How To Thrive When You Are Hypersensitive to Environments

How To Thrive When You Are Hypersensitive to Environments

Social, WholeBe Toolkit, Workplace
Does just thinking about being certain places exhaust you? If each has similar traits then you might be hypersensitive to environments. Knowing your sensory needs simplifies solving the connect between design factors and excelling performance. When a person is hypersensitive to an environment the most noticeable response will be avoidance. Interior design factors effecting the hypersensitive, including furnishing placement and object purposes, often may be modified. Also, there are tactics to mentally or physically prepare for these circumstances. Our hypersensitive community can reduce their anxiety and thrive once they understand how to manage their sensitivities. [caption id="attachment_7053" align="alignright" width="300"] Alignment Framework | Paolo Ragonethe[/caption] This feasibility study is specific to children's reaction to a dentist office. It builds the foundational understanding an environment contributes to what seems like an uncontrollable behavior. Wired.com shared dentist offices…
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Three Talent Management Strategies Developing Multi-generational Workforce

Three Talent Management Strategies Developing Multi-generational Workforce

Workplace
Across generations, creating meaning at work is key to being. We use Being here to capture identity, self-awareness, and tolerance. Talent management practices that engage a multi-generational workforce are informed by an understanding of the influences and values of each generation.  Incorporating trends such as: Baby Boomers crave contributing. Generation Xers seek clear logic for their work tasks. Millennials want to make a tangible difference. Optimal talent management transforms work into being meaningful.  Employees sharpen talent as they value being their whole-being. So, this includes use of their time, talent, and relationships. Also, they feel safe and supported in both relationships and surroundings. Reverse-mentoring, the corporate break place, and role-sharing are three strategies to support a strong multi-generational workforce. Established support network Mentoring is increasingly becoming structured and strategic, as organizations are noting its essential role in…
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Why Becoming Easily Distressed and Distracted Is Solvable

Why Becoming Easily Distressed and Distracted Is Solvable

Workplace
Does it seem there are more days then less when someone (maybe yourself) is avoiding activities to cope? Behaviors from being easily distracted and distressed have been researched since the 1960's with intense focus on the central nervous system's response to sensations. The results are a failure to modify sensory intake sufficiently and perceptual instability. In today's workplace health and wellbeing services are becoming more necessary. According to 2012 Aflac Workforces Report of 6,100 United States workers, those receiving health and wellbeing services reported a higher level of job satisfaction, feel happier with their employer, and are more satisfied with their overall benefits. Millennials are redefining what health and wellbeing means with 55% agreeing a healthy mind leads to a healthy body. Sensations are mind fuel. Stimuli enters the body as…
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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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Think of Your Health As If It Were Your Employee

Think of Your Health As If It Were Your Employee

Occupational
Following 173 pages of short stories, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki instantly empowers.  At the time I read this finances were strained but there was a quick reveal for motion into better health by page two. Robert's first proficient fact: schools focus on scholastic and professional skills, not money or finance. Where the reveal occurred was as Robert shared the difference between two influential men to his upbringing. One, a father-figure he began to model. The second, his natural father who was loving but had a different way of living than the other. Robert compared the influence of his two fathers: ...one dad had a habit of saying, "I can't afford it." The other dad forbade those words to be used.  He insisted I ask, "How can I afford it?" One…
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Lighting Conditions

Lighting Conditions

Occupational
My best friend is a lighting genius. Wherever we go, he is certain to make spot-on, insightful observations of the lighting.   He also has a keen ability to capture light in even the simplest of photos taken on his phone. Light was never something I paid much attention to. I knew that I loved to take outdoor breaks throughout the day, but I attributed the invigorating feeling to fresh air and soaking up some Vitamin D from the sun. Then, last year I found myself in a job where I spent a lot of time on the computer. I was in a tiny room with drawn blinds. The only source of light came from the undersurface of cabinets anchored above our work desks. For the first time in my life, I was…
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Active Listening in Cultural Differences

Active Listening in Cultural Differences

Social
Right in the the middle of an important task that has a deadline you get interrupted by your Fellow. What do you do? This scenario begs for the least amount of listening. Some may just use a body gesture, like a hand in the air without diverting the eyes from task. This action isn't a normal listening behavior. Active listening in cultural differences fosters healthy relationships. C'mon, giving the hand is on the selfish side of relaying information. (Grohol 2013) One might hope those that interrupt would pause in anticipation for a body gesture of approval. This isn't always the case. This is a social dilemma which happens in a variety of occupational scenarios. Let's look at an example of cultural diversity when in play - like a break from work…
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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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Being Over Stimulated

Being Over Stimulated

Spiritual
How would you rate your driving skills? It's such an intense task. Cars driving directly at you or whizzing beside you. The speed. Oh! The interesting signs or the shops. The interesting people on city sidewalks. In the past, I raved about my driving skills.  Honestly, they are just down right average. While driving, I'm intrigued at what surrounds me so I weave. I know I do this and sometimes I give myself mental warnings. Sometimes. Yet, there are times my curiosity drives me! Not only do I weave while driving the car but I do the same in my day to day tasks. For instance, today at the grocery store. I started to browse magazine ads, stared at new items, and then smelled every single rose to find the most fragrant ( the largest white…
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Interior Design for Positive Aspects

Interior Design for Positive Aspects

Spiritual
The first reflection of a person is said to be witnessed in a still, calm body of water. Following, craftsmen caught onto the fact that a polished stone, like copper and bronze, provided much sought after mirrors for grooming. Today the task of mirrors reaches beyond your reflection to reflect your best self in metaphor or form. Reflection also takes shape as a thought, value or goal. When your arrow aims at healthy roles, habits and performance, then design your environment to support following through at your very best.  Steelcase recently blogged on their 360 Research page that wellbeing is systematic and holistic. "The team went on to conclude that the places where people come together to work can be designed to have a positive impact on a variety of dimensions of worker…
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Surrounded by Four Walls

Surrounded by Four Walls

Occupational
The best canvas in a room is a wall. Instead of believing you're surrounded by four walls, consider the ways you could put writing on the wall.  It's a designed greeting to direct the success you imagine. Below are ideas to get your creative started... [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="700"] DESIGN^under-responsive | Resting room designed with consideration for your best self if muted or delayed responses to daily sensory events[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="736"] DESIGN^sensory craving | bedroom design consideration to achieve your best self if with an insatiable drive for enhanced sensory experiences[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="736"] DESIGN^taste | ideas relevant to negative, avoidant, aversive, or defensive behaviors for food prep sensitivities.[/caption]
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Creating Routines in your Life

Creating Routines in your Life

Intellectual
Creating routines in your life is important.  It is something I have been slowly integrating into my life. I am curious by nature.  Therefore, I tend to drift off the path more often than I should. It brings initial excitement but results in suffering. I know that, for better or for worse, routines promote commitment.  At times, it may be cultural or temporary.  However, routines are patterns of behavior that are observable, regular, repetitive and provide structure for daily life.* In this Psychology Today blog, the author presents 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…
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Wall Alerts

Wall Alerts

Intellectual
I don't know about you but when I need to change without waiver I need the end goal to be on repeat in my mind. To do this I surround myself with what will inspire change. The first time I knowingly created wall alerts was when I was in middle school. Every inch of my walls were covered with images and words that inspired me to be more creative, to be more healthy.  Perhaps,  not the most glamorous work of art at the time but I genuinely reached my heart through various mediums to gain loving self-support towards change. Thirty years later I still do this because it works! Creative wall alerts may be designed unique to your need and style while exploring the use of a variety of mediums.…
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Wake Up in the Morning

Wake Up in the Morning

Physical
Estimating time is a skill that improves as we age. Neuroscientists support through research that our brain triggers this skill while we sleep (Aritake and  Higuchi 2012). It helps us wake up on time. We are capable of ending sleep accurately, up to ten minutes from the desired wake up time without an alarm clock. Non-REM sleep is a slow-wave type of sleep necessary for normal physical and intellectual performance and behaviors. Sleep deprivation causes the brain to activate sleep rebound or pressure responses. Reduced daytime activity and sleep disruption will respond with poor daytime performance (Trinidad and Miguel 2011). REM sleep supports your mood and memory. This sleep stage occurs repeatedly. Sufficient REM can nix the need for your alarm clock. Wake up in the morning!  Do you want to make it easier? Pay attention to daytime activity…
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Cultural Context

Cultural Context

Spiritual
Is it difficult for you to perform at your best while working at the office? This was my experience at an internship. It was customary for employees to work by shift and to keep the environment conservative. The standards in the culture was a quiet work space. However, I thrived around moving bodies and sounds of life. Customs, beliefs and behavior standards are just a few cultural contexts. Activity patterns, expectations, ethnicity, values, political aspects are also included.  The premise of cultural context includes opportunities for education, employment and economic support that are accepted by the society in which one is a member. Work as an occupational therapy practitioner has guided me to understand my sensory self - or how my sensations respond to stress. I'm aware that I have low arousal.…
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Why Context Is Most Important to Harmonize Censored Cultures

Why Context Is Most Important to Harmonize Censored Cultures

Workplace
What do you do when you experience stress from a colleagues behavior? In childhood, we learned through our community and at home what to do with bullies or annoying people. Those environments created our socioeconomic and fraternal personality features. 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). GIG Design Consultants observe and service all of the following contextual factors: 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. Our gender and education level are demographics that overlap into personal beliefs and customs. Personal context at an organizational level includes stages of life including millennial, retired or…
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Be Willing to Get Messy In Life

Be Willing to Get Messy In Life

Intellectual
Twenty-four hours before buying an airline ticket to return back to my home state, a wise man shared a valuable message. Words I needed to hear that moment. Essentially, be willing to get messy in life to gain in life. Performance building is to step forward into unknowns. Fearful moments help us build relationships, share our purpose, and become our best self. The following is a brief summary how our senses trigger in the messiness of life: Build Relationships "Good teaching is interactive. It engages the child individually. " Malcolm Gladwell coined the Stickiness Factor towards a tipping point. Here he identifies building relationships to a child's learning process (which is similar to adult's). "It uses all the senses. It responds to the child...once the advice became practical and personal,…
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Alone Time is Healthy

Alone Time is Healthy

Spiritual
The word "alone" can mean different things. For instance, the self-employed person uses "alone time". Going through your morning routine, doing a crossword puzzle, or cleaning the house are all activities done during "alone time". Most parents would be ecstatic to have an hour of alone time. However, there are other times that being alone can be uncomfortable or down right scary. Being alone can resonate with our spiritual core. We believe our health depends on spirituality. It helps us establish values, adhere to our beliefs, and discover ways to thrive. Spirituality empowers us as we find our purpose. Alone time is healthy. We all experience it. It is what we do with it that can help us grow and succeed. So, if you're not utilizing your "alone time" to…
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Live and Learn

Live and Learn

Physical
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…
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Peers In the Workplace That Are Recovering From Trauma

Peers In the Workplace That Are Recovering From Trauma

Occupational
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.…
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Base Color on Emotional Solution

Base Color on Emotional Solution

Emotional
If you have the time, go to Google Images to search 'earth tones'.  The top 10 images include graphic design, tile, fabric, craft ink, stamp ink, fine art, a social website, makeup, and the Earthtones CD cover is, of course, earth tones. Creative use of color may be one tool to living healthier. Here are five considerations to base color on emotional solutions. When it comes to bedroom design, the Home Buying Institute says, "Earth tones are always a safe color that will appeal to the majority." The San Francisco Gate nods to this idea, including that "earth tones are frequently used in craftsman, bungalow and modern architecture. Light earth tones in shades of sand or beige help a small bedroom look larger and brighter." In fashion, earth tones are ever present. They…
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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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Body Mechanics to Better Your Health

Body Mechanics to Better Your Health

Occupational
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 knobs or drawer pulls. Each of these examples beg for both perspectives, the formula form + function. What is it that draws you to an object or the appearance of a room? Buying furniture or interior decorating is like dating. You may think they are the perfect partner but it doesn't last.  A chair that fits perfectly with an heirloom desk may cause back discomfort. Do you break up with furnishings to better health? 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…
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Distraction Coping Strategy

Distraction Coping Strategy

Emotional
Have you used a distraction coping strategy? Grounding is a healthy technique that changes inward focus outward. Two of the three ways involve what's in your line of sight or objects you are in direct contact with. It anchors the mind to present realities. People who practice this strategy use one of three methods that works best for them: mental, physical or soothing. Each uses roughly ten tactics to build outward focus. First, rate your emotional pain and current mood. Keep your eyes open to scan your immediate surroundings. Visual aspects of Grounding are more prominent in the mental and physical methods. A soothing plan may be a safe retreat, like a pedicure or a hot shower. Mental grounding may include environmental descriptions that are simply and swift like identifying letters on a…
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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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The Wellbeing Tactic of Conserving Energy

The Wellbeing Tactic of Conserving Energy

Physical
Last night my brother-in-law asked my opinion on the blueprint for their kitchen. It's naked to the studs with an open map to plan task paths. We moved the location of light switches, refrigerator, dishwasher and talked through the ergonomics of a built-in nook. The emphasis here wasn't only ergonomics but their lifestyle, functionality and how to best conserve body energy . Built-in environments benefit from incorporating the wellbeing tactic of conserving energy.  This strategy reduces the onset of fatigue. Clients that incorporate Energy Conservation Techniques (ECT) prevent illness and injury. This occupational science study shares successful outcomes for a group who implemented ECT through an OTs guidance. Below are four principles the UofM Inpatient Acute Care team endorses: PACE  Stop. Rest before you get fatigued.  It is easier to recover your energy by avoiding to…
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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…
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Create a Trust Environment

Create a Trust Environment

Intellectual
I remember what I was wearing, the room I was in, the furniture, the color...the smells. Past memories surface when least expected. In a fleeting moment confusion may occur. The mind races towards how to direct behavior. A task or person may trigger past trauma, pain, or uneasy sensory memories. Aware or not, everything registers in to the brain as a memory (ASA 2014). So colors, objects, people, patterns - anything in the line of sight (and peripherally), smell, taste - all registers as 'data'. The brain organizes this information to use as a response behavior. Trust is included in the life memory bank. Comfort, safety, restful environments or things are included as trustful. This intellectually driven method aids to establish trust. Conflict resists trust. The brain organizes conflict into 'fight'…
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Color and Pattern Relationship to Life Experiences

Color and Pattern Relationship to Life Experiences

Design Diary
The human eye can see over 7 million colors. Visual stimulation is fascinating.  On top of that, we can see patterns (2D) and texture (3D).  Plus, wall colors and patterns can really change a room’s atmosphere. Colors such as sage green and soft blue are particularly calming to me. Perhaps, these colors remind me of a green grass knolls and the endless blue sky. Neutral colors in particular can calm your senses as well.  In contrary, colors such as bright red, orange, electric (neon) yellow or pink may be quite exhilarating. I like wearing these colors to work out. Not to mention, it might prevent a car from hitting me when I'm on the road.  Polka dots, contrasting checkered bright colors can be very alarming or alerting.  There are patterns…
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What It Takes To Sleep

What It Takes To Sleep

Physical
Our sleep patterns are effected by stress, our daily activities and prep-for-bed routines. Here's what it takes to sleep by visiting our sleep environments: The National Sleep Foundation Sleep Report Card states that 90% people watch TV before going to bed, 33% are on the computer.  Their Fact Sheet states the bedroom is for two things only: sleep and sex. Their tip: Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable. Think window treatment fabric and quality, materials to dampen sound (i.e.: carpet, wall insulation, noise-reduction product). OT Idea: Know sleep and rest are an occupation you're responsible for. Understand your sensory needs then create sleep and rest environments to support an ease into sleep, to maintain sleep without disturbance, to accomplish a full night (7 to 8 hours) of sleep. Examples…
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Why Carving Is A Heartfelt Emotion

Why Carving Is A Heartfelt Emotion

Emotional
Carving is a whole body activity. Cavemen used their large muscles to express themselves. To scratch the surface on emotions of survival, fear, and birth was their healing agent. Art Collectors adore carved walls and artifacts. These objects travel in museum exhibits around the globe. A favorite pub of mine has carved names on the walls and tables. Carving is an animated gesture that expresses heartfelt emotion. Handwriting styles, names and graphics offer speculation of what each story is telling. Is it joy? Love? A day of victory? One with fear? Houses need to be built on material recommended based on the geography and soil. It's not always cement! The soil may need wood stilts. Homeowners attracted to different materials that aren't suited for a building site will cause a house to collapse. Following the foundation is the frame. Homeowners can speak…
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What Is The Culprit to Behaviors You Want To Stop?

What Is The Culprit to Behaviors You Want To Stop?

Emotional
History is an incredible occurrence that shapes everything to stand with remarkable uniqueness. How often do you stop to consider something or someone's history? An example of a 'something' are words. Vocabulary history is acquired through selective listening and reading or engrained through cultural norms. The history of common words - like connection, originated with different spelling (connectere) then morph from their homeland (Latin - connexio) into new cultures (English - connect). In consideration of the history of 'someone' a form of history measurement may be through behaviors. Behavior responses may change as demonstrated by designs preferred, the slang spoken, the people or cultures valued for purposeful sharing. Behaviors lead to daily choices and then return as life history. The history of brain growth shares commonalities with the life of the 'something' and 'someone'…
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What Is Sensory Regulation?

What Is Sensory Regulation?

HR Academy, Intellectual
What is sensory regulation and why is health and design related to it? We're the experts incorporating design thinking with health through sensory knowledge. Think of those drinking excessive amounts of coffee or caffeinated beverages.  Or those with unusual sleeping habits. Perhaps, extreme energy levels - all time high or extreme lows. These examples touch on a lengthy list of symptoms that signals warning. The brain's response to sensations seeks its idea of appropriate and efficient. This may not agree with societal or desired standards. Sensory regulation is the way the brain and nervous system manages sensations. These sensations return as behaviors. Our sense reaction triggers the nervous system to sends millions of recorded and encoded messages to the brain, Touch, smell, taste, vision, hearing, vestibular, proprioceptive, interoceptive systems -…
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Texture May Arouse Emotional Workplace Behaviors

Texture May Arouse Emotional Workplace Behaviors

Emotional, HR Academy
Texture is full of variance. It has pattern, color, material, and weight. Have you considered using it for shock value? One way to form a memory is by shocking our nervous system. Our response to seeing an appealing texture is to touch it. Something soft but feels like sandpaper will leave a lasting impression. It may sound harsh but in the right context it works! Our brain's plasticity allows us to change unhealthy behaviors.  It first detects, then reacts to sensations. Detection occurs on an unconscious level. Reaction is what fosters a behavior. Texture is just one way to access our millions of neurological functions in pursuit of changing behavior. Texture may intensify emotion within workplace behaviors. Daily, excessive tasks including products like seating, office equipment, even writing tools can cause…
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