Wellbeing Design Diary: Sound

Wellbeing Design Diary: Sound

Design Diary
What's one sound that doesn't persuade you to look up from a task? Wellbeing design addresses sounds that distract and motivate. After all, our sensations are a necessary support. Design Sensibility aligns sensory desires with goal achievements. One distractive sound addressed in recent years is smartphone notifications. How do you react when your favorite song is played? Or when a person is shouting from anger? Wellbeing improves through sound factors. Julian Treasure identifies how sound effects our physiological, psychological, cognitive, and behavior responses in his brief TED talk The 4 ways sound affects us. Additional  supportive research identifies changing, modifying, and masking sound agents will improve productivity, health, and wellbeing. Sound is found to effect all human achievements because or body responds to it in negative or positive ways. Diary Laughter…
Read More
Which of These Fuels the Ability to Focus?

Which of These Fuels the Ability to Focus?

Physical
It's the start of one of those work day's that required every effort to make it to the gym. There's the smell of coffee lingering at work mixed with the aroma of fresh bagels beside a buffet of cream cheese choices. The apples don't have any odor but their shiny appearance jogs memory of the juicy crunch behind it's skin. Which of these fuels the ability to focus? Recently we did an experiment with the various fuel octane types used to fuel the SUV. The manufacturer recommended 91 octane. With 89 Octane the fuel burned faster then what 93 provided. The recommended premium octane proved to save in efficiency at four more miles per gallon. Every vehicle manufacturer identifies what octane is optimal for vehicle performance. Claim your stake as being…
Read More
18 Diet Resources That Will Empower Your Life

18 Diet Resources That Will Empower Your Life

Physical
Are you fed up with your eating habits? Are you tired of feeling bloated or depleted of energy? We've got 18 diet resources listed below that will empower your life. Doctor Norm Boeve has witnessed the strain obesity contributes to a person's skeletal system and overall health. "Everything you put in your mouth works toward either health or disease. Think 'Is this bad for me'?" Doctor Boeve is a retired orthopedic surgeon who now spends a portion of his time writing in publications and presenting on the importance of choosing to live a lifestyle for health prevention. Below are diet books and websites Boeve recommends.   The best "Starter Book"   How Not to Die (Prematurely) by Michael Gregor Excellent General Book    Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman MD For those seeking information…
Read More
What No One Tells You About Your Cravings

What No One Tells You About Your Cravings

Physical
Do you have an insatiable drive for enhanced experiences? This magical central nervous system response coined in the occupational therapy field as Sensory Craving, may also bring distress. Over the past 20 years I've facilitated sensory needs for the mild to severe cases in adults and children. Fortunate for me...because I'm a mild Sensory Craver. I've witnessed the havoc and joy in managing sensory responses. Craver's desire the excitable - blinking lights, rollercoasters, or a lifestyle like being an entrepreneur or overextended work loads. Adversely, there's also the need to continuously be engaged. For sanity sake a body needs it's rest! The superior advantage of the central nervous system is it triggers behaviors that appear as natural cravings. An example of a craving is body exertion through movement. Pushing, pulling,…
Read More
A Seamstress Exhibiting Stress In The Workplace

A Seamstress Exhibiting Stress In The Workplace

Workplace
GIG Design's team discussed observations of a seamstress exhibiting stress in the workplace. Observations of the work environment included details of the lighting, noise, temperature, and peer engagement. The work space is an open area of approximately thirty seamstresses, all sitting at a sewing station actively engaging in production of a product. Observations of the seamstress were noted to be signs of distress as exhibited by facial expressions, frequent posturing with head tilted into hand through elbow support, uncharacteristic pauses of production. Following a lifestyle profile and sensory assessment she identified as under-responsive to sensations. Under-responsiveness This form of regulating the nervous system is categorized by muted, delayed responses, and low sensory registration. This individual passively regulates their nervous system, has a high threshold to sensory stimuli, and passively reacts to sensations.…
Read More
30 Details On Health Costs

30 Details On Health Costs

Workplace
Health Benefits manager Lisa Mrozinski at Robert W. Baird & Company said, “You may think you’re really healthy, but until you go through the process we can provide, you may not be aware that you’re pre-diabetic or have high cholesterol.” This quote was cited in the book The Grassroots Health Care Revolution by John Torinus Jr. Do you or your employees have a process to learn if they are genuinely healthy then achieve personal goals? Here are 30 details on health costs John shared through his book to remind us of the integrity of providing health improvement services: United States of America health costs are 2x per capita of anywhere else in the world. Increased national health care costs then reduced money spent for education, research & development, public safety, environmental improvement,…
Read More
One Toilet Paper Square Improves Performance

One Toilet Paper Square Improves Performance

Intellectual
Health experts often recommend routines to build healthy habits. What do you do when the unexpected destructs that routine diet, exercise plan, or stress relief plan? Enter: toilet paper. We use it routinely. It's designed to roll, to tear, for comfort, for hygiene, and for biodegradable properties that keep plumbing free from clogs. Do these features come to mind every time you spin a roll of TP? If this analogy makes you uncomfortable then its likely you have sensitivities worthy to explore. This link connects to experts trained in sensitivity endeavors. Awareness is necessary to engage in a task. Performance outcomes depend on insight and awareness. Toilet paper is a universal reality. Most may agree its an intuitive product, no instruction required. So, do you measure use with the perforation? And how does measuring T.P. squares affect your…
Read More
Lay Down Sleepy Head. You’ll Be Wiser For It.

Lay Down Sleepy Head. You’ll Be Wiser For It.

Physical
We personally know Client Want, Client Fear, and Client Loathe. Which one are you? “I want to sleep more.”  Client Want follows trends. Their routines may include caffeine to wake or to keep aroused, sugar to quickly surge energy, social media to distract, or saying ‘yes’ to all things. The body works naturally by following a biological clock according to daylight patterns. Find this rhythm. Rest assured a full night of sleep will be the reward. Values in diet, exercise, creativity, spirituality, and social behaviors directly effect the body’s ability to lead a peaceful slumber. GIG Design identifies sleep as an 'occupation' within a physical lifestyle. It's fundamental to wellbeing. In solo pursuit of more sleep, begin a sleep diary. Log how and when daily values are applied and their outcomes. “I’m…
Read More
Aesthetics and Functionality

Aesthetics and Functionality

Emotional
Do you believe what you see may change behavior?  Aesthetics engage our sight. We may identify with its beauty, coziness, charm. These words prime feelings.  Feeling that 'sense' of beauty responds with behaviors like hugging, tasting, smelling, or jumping up and down. There's a flip side. Sight also triggers behavior responses for safety, avoidance, or adversity. Cozy to one may be a deep-seeded threat to another. Interior design is an ideal way to nourish desires. When rooms or offices are designed without the user, it fragments personal needs based on opinions on aesthetics and functionality. Designer's opinions are helpful to convey a feeling, a 'look', and to support the functionality of a space. Pinterest, Houzzz, and  blogs may be helpful resources to piecing together a design plan. There's a story people buy…
Read More
Reading and Visual Fatigue: A Personal Journey

Reading and Visual Fatigue: A Personal Journey

Design Diary
It took me awhile to figure out why I hated wearing my glasses, why my eyes got so tired as a young girl.  I was born with medial strabismus, a hereditary trait that causes cross-eye.  With modern day surgical techniques I was able to follow family footsteps in correcting ocular alignment. My brother's surgery resulted with an eye infection. Subsequently, he had permanent damage with blindness in one eye for his lifetime. My 'cosmetic' surgery was considered successful, still risky, leaving me with residual visual issues. One is intermittent reading. As a toddler I wore eye glasses or eye patches and followed the nagging of my mother to do eye exercises. These techniques strengthened my ocular muscles.  At one years old I had my first surgical procedure. The second at age sixteen brought self confidence…
Read More
Increase Your Creativity

Increase Your Creativity

Physical
Do you believe it's possible to reduce or increase your creativity? Recently a friend challenged me to try the following formula: 30+ minutes of movement + outdoors + listening solely to the sounds of the natural surroundings = a boost of creativity by 90%! Initially, this came as no surprise. Does it to you? Research continues to prove that we can enhance our natural creativity. In addition to regulating sleep, body temperature and libido, Serotonin is also proven to increase creativity.*  Serotonin levels increase with exposure to bright light, exercise, diet (chickpeas and wild seeds vs meat proteins), and self-induced changes in mood.** My friend's formula falls right in line with these four natural ways to get a creative boost. So, why is it important to increase your creativity? Harvard Business Review…
Read More
Write, Speak, Or Draw to Reduce Stress

Write, Speak, Or Draw to Reduce Stress

Social
Last week a group of women I socialize with began to discuss relational stress. By sharing our experiences, we learned the cause of our core stress was poor communication. The countless ways to immediately contact one another today including the computer, cell phone, landline, and various wireless signals are taking the place of connecting in person. Our conversation covered how we move less from one floor to another within a building, a home, or a drive across town. Rarely do we use our pencils, paper, and scissors. Most of us turn to social media to respond to others. Anxiety is rising and social media is one mechanism that is pulling the trigger. 40 million American adults fall into debilitating uncertainty or fear (NIMH). In the midst of our feelings we…
Read More
Abstraction Helps To Strategize

Abstraction Helps To Strategize

WholeBe Toolkit
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…
Read More
Respond to Anger with Kindness

Respond to Anger with Kindness

Occupational
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…
Read More
Selflessness as Free Medicine

Selflessness as Free Medicine

Occupational
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…
Read More
Here’s One Way To Avoid Injury in Pilates

Here’s One Way To Avoid Injury in Pilates

Physical
A few months back I shared my new adventures and history about Pilates, found here. So far, I really enjoyed my classes. However, due to the price and my hectic schedule, I opt to do my basic Pilate’s exercises independently. Once you have the foundation of pilates nailed fitness goals may take off with the use of a ball, mat and props for the full Pilates work out. However, I do recommend taking a few classes first before you take off on your own. This helps avoid muscle strains or engaging wrong muscles when moves are practiced incorrectly.  I hadn’t realized that I had been doing my sit-ups wrong until I took the first Pilate’s classes. For the love of saving money here's one way to avoid injury in pilates when practicing…
Read More
Cure Motion Sickness Instantly With This Controversial Remedy

Cure Motion Sickness Instantly With This Controversial Remedy

Occupational
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…
Read More
Measured Movement

Measured Movement

Physical
Over the past few longer and sunnier days, I've found myself wanting to move more.  I seek being outside walking around instead of hibernating.  This sense of longing certainly comes and goes throughout the year - not due to a sports injury but instead due to my own lack of planning (around weather changes, ever changing schedule, not leaving gym clothes out, etc.) Over the past few years I have learned to be patient with myself during those times I am not exercising regularly and instead focus on what does work.  Focusing on phrases such as "I am willing/open to change" help to make this feeling turn into a thought then into a habitual action. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need roughly 2.5 hours a…
Read More
How To Quit Smoking

How To Quit Smoking

Design Diary
Smoking isn't healthy but it kept me sane. It was a deadly habit but it helped me thrive professionally, socially and oddly enough, athletically. I loved to smoke and didn't attempt to quit until the day I stopped 'cold turkey'.  The miracle in this was I lost the urge to smoke but I gained a body that was unable to cope with stress. What I did: smoke to cope. Our hormones are what regulates stress. Everyone doesn't have the same hormone secretion so our level of what is stressful can vary. This is significant to how an individual will react within the fight-or-flight response. How to quit smoking is similar to unravelling a ball of yarn from a neatly organized ball. My late teens, twenties then just into my thirties were…
Read More
Pilates Workout

Pilates Workout

Physical
The pilates workout was developed by Mr. Joseph Pilates. Legend says that he called his method "contrology." Sound familiar? You are correct. It means "control." The instructors are usually hyper aware of body mechanics, body awareness, and very well versed with their musculatures. Although, all the minuscule movements are often very precise and slow moving, it's actually engaging muscles that people often dismiss. Pilates focus on a lot of core work and spinal alignment. With dedication, people who practice Pilates on regular basis can achieve long lean muscles instead of bulky muscles. There's definitely a lot of isotonic movements and/or resistance as much as it is needed. You can do a lot of core work (AKA "powerhouse" with Pilates jargon), strengthening, stretching, and coordination. The "core" is engaged with majority…
Read More
Design For Ergonomic Positioning, Pacing, Creativity

Design For Ergonomic Positioning, Pacing, Creativity

Occupational
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. Below we offer Carol's and our OT ideas to design for ergonomic positioning, pacing, along with other 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…
Read More
Eat To Be a Vigorous, Energetic Person

Eat To Be a Vigorous, Energetic Person

Physical
Home management and meal preparation are two tasks that are becoming a lost art. Women and men are prioritizing their career, parenthood, social life, exercise - prescribed chaos a minimum of 4 times a week without time to cook. Being well requires adjusting to new social norms. How do you manage food resources with new social norms?  Children's understanding of meals have evolved.  Take for instance juicing as a meal substitute. Nourishment is evolving.  Nutritional plans prioritize body needs with time management. Fiber is a major missing contributor to each meal. Juicing that extracts the whole food loses the fiber necessary for healthy digestion. No fiber equals havoc on the liver and hormones. Try one of these three ideas to keep nourishment in check with performance: Co-cook through a favorite cookbook…
Read More
Overcome Floundering With These Seven Sleep Basics

Overcome Floundering With These Seven Sleep Basics

Design Diary
The American Occupational Therapy Association dedicated an entire issue to sleep.  Rightfully so, it usually takes up a third of our day, if you're lucky.  Within the article, it is cited that 10-15% of Americans suffer from chronic insomnia and 5% suffer from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Those statistics are alarming - there are a lot of sleep-deprived people driving, working and attempting to function in everyday life.  Certainly good habits around sleep are important but sometimes that is easier said than done. Sleep Basics Make sure the bedroom is a restful place.  Have inviting comfortable linens, a heavy blanket, your favorite pillows. Avoid stimulants or exercising 2 hours before bed.  But do be sure to include exercise daily to help establish an appropriate sleep rhythm. Establish a consistent nighttime routine and…
Read More
Connect the Dots to Relief

Connect the Dots to Relief

Intellectual
This past week, I attended a course that focuses on preventing and managing undesirable behaviors.  As part of the exercise it stated: Connect all dots using two lines: . . .   Fairly easy. It creates a line.  Next was connecting two rows of dots, for a total of six dots.  The instructions read: Connect using 4 lines: .             . .             . .             .   It created a square.  Not too challenging just yet.  The last challenge was to still only: Use four lines to connect 9 circles:   I am a very literal person so I assumed the idea was to have every dot connecting to every other dot.  Therefore it…
Read More