Wellbeing Design Diary: Awareness

Wellbeing Design Diary: Awareness

Design Diary
How is mental and physical awareness important to health, relationships, a meaningful life? WholeBeSM is a process used personally and shared as a coach. Perfection is unattainable, so the method repurposes passion. In conclusion,  rewards of victory! There are effective nuggets of this method and process. This diary will share what, how and why wellbeing + design is effective. Design Sensibility is the process of awareness of the person, tasks, and environments that play a part to current and future health. Furthermore, it's an exploration of physical, occupational (activities), intellectual, spiritual, social, and emotional values. This process heightens awareness to health barriers, health resources and results in healthy habits. Disclaimer: This is my journey. A friend of mine shared a term one doctor uses to describe a person's lifestyle: circus. So, by using this…
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Why Individual’s Wellbeing Differ and How to Solve It

Why Individual’s Wellbeing Differ and How to Solve It

Workplace
It's easy to identify that person who's in the midst of something novel to the norm of every day life. The reinforcement appears in their dialogue that its something everyone needs. It could be a fresh approach to storing things or the empowerment from a new app. Although, swapping out something new for something old doesn't guarantee the same gratification for everyone. Individual's daily resources that constitute as their wellbeing inevitably differ. Do employer's know how to solve for diversity? This recent report included 487 employers and over 5,000 employee responses identifying their top health and productivity concerns. Employers pointed at technology and organizational issues. Employees reported those as least important with the greater issues on personal work experiences; work/life balance hit at #6. EMPLOYEES TOP 5 Inadequate Staffing Low…
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How To Commit To the Justice of a Quality Life

How To Commit To the Justice of a Quality Life

Emotional
When and where was the last time you experienced a creeping internal sensation of gnawing fury? It may be a feeling like you're doing too much of something. Another may be you don't have the resources to accomplish the task at hand. Occupational literacy is the first step to commit to the justice of a quality of life. Occupational Therapist Elizabeth Townsend defines this  as "a source of language and skills for persons at any age to adapt to diverse contexts and purposes." Sensations like fury and fear may be difficult for some to identify with words. Some confuse a feeling with a need. Two examples of this are suppression by consumption (shopping, food, alcohol) or silence (gossiping, lying, unrealistic perspective). This Globis 2013 survey identified how 200 leaders lack the language…
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15 Insights on How To Train Your Brain

15 Insights on How To Train Your Brain

Intellectual
Do you adhere daily to the fact that all you surround yourself with PLUS what you ingest trains or alters your brain? The optimistic person we share a space with, the composition of brass instruments in music, or salad verses fries can make all the difference. Cognitive science is linking biology with cultural experiences. Science is teaching us how to train our brain, so we are exploring the research. Below are questions, links, and action steps equaling 15 insights on how to train your brain to live healthy. Here Is What You Hear April science news shared a new part of the brain was revealed through auditory testing. Scientists say our brain has neuroplasticity. This leaves us with new evidence supporting the ability to change the way we think, feel,…
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Have You Seen Sensory Integration Improve Work Results?

Have You Seen Sensory Integration Improve Work Results?

Workplace
Recently I watched this hilarious story that James McAvoy shared on the BBC Graham Norton Show. In his attempt to vulnerably communicate to a recipient who spoke a different language he appeared to confess the forbidden. If you have seen or experienced sensory integration improve work results then James' experience is relatable. Sensations are like languages. Sensations affect the end result. Check out this list of sensory scenarios. When laying in bed while reading a book you become sleepy. When you smell coffee you want to taste it or become alert. When you put on formal clothing you become empowered. Every body has a unique inner-dialogue between sense and perception. Similar to a foreign language, an experience to one person is likely completely opposite to another but it's within the same…
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Eighteen Tips For A Remarkably Healthy Memorial Day Weekend

Eighteen Tips For A Remarkably Healthy Memorial Day Weekend

Occupational
The holiday weekend is here! Does that mean scrap your healthy lifestyle? We're dishing and digging into our blog and Pinterest archives to share eighteen tips for a remarkably healthy Memorial Day weekend. Below are three awareness tips within the six lifestyle goals we collaborate with our Clients on. 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. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="564"] Free yourself to jump on the bed or couch. Every so often isn't…
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How Stress Spreads and Proven Methods to Stop It

How Stress Spreads and Proven Methods to Stop It

Social
Two employees walk into the office one regularly-scheduled work day morning. They respectfully go their separate desks, set down their belongings but cling to the  unnerving chaos experienced moments before work. Here are two cases of three people revealing how stress may spread along with methods to stop it. What are employees to do with those intangible belongings stuck to their brains and bones? I'm guessing most of you are thinking "they need to get over it." Fact is mental disorders are climbing far above heart conditions, cancer, and diabetes. Stress is reality. From the moment we came out of our mother's wombs we experienced stress from newness: bright lights, louder sounds and alarming sights...eeeks! Then the touch of a stranger? "Poor baby," isn't a helpful approach. Current points of…
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Desperate to change? These three are guaranteed success.

Desperate to change? These three are guaranteed success.

Spiritual
We may all take a lesson on programs from Benjamin Franklin's attempt to achieve moral perfection. Ben outlined thirteen virtues then created a program requiring daily check marks to track his adherence. As he exceeded with check marks in one virtue he shifted focus to the next virtue while continuing to track the later. As focus shifted, check marks of the prior perceived 'accomplished virtue' diminished. Achieving mindfulness to be more virtuous through his program only provided a short term benefit for Ben. Wellness Programs are good sources of reliability. They are structured to get to the end result. Although, life is far from a program. Individuals are uniquely different.  More than half don't even sign up for programs. Simply put, a program may not fit a lifestyle. Each day throws a curve…
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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,…
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Workplace Abuse and the Secret Plot To Explode It

Workplace Abuse and the Secret Plot To Explode It

Workplace
The workplace seeks to build and fulfill marketplace relationships. It secures revenue. Is the character of marketing relationships similar to that in the workplace culture? Workplace cultures resemble the character of the founder. Courage, vision, discipline, and endurance breath cultural standards into the employees of a business. Oh, and one more trait…love. Love may be taboo to a list of entrepreneurial or workplace character traits but its equally important. Love sets the tone of how a culture relates to one another and the customer. It drives out adversity. Scandalous behaviors and provoked tragedies cost poor creativity and collaboration. Unmet deadlines, employees that quit, and lost customers sets a cultural norm. But those outcomes don’t have to be the norm. Norms define stability in the quest for revenue security. This new…
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Five Steps To Engage In A Healthy Lifestyle

Five Steps To Engage In A Healthy Lifestyle

Emotional
How do your thoughts articulate each moment you experience? “I'm confidently griping the handle of this heavy meeting-room door, stepping into this meeting that will shape and sharpen feelings of fulfillment in my life.” Thoughts vividly characterize the body's experience. Our body senses every tiny thing before describing it with words. This phenomenon directs behaviors. The brain encodes then decodes sensory stimuli then informs the nervous system how to respond. It then links to our subjective frame of mind. Since we're creatures of habit everything we currently avoid was first formulated through an unpleasant past experience. Behaviors demonstrate how the body stores then processes sensations into action. Awareness of your unique sensory response, understanding metaphors, your internal dialogue, and an abstract representation of your self mediates behavior response. How do you discover your…
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B.E.I.N.G. Is To Boldly Exist in Necessary Growth

B.E.I.N.G. Is To Boldly Exist in Necessary Growth

Occupational
Comfort and safety are needs we seek for wellbeing in the workplace, relationships, and home. Who's the expert defining your sense of belief in what is 'safe' or has 'comfort'? Some might say its the leader in a culture. Others may argue its trend-led. There are marketing messages, spiritual guides, and slogans that manifest the idea of what's comfortable and safe. My clinical and design work deduce all theories to this: the expert is the Experience. "If you're comfortable in life then you're not maturing." Anonymous Humans instinctually seek to feel safe but stretching outside of comfort may compromise quality of life beliefs. B.E.I.N.G. are five points for safety and comfort strategies that may improve performance and manage stress.  Here's how to Boldly Exist In Necessary Growth: Boldly   Occupational Justice is the…
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Work Has Fragile Elements

Work Has Fragile Elements

Spiritual
Wellbeing is something I learned late in life. It was easier to avoid adversity by following desires for comfort. When I was a child I climbed a tree to escape. Avoidance behaviors kept me from becoming who I was meant to be. Here and now I'm profoundly thankful. Especially with reflection of people and experiences life brought. Awareness of each moment slowly drew me away from avoidance through comfort-seeking to becoming more aware of purpose-seeking. Wellbeing began with accepting I fall short. It taught me compassion, forgiveness, and to creatively self-express within all my life roles. Often I reflect on my ancestors and family influences. My grandfathers humbly invented or crafted objects. My grandmothers breathed a lineage of faith and morals into each of us. Dad was an engineer and academic while Mom's discipline…
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Reacting to Stress

Reacting to Stress

Physical
This past weekend while on a walk my converse slipped on a bank covered with wet leaves. Friends and I had a good belly laugh due to the sight and unexpectedness of it all.  If I relived that experience with out my friends beside me I wouldn't have laughed. As an infant we learn how to protect our body from falls, how to react to words or people's tone of voice, and how to interact while in different moods. These are all learned behaviors. Reactions to stress stem from learned childhood behaviors. Let's use stairs as a metaphor.  To our physical needs we need to balance on one foot in order to lift the other in motion upward or downward. Eventually both feet land on one surface. Much the same,…
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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…
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Talking to Yourself

Talking to Yourself

Social
First mail out those letters sitting on the table, make dinner, and take the dog out. Then think about the rest of my life. Those thoughts became words quickly without hesitation one day. I didn’t even realize I had said them until they were muttered. They were reassuring, focusing words that lead to true responsiveness. Talking to yourself throughout our day is not abnormal. In fact, there is even a term that defines this phenomenon known as private speech. We often learn to do it as kids. Kids talk to themselves while playing.  It serves as an important part of their development. As we get older, it allows us to cement memories or visualize what we are thinking. Buy carrots for the soup. Oh those keys..hmmm. Sometimes it helps us socially.  When we come up with…
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Regulating Your Own Emotions

Regulating Your Own Emotions

Emotional
Within hours of drafting this, the emotional stories from those I love fell on my heart. It's unsettling to listen to the ache in a loved ones voice. The pain conveyed in expressing their dilemma is palpable. How do you help? If it's your emotional dilemma, what do you do? Strip those pre-conceived ideas of meditation to fully understand the health benefits. Research continues to flood us with data on necessary development of our brain function. Meditation supports regulating your own emotions by helping the brain handle various dilemmas like the following: pain tolerance, emotional control, feelings of tension, external distractions, fear of unknowns, physical issues, absenteeism, awareness of genetic diseases. For emotional wellbeing consider how and what you invest your time and resources in. These add up as ways we medicate suffering or celebrate purpose. The investments to medicate with 'things' pays out…
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Sensibility

Sensibility

Spiritual
Have you danced without music? Recently, in the midst of what I hoped to be a long pause with online radio, I continued to dance without music. My hope was 'my sensibility will improve'. Just what is sensibility? It's the ability to appreciate and respond to complex emotional or aesthetic influences. A lack of sensibility may impede performance with misguided responses, lack of attention, or situational discernment. So how does one strengthen sensibility? When athletes strengthen skill they first recognize their weakness. Scientists have proven that when a performer focuses attention externally rather than internally then performance is enhanced. If it's a sprinter with a speed weakness then their mindset is 'imagining the ground as a hotplate' not 'striking with your forefoot'. In parallel, an example to strengthen a work…
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Moods – When can you be the real you?

Moods – When can you be the real you?

Emotional
Are you 'tired' and you can't nap in the middle of work hours? Are you 'hungry' and you can't eat in class? Are you 'irated' while you are in a traffic jam while trying to drop your kids off at school? We identify these scenarios of time, place, and body response as elements to lifestyles. Genuine feelings may be masked when its perceived the mood doesn't fit the time or place. There are environments where stress increases if feedback is honest instead of agreeable. Mood is subjective. Emotional responses may be genuine with practice, time, and awareness to body responses. Skilled active listeners and emotional well individuals are aware of genuine and false emotional responses. Sensory sensitive human beings are roughly 20% of the population (Acevedo 2014). Those who rarely trust…
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Tolerance in Day to Day Life

Tolerance in Day to Day Life

WholeBe Toolkit
The word "tolerance" is used in many ways. On the largest of scales, we have seen it used as a stepping stone for social issues.  Change begins with tolerance then leads to awareness of differences, integration, and celebration of these differences. What role does tolerance play in your day to day life? Sometimes it is a bad movie, or  the extra pile of laundry.  You fit in an extra errand in before making it home.  Often these little areas are “tolerated” but is that enough?  To go day-in-day-out just tolerating may be limiting us in the long run.  One day, a stack of laundry may be the final straw that causes you to snap.  The bad movie may turn into frustration overload.  The extra errand could lead to exhaustion, falling asleep at the wheel, or…
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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…
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Relationship Is Based On Respect Not Power

Relationship Is Based On Respect Not Power

Intellectual
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,…
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What Is In Sight May Distract You

What Is In Sight May Distract You

Emotional
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…
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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…
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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…
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Why Self-monitoring Is Most Important to Measure Responsiveness

Why Self-monitoring Is Most Important to Measure Responsiveness

Emotional
A thirty-one year old Client was being supplemented by three liters of oxygen 24 hours a day. One day the tank wasn't turned on for the first thirty minutes of our time together. This occurrence is equivalent to a healthy body surviving one day on three ounces of water - including shower water. Have you heard of a pulsoximeter? It's a handheld device that hugs a finger tip to measure the percentage of oxygen in your blood stream. They are everywhere in the health care industry but used most often for those that require oxygen supplemented. The body's oxygen saturation is adequate for the organs to thrive when it registers above 96%. Oxygen reduces pain, nourishes blood, feeds your immune system, keeps your brain healthy, provides energy...only to name a few…
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Sensation to React

Sensation to React

Occupational
Sensory Defensiveness results in behaviors that create barriers to lifestyle performance. Occupational therapists are trained to reduce its ugly effects. At a Sensory Defensiveness certification we used role-playing to gain compassion to this behavior. We were challenged to lead one of our peers around the conference grounds for a total of ten minutes. The peer had to keep their eyes 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. Humans have the ability to sense then behave through actions for safe, healthy cope techniques with all feelings. What we choose to put into our space may have a direct effect to being open or defensive (Cox, Burns, Savage 2004). It varies with each person.…
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How Do Persuasive Rules Target the Bravery of Living By Values?

How Do Persuasive Rules Target the Bravery of Living By Values?

Spiritual
We kick around the terms wise and expert when claiming a person's character. The word 'Ecclesiastes' means teacher. This biblical book endorses wisdom as a means for a well-lived earthly life.  Wisdom is acquiring knowledge by experiencing and exploring all the resources. Expertise claims being the best of systematic thinking or beliefs. Individuals who are wise aren't necessarily experts. Health claims about products, strategies, or environmental effects aren't all in agreement. One individual may follow their curiosity with discernment to challenge their doubts and beliefs. Another may follow curiosity along one belief, quick to deny entertaining alternatives. Some examples are health supplements, medication, diet, or types of fitness. The art of persuasion is a daily occurrence. Internal conflict is experienced when a behavior is scolded from a resource that is…
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The Clear Advantage To a Furnished Space with Inspiring Objects

The Clear Advantage To a Furnished Space with Inspiring Objects

Spiritual
What's to do with years of old memorabilia?  Often I strongly consider burying my journals and random objects of meaning in a time capsule. Are objects worthwhile to keep for security of feelings? Five years ago this month I began to travel with only one carry-on. The trail-hopping between furnished temporary living quarters was freeing and challenging. Prior to leaving my home state I shed furnishings, products, and clothes to simplify my valuables into as few storage bins as possible.  Recently all six bins shipped from Michigan to Los Angeles. Immediately I sold the emptied bins on Craigslist for a bundle deal of $50. The need to rekindle with my old belongings was met. An outpour of feelings while combing through old memorabilia caused questioning: Why keep past objects within view? The energy that…
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Journaling Proved To Heal Shame Trapped in the Past

Journaling Proved To Heal Shame Trapped in the Past

Intellectual
Journaling has been my inconsistent therapeutic remedy. Its evidence my first journal was truly a diary. At age nine my way of communicating was blathering about nothings in between short stories of play dates or family folly. Friends allowed to read my Diary represented a sort-of friendship hierarchy. It was evident I was first emotionally inept from heavy hand, dark-leaded big words or a scribbled frenzy of characters and shapes. Some pages have a word written over and over until the page forced an end to that silliness. Over time a diary became a journal, stories took shape with meaning and depth. The discovery of my emotional journey was in part to chronologically reading them as a script to my life. Sadness overtook me when an eighth of the pages were…
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