Turn up the music, look at your furniture with beginners mind, and let the laughter begin! If being indoors makes you want to eat more check this out to undo that mode of operation. WORK MAY BE FAMILY TIME Maybe its siblings or perhaps a foe but seeing that person an opportunity to put on your bravest coat of grace. Put on their shoes for a moment to empathize they have relationship demons just like everyone else. Check out these six ways to come out as the survivor.   FLYING SOLO IS OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH We get it. Not everyone has a party or people to share the holiday with. See this as an ultimate reward...
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What Resources Act Like If They Were Your Employee

What Resources Act Like If They Were Your Employee

The short stories in Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki instantly empowers. Kiyosaki continuously reminds readers to "mind your own business" with the metaphor that dollar bills are an employee. They work for performance outcome. This helped me to appreciate that all the personal resources we choose are literally our employees. The form and function of furnishings we use work for us to accomplish sleeping, sitting, and eating. Every object we own provides an outcome including ease of usability, longevity of wear-and-tear, storability, and ownership advantages. Words are our employees. Thoughts expressed are resources providing returns we hope to anticipate. Destructive words have outcomes. Supportive words have outcomes. Expressed words are employees investing in value-creation while thoughts are like employees looking for work. Communities we use become employees accomplishing or hindering goals. Classrooms, work-spaces, restaurants, bars, hospitals...each service and collaborate on our investments. Behaviors are also employees. Behaviors are responses that effect surroundings. Littering as an employee invests in contrary outcomes to ecology. Anger responses resource hostility. To 'mind...
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Practice B.E.I.N.G. to Achieve Workplace Prosperity and Safety

Practice B.E.I.N.G. to Achieve Workplace Prosperity and Safety

Prosperity and safety in the workplace are necessary for best performance outcomes. Prosperity breathes comfort that survival is possible for driving competitive advantages and teamwork capabilities. It reduces presenteeism. Safe practices reduce absences and turnover. Productivity results from workplaces filled with attitudes of prosperity and safety. Employees instinctually seek feeling safe but stretching outside of comfortable practices may compromise quality of life. Experiences of prosperity through novel practices offers the ability to be vulnerable towards what appears as ambiguous. The anonymous quote, "If you're comfortable in life then you're not maturing," is true. Maturing performance standards results in employee discomfort. A workplace may reduce discomfort with B.E.I.N.G strategies resulting in employee's boldly existing in necessary growth. B.E.I.N.G. Boldly Existing in Necessary Growth is an acronym to set up the ability to successfully manage the potential stress of improving performance. Boldly Occupational Justice is the rights, responsibilities, and liberties that enable us to commit to occupations (activities) for health and quality of life needs. When overwhelmed, underwhelmed,...
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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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How Light May Improve Sleep and Overall Health

How Light May Improve Sleep and Overall Health

Light may lull the troubled sleeper right to sleep! Prior to the discovery of electricity, light from the sun controlled sleep-wake cycles.  Artificial light disrupts this natural rhythm, not only in our external environment but also inside our bodies. Questions to Ask: Are you aware of outdoor lighting conditions? What effect does indoor lighting have on you? Do you feel sleepy when it gets dark outside? What time do you shut off electronic screens (TV, phone, computer)? The Circadian System Our circadian system controls the processes within our body that follow a 24-hour cycle: hormone regulation, body temperature, and sleep/wake cycles. How Light Affects the Circadian System A collection of cells called the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) send signals throughout our body to help regulate us to our 24-hour day. Light travels first to our retina, then to our SCN, and ultimately to the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, the hormone that makes us feel...
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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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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 Screen-time Strategies to Reduce Health Conditions

Seven Screen-time Strategies to Reduce Health Conditions

For many working people, staring at a computer for several hours is the norm in the workplace. That means, hours of screen time not including late night television binges, texts to friends, or surfing the net for recipes. Some side effects of all this time spent with our eyes on screens include: eye strain, headaches, or vision changes. If continued long term it may lead to health conditions type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality. Screen time usage strategies: Meet in an environment that supports active listening in place of texting; be certain all screens are at least 20-40 inches away; invest in anti-glare screens; observe routines to identify if a screen is even necessary; use an app, like Moment, to track your phone usage; take eye breaks...walk away from your screen for at least 20 second breaks every...
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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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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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5 Ideas To Endure Sitting At A Desk For 8 Hours

5 Ideas To Endure Sitting At A Desk For 8 Hours

As I was whistling-while-I worked today, an alarming thought gave me pause: could I survive sitting eight hours at a desk? Today was a good day because I didn't sit.  I accomplished all of my things-to-do from my list of the things I love-to-do, moving about creatively and solving problems. Without movement, interaction, and creative thinking I lose energy and interest.  Pamela Crooke at social thinking recently shared this about what my brain might weigh-in on this matter: Our brains are pretty resistant when it comes to changing something we’ve done for awhile or something we find pleasurable. In fact, a professor from Stanford recently published a book on willpower and describes the brain as something that operates on the levels of “I will”, “I won’t”, and “I want” (McGonigal, 2012). If you think about behavior change in your own life, this makes a lot of sense. The “I want” part of our brains, or the midbrain, is actively seeking our desires while the...
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Respond to Anger with Kindness

Respond to Anger with Kindness

We are unique! Our behaviors respond in different ways. At work leaders may tell you to respond to anger with kindness.  Effective communication is often interpreted as kindness. Put down the mental shot gun of using feelings about the subject, current mood, and impressions to achieve this (Kahneman 2011). Begin with understanding one's true nature. We respond with harmony or discord. Understanding one's personality and temperament helps develop healthy relationships. It enhances goal achievement. It enables you to respond to anger with kindness! If knowing one's true nature sounds like a winning solution to you, below is personality and temperament descriptives. Personality A collective of an individual's attitudes, behavioral patterns, emotional responses, social roles and other individual traits that are innate, predisposed and endure over a long period of time. We recharge one of two ways: as an extrovert or an introvert. Extroverts What: they gain their energy by being with other people, find it exhausting to be alone, need people to help them think through their problems,...
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Avoid Standing Fatigue: These Four Movements Relieve

Avoid Standing Fatigue: These Four Movements Relieve

There's a current trend with standing tables. Most often people lock their knees back while standing. Individuals have fainted from prolonged knee-locking while standing. An anemic or hypotensive (low blood pressure) individual are at risk of “orthostatic hypotension”.  Some call it dizzy spells, orthostasis, postural, headrush or lightheadedness.  Basically, what happens is that blood pools downwards down to your feet and not to enough to the brain (cerebral perfusion) when there’s a change in body position.  Usually, it may take about a minute for the blood pressure to equalize. Four movements that relieve standing over long periods include: Gentle weight shifting. This means bearing weight to your right and left side in a slight sway to either side. Peddle in place. This is one I like to do the most because it almost feels like I am marching and I actually feel a bit more relaxed as I work. Simply alternating legs with knee flexing and lifting your heels. ...
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24 Alternative Work Postures

24 Alternative Work Postures

A work day with little movement or sitting at the desk will cause musculoskeletal disorders and heart conditions. The misconception is movement has to be extreme in order to reduce the onset of poor health. For example, standing verses sitting or speed-walking verses strolling. Below are posture facts and tips to position your body away from the onset of diseases and disorders. Sitting | After 15 minute maximum change position. Sitting habits may be with a leg crossed over the other, one leg's foot tucked under the opposite buttock, or both feet between our buttocks and our seat. With repetition over an extended period of time these positions will cause joint hypermobility, weakening the hip, knee and ankle ligaments. Hip or knee replacements are due to weakness in the joint. Sit with feet flat on the floor. Raise one leg (like a recliner), knee slightly bent and foot resting on a flat surface. Switch legs. ...
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Selflessness as Free Medicine

Selflessness as Free Medicine

When you get stuck in a rut and are so so stressed out how do you feel? At a pivotal point in my life ten years ago my feelings kicked me into action mode. I believed the stride required being alone but chose environments that supported healthy healing to cope through the stress. Loneliness lengthened my healing process. We are relational beings. Once I learned a method to break down self-judgement and shame I slowly invited others into my life. This action taught selflessness. Lets look at how research supports selflessness as free medicine to mind, body, soul. Giving or sharing is an innate feeling (Brown 2003). Like all other behaviors it requires acting on the feeling over time to become a skill, habit, pattern. Sharing space with others improves the immune system, sleep, and circulation (Cohen et. al 2005). Unselfish kindness and warmth towards all people reduces cellular aging and lengthens life (Hoge et. al 2013). Incorporate the fullness of what...
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The Sit or Stand Ordeal Is Suspicious to Research Bias

The Sit or Stand Ordeal Is Suspicious to Research Bias

Lately the question to stand or sit at a desk has been a hot topic in research. Conclusively, consumers hear it's better to stand than to sit or that sitting is bad for you. Before identifying whether its good for you to sit or stand first unravel research bias. In the Brain Science Podcast 97 on Nueroanthropology, Dr. Downey (neuroscience) and Dr. Lende (anthropology) explained that they met while debating points over their cubicle. Ten years later and over hundreds of miles between one another they instinctively began to contact one another. The gesture was to compare points in order to glean off from one another's expertise. Research may be where it becomes skewed says Dr. Downey: There's a whole emergence, for example, of cultural neuroscience; of research teams, that often times work across different countries, that run similar experiments and find out that the brain is not totally different, but it actually functions in slightly different ways, given different cultural backgrounds. So, if you run the same sort of...
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Body Mechanics to Better Your Health

Body Mechanics to Better Your Health

Form and function are two basic principles to designing objects. Function may include the dimensions for an intended space or the comfort to sit for long periods of time.  Examples of form include drawer pulls, scissors, or a chair. Each of these examples beg for both a formula perspective: form + function. Buying furniture or interior decorating is like dating. One may think an object is the perfect partner but it may not last.  A chair that fits perfectly with an heirloom desk may cause back discomfort. Relationships are desirable when unity is present. Aging and routine resistance training cause muscles to build and weaken unevenly (Degens and Erkins 2009). Disturbances in the skeletal system may be caused by disproportionate muscle strength.  This may lead to joint, tendon, nerve, and tissue damage. Often this leads to financial and time costs for surgical repair or joint replacements. In essence, our body has its own relational complexities. Yet, it strives for unity form birth to death. Questions to...
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Sensation to React

Sensation to React

Being sensory defensive is a behavior response to stimulus - like noise, visual cues, textures, or touch. Certain stimulus may create barriers to performance. Occupational therapists are trained to identify ways to modulate the body or modify an environment for reducing the ugly effects or sensory defensive behaviors. We receive sensory defensiveness certification once we learn how to identify unique strategies that may change reactions to stimulus. Role-playing scenarios provides compassion for individuals struggling with defensive behaviors. One challenge was to lead a peer outdoors. Over ten minutes their eyes remained closed while the leader had free reign to command them to reach, stoop, step...any action to challenge a sensory experience into feeling lost or without defense. The central nervous system gives the body an ability to sense the respond. Responsive behaviors are to foster feeling safe and comfortable. Coping techniques adjust feelings of fear or anxiety towards the sense of being calm and in control. Forms occupying work spaces may directly effect open or...
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8 Easy Freebies For Guaranteed Body Support At Work or For Travel

8 Easy Freebies For Guaranteed Body Support At Work or For Travel

Adjusting to work conditions as a telecommuter has its challenges. Good fortune may bring a flat surface wide enough to support a laptop. Typically, its propped across the legs with occasional havoc if they're crossed. The back bumper of a car may become a chair. A work surface may be the cost of a warm beverage. Sometimes the price jacks-up when there's the unfortunate parking ticket. Of course, there is that occasional back corner desk that costs musty smells from trash-worthy office furnishings. A spirited stress-less performance while on the road depends on adaption.  This doesn't mean to desensitize postural or mental supremacy. These costs become epidemic to musculoskeletal disorders to the spine or hips or suppressive anxiety beatings. The occasional is an exception but retirement may span into later years if hospital bills or absences from poor work conditions deplete savings accounts. Here are 8 easy freebies guaranteed to unburden and support the mind and body when working or traveling. No new furnishings or equipment required to do these. Frequent...
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Cure Motion Sickness Instantly With This Controversial Remedy

Cure Motion Sickness Instantly With This Controversial Remedy

In my recent travels, I discovered that I had motion sickness.  It surprised me to learn the onset of this phenomenon can be during adulthood. People who were sensitive to motion sickness at a young age may grow out of it. I’ve always been able to handle roller coasters, swings and even cruises. Everyone of course has different thresholds. It wasn't until the speedy and rocky speedboat the other week nailed me.  I was nauseated and dizzy. Typical motion sickness! I had to remedy the situation since I knew I had 2 more hours to go until I reached port. Cause There are multiple sensory systems that register movements including inner ears and eyes. Also included is something called proprioceptive input which is the sensory feedback in your joints that tell you where your body is in space. When the senses send mixed messages to the brain the body's reaction is that ill feeling. An example is a rocking boat not not registering in...
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Relaxing is Healthy

Relaxing is Healthy

How often do we need to remind ourself that relaxing is healthy? It's an activity worthy to schedule. Europeans do. They shut down businesses for up to 6 hours after noon. Sweden recently introduced a six hour working day (Matharu 2015).  Leisure is one way we occupy our time within those everyday life activities (AOTA 2014). This occupation is a role that holds significant value to work, household management, education, socializing, etc. Questions to Ask: How many times in one day is their a period of relaxation? Is it counterproductive to relax for five minutes an hour during a work day? What is involved in a period of relaxation? Does periods of relaxation cause the feeling of restlessness, as though it's 'waisting time'?   A recent study of 600,000 global men and women found those working 55 hours or more had a 33% greater risk of a stroke.  A visually inviting green space, a...
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Assure Freedom From Injury With This Effective Posture Checklist

Assure Freedom From Injury With This Effective Posture Checklist

I have a confession. I slouch when I use the computer. The longer I'm on the computer, the "slouchier" I get.  It's bad. I know.  Admitting the problem is half the battle. Alot of people use computers for work and/or leisure. It's practically a requirement for alot of jobs and for students. Though this instrumental activity of daily living (computer use) is also so common, we often dismiss the fundamentals of computer use. Forget the technical side of it. We are not talking about how good you're with excel or how savvy you are with social media.  Alot of computer classes may teach about computer use, but they rarely talk about posture and positioning of equipment. Lets focus on body alignment and posture.  These four resourceful questions liberate both mind and body before diving into each day of work: Are you slouching, leaning, hunched over, too close to the screen? Are you cocking your wrist while you type? Where is your monitor? ...
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Design For Ergonomic Positioning, Pacing, Creativity

Design For Ergonomic Positioning, Pacing, Creativity

A task that we all do, all too often, is email and texting. Before smartphones and laptops occupational therapists were steadily treating carpal tunnel. We still are, yet smaller devices increased rehab needs for Repetitive Strain Injury's or De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis diagnosis. Carol Leynse Harpold offers Ergonomics and Texting Thumbs interventions. Design for ergonomic positioning and pacing with one or more of these creative techniques:   Eclectic Home Office design by San Francisco Architect Nick Noyes Architecture   Pacing: a work setting that provides various spaces to take a break, change body position. Pacing: reduce text time by setting a timer Pacing: If limiting time or taking a break isn't an option consider using a keyboard Position: to accommodate back and neck posture in task with arms rested at a height suitable to view, Aeron provides swift armrest adjusting as posture changes between tasks Technique: cut key input and go with your voice Exercises: OTS With Apps offer good resources...I highly recommend you add a tattoo   (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'); ...
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12 Posture Tips To Energize, Add Grace, Ease Aging

12 Posture Tips To Energize, Add Grace, Ease Aging

Growing up I always remember my mother saying “Stand up straight!” or “Sit up!”  I certainly always tried to be conscious of this – especially since I only reached a maximum of only 5’ 4”.  My sister who hit an early growth spurt was a little more defiant. She hunched, slouched and bent over to be the height of her friends in photos and to meet classmates eye-to-eye. Now that wisdom has set in, I understand my posture will energize, add grace, and ease my aging process. Posture portrays a lot. Postures often are circumstantial. Playing with kids versus meeting a new business partner secures a difference. Centering yourself during meditation is genuine posturing. Physical body appearance may portray confidence, a state of relaxation and a certain amount of poise. Posture is a habit. Standing brings postural rebellion. Here are 12 posture tips I share with my clients: Practice habitual 'check-ins' to spinal alignment. Posture prevents back pain, arthritis and stress on muscles...
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One of These Three Stress Responses Will Empower You To Boost Performance

One of These Three Stress Responses Will Empower You To Boost Performance

While sitting at your desk, working in the kitchen...in every task and environment your senses are bombarded. All information comes to us through sensory input. An average of 2,000 bits of information per second enters our brain (Willis 2009). Although, everyone processes through this information differently. Our senses first sift through all of it before it even reaches our awareness.  Neurologically our body organizes then attempts to adjust its reaction to an impulse. Modulation provides a behavior that safely adapts to the stress of change with less risks on health. Everyone responds to stress differently. Knowing how your senses respond may empower you to boost performance: Some of us are hypersensitive or sensory over-responders, in which we react to sensations faster and stronger than those with normal response levels (Reynolds and Jane 2007).  These aren't willful, but automatic and unconscious physiological responses to sensation. Questions to ask: Is high activity the preferred daily pace? Is there impulsiveness in behaviors? Are there...
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