Values Far Exceed Predictability When Without A Smartphone

Values Far Exceed Predictability When Without A Smartphone

People spend a great deal of time in front of a television, computer, and cell phones.  I’ve been cutting down on the usage of technology for the last few weeks, but find myself craving to use my smartphone.  When it was unavailable for 2 weeks something felt like it was missing. Land line phones, emails and others smartphones allowed me to go about my everyday life. Rarely did I complain. It was odd that people I see daily questioned when I would get my smartphone back. It was also an inconvenience for those frequent smartphone correspondents.  Not knowing what time I’d be home for dinner, whether the dog had been walked, or to plan for activities required more organization. A plan was necessary for those moments we were out of touch based on my location. Why does my life need to be more predictable and routine for the convenience for others? The line of work I'm in is rather predictable in comparison to a...
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20 Questions For Sleep Awareness

20 Questions For Sleep Awareness

In response to the statement "employers can educate shift workers about how to improve sleep" in the NBC Health's reveal we aren't getting enough sleep, here are 20 questions to get started. Answers are provided at the end. How many hours of sleep per night do you suspect the average American gets during the week? How do you think this ranked with the other countries: Japan, UK, Germany, Canada, Mexico? How about on the weekend: U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany, Canada, Mexico? Questionnaire respondents were asked: How much sleep do you need to function best? What do you suspect they answered: U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany, Canada, Mexico? What do you think differences existed amongst different countries? How does culture effect sleep? How many hours of sleep are recommended for adults ages 18-64? How about older adults ages 65+? In discussion about sleep,...
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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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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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Reading and Visual Fatigue: A Personal Journey

Reading and Visual Fatigue: A Personal Journey

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 because my eyes finally worked together.  Depth of perception changed and I was less tired when I read chapters on end. Although, double vision occurred with inadequate rest.  Reading in moderation was...
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Seven Steps That will Reduce Debilitating Stress and Fear

Seven Steps That will Reduce Debilitating Stress and Fear

Last week a group of women revealed the frustration of relational stress. Following our discussion it was revealed the cause of high stress was poor communication. The computer, cell phone, landline, and various wireless signals are convenient replacements to connecting in person. Each severely lowers body movement, including a stroll or brisk walk to meet a peer within a building or even the body mechanics to drive to a meeting. Anxiety disorders are rising in the United States and social media is one mechanism that is pulling the trigger. 40 million American adults fall into debilitating uncertainty or fear (NIMH). Social norms are to seek visual or audible rewards from screens. Coping weighs on the amount of those rewards are received each day. Emotional processing is quickly steering away from inward reflection for outward expression by catloging feelings in ink, graphic, and other creative mediums. Screens and keyboards are slowly replacing nourishing handwritten thoughts, sketched imagery, and hand-crafted tokens of appreciation to mail by parcel....
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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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The Best Way to Achieve Competitive Advantage

The Best Way to Achieve Competitive Advantage

A Psychology Today report offered a new perspective on the much talked about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The idea of 'Workplace' is shifting across all possibilities to support telecommuters plus lower work space costs. With this shift is less physical interface with colleagues. Steve Jobs and Harmut Esslinger kept working together in one space for their purpose. This is what Steve Denning, contributor to Forbes shares on the topic of working together to  collaborate: "In reality, Rutledge’s rewired version of psychological needs suggests a more realistic set of multiple paths, through social connection, to meet our varying psychology needs. What it implies, and the experience of radical management confirms, is that getting work done by people working together in self-organizing teams can meet most people’s psychological needs without positing unrealistic goals of self-actualization as the be-all and end-all of life." In the wellness industry, self-actualization is identified by industry terms like 'mindfulness', 'deep emotional work', 'letting go', or 'believe in the power within'. When terms are unfamiliar then initial...
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Pilates Workout

Pilates Workout

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 of the exercises. HERE ARE SOME BENEFITS FROM CORE STRENTHENING: -Spinal protection -Improve posture for sitting and standing -Minimize injuries for lifting and other various physical activities -Enhances balance and stability -Improve physical physique (this is secondary) People...
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Creating a Perfect Cup of Coffee

Creating a Perfect Cup of Coffee

It's the process that creates a perfect cup of coffee...the aroma, color, shape, sounds and the movement and the location of where the coffee beans are stored or the drive to the cafe. It's all sensory data that is registered in your brain. RadioLab airs how the brain interprets this by using the metaphor music.  The entire broadcast is worth the hour listen, but if your short on time skip forty-four minutes into RadioLabs play-by-play of creating a cup of coffee within the sensory interpretation. Coffee-lovers are stimulated when they hear the word coffee.  Nutritionally, its a completely different playing field. My focus here isn't on how coffee nourishes but to begin a conversation about the effect of creating a cup (or four) may be equally gratifying without drinking it.  Some may need to cut back on coffee or eliminate it for health reasons. There are ways to maintain what coffee provides without drinking it. If you're a coffee lover how do you splurge...
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Color and Pattern Relationship to Life Experiences

Color and Pattern Relationship to Life Experiences

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 that can even trick our minds into thinking that the room is spinning. When you need to wake up or chill out then change out your computer wall paper. Consider to make this...
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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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What It Takes To Sleep

What It Takes To Sleep

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). 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 of sensory issues that may cause disrupted sleep include lack of daily proprioceptive input, fabric textures, or temperature. To learn what your sensory needs are for improving sleep schedule time with one of our performance coaches...
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How Sounds Reclaim Life, Boosts Performance, and Surrenders Agony

How Sounds Reclaim Life, Boosts Performance, and Surrenders Agony

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.  BOB MARLEY Our inner ear provides us with a lot of information about the world around us. This sound travels through the ear by means of the auditory nerve, then to be processed by our brain. Even if we were blindfolded, we would be able to identify if we were in a large stadium versus a small confined room based on the sounds and how that sound travels through space. Music has the ability to produce an orienting response. Sounds reclaim life, boosts performance, and energizes perception. Picture grandma dropping a pan and automatically everyone in the room turns to see what it is - they orient towards that sound. Although we usually view loud noises as environmental noise pollution other types of more organized music have the ability to provide us with an orienting response in a more subtle way. When feeling sluggish, anxious, or overwhelmed it is common to go into...
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Food Can Be A Trigger

Food Can Be A Trigger

It is that season when there is always something baking in the oven or a tea kettle boiling for tea or cocoa. Family mealtimes are emphasized and social gatherings are regularly scheduled. The work offices are stocked up with cookies or treats in shining, foil wrappers. Holiday treats and celebrations bring a sense of community, nurture our bodies and feed our soul. But what about those who have difficulties or disordered eating habits? The increase in food can be a trigger or stir up anxieties. Recently, I found out a person very close to me was having such difficulties.  She reported always having such emotional pain followed by physical pain of overeating and then ultimately this effected her self-worth.  This was difficult to discuss and shows bravery on her part. Nonetheless, timing was difficult - all of this surfaced right before the holidays. It is important to me to be mindful of her situation.  I know we will only have a short time...
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