We are relational beings. Here's a look at how research supports selflessness as free medicine to mind, body, soul. photo courtesy @tangojuliette

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 surrounds you to gain value-driven experiences and information. It’s an act towards being wiser.

Acknowledging my past with those who helped shaped it was my first step out of selfishness. Life today is what I do with who I am, who I’m with, and what I am surrounded with. Choosing health daily sets a foundation of people and places to thrive. I exercise my occupational lifestyle muscles through sharing my most valuable things (time, talent and money). This includes my most vulnerable moments (loneliness, fear, and pain).

Style your environments to enrich your behaviors and activities towards relationship. Choose an attitude as if choosing policy to reinforce an openness to share. Do it for the sake of giving and receiving wisdom. Color is a good place to start. Balance color-provoking objects, walls, and furnishings with occupational lifestyle goals towards longevity. Include others in this interior design exploration. Share goals while discussing color perceptions. Pick a palette that supports satisfaction in your occupational endeavors, health, and relationships.

GIG Design | Occupational Lifestyle

OCCUPATION

DESIGN^cravers | Muted color scheme may support expectations of culture for visitors in a home office.

CONTEXT

DESIGN^under-responsive | Pop of gold accents for work in a home office may convey a message of wealth to enhance performance.

SENSE

DESIGN^over-responders | Black hues in a built environment reduce brightness of a space to regulate behaviors.

Brown, Stephanie, Providing Social Support May Be More Beneficial Than Receiving ItResults From a Prospective Study of Mortality, Psychological Science July 2003 vol. 14 no. 4 320-327
 Sarah D.; Cohen, Sheldon; Miller, Gregory E.; Barkin, Anita; Rabin, Bruce S.; Treanor, John J. Health Psychology, Loneliness, Social Network Size, and Immune Response to Influenza Vaccination in College Freshmen. Pressman, Vol 24(3), May 2005, 297-306
Elizabeth A. Hoge, Maxine M. Chen, Esther Orr, Christina A. Metcalf, Laura E. Fischer, Mark H. Pollack, Immaculata DeVivo, Naomi M. Simon, Loving-Kindness Meditation practice associated with longer telomeres in women, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Volume 32, Issue null, Pages 159-163