How To Become Grounded, Resilient, and Self-Aware

How To Become Grounded, Resilient, and Self-Aware

Spiritual
Every person will deal with at least one major life event. A two year study of 2,106 people identified the birth of a first child caused the most significant impact on wellbeing. The remaining three were divorce, unemployment, or death of a spouse. The event of suicide is so common amongst Japanese and Korean employees that it's listed as a work-related condition for compensation. An individual that is resilient, grounded, and self-aware reduces has greater odds of coping in life. Last week's post on how to energize body and mind introduced five resolutions through addressing different aspects of spirituality. Spirituality is included in our wellbeing model because it's an aspect that supports performance. Chronic stress is reported to effect the immune system and ultimately a person's quality of life. This presents the argument…
Read More
How to Energize Body and Mind with Spirituality

How to Energize Body and Mind with Spirituality

Spiritual
The stigma behind spirituality is a alive and strong. People suggest avoiding conversations on religion but spirituality is a health resource. More medical professionals are discussing spirituality with their patients to energize body and mind needs. Pain, stress, and trauma effects mind, body, and soul. Wellbeing is an active process to increase awareness and make choices toward a successful existence. This process includes: eating, movement, satisfaction, enrichment, creativity, motivation, purposefulness, community, awareness, and acceptance. Unlocking the essence of each life experience rewards wellbeing improvements. "The experience of 'madness' can include a profound experience of connection and spirituality; oneness with nature; and the meaning and purpose of life," says founder of The California Mental Health and Spirituality Initiative, Jay Mahler.  Reverend Laura Manusco sighted the most common questions she hears: "Why me?"…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
No Means No; Yes Means Yes

No Means No; Yes Means Yes

Spiritual
Does your 'no' mean no? Does your 'yes' mean yes? Oh, I've been here.  In fact, I just recovered from this. When in the throws of life, action may readily happen before time allows deep thought about the implications. Rest assured, this is normal and happens to us all. Confusion may set in, but what we choose to do in the midst of it will determine the affect on all of our core aspects. Yet, this spiritual aspect is worth nestling into. No means no; yes means yes. Several years ago, I wrote down nine questions the book Boundaries nudged me to consider. Can I set limits and still be a loving person? What are legitimate boundaries? What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? How do I answer someone…
Read More
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.…
Read More
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…
Read More
As We Get Older

As We Get Older

Spiritual
This last week before going for a hike I had thoughts enter my head about the following: mud, the dog, making my own trail, and poor boots.  Before starting the hike, I had judgments. This anticipatory, automatic notion of how it has been in the past, how it should be, and what will make the car completely muddy were flooding my mind. At that moment, I paused.  Where had my excitement and intent gone? Isn’t the whole purpose of a hike to let go, be out in nature, gently make your own path, and be open to the world around you? I trudged along but that concept of "beginner’s mind" was one with steady reoccurrence later that week. "Beginner’s mind" is when we approach something with curiosity, newness, and openness. We become…
Read More
Your Number One Strength

Your Number One Strength

Spiritual
Heroic stories begin with a disadvantaged person due to the unthinkable or uncontrollable.  The characters in those stories always overcome their obstacles. That's what we're after here. What is your steadfast, never fail advantage? Without fail, change happens. So, let the air out of your tires for testing sake. Take what you believe is your number one strength into the following three scenarios: 1) You have arthritis in your fingers, knees, and neck. 2) A natural disaster destroyed everything you own. 3) The person you trust the most confessed they abused a child. In the above situations, did your number one strength prevail? The state of being strong is a guaranteed lifelong test. Recently the acclaimed author Elizabeth Gilbert posted on Instagram a telling image. Vulnerably, she shares, in beating herself up for not being…
Read More
Tolerate Silence

Tolerate Silence

Spiritual
Dr. Steven Aung and Dr. Badri Rickhi are health care professionals positioning mental and spiritual wellness as a mind/body necessity. Stress reduction programs, adapting the body to nature, and being aware of the senses are three things they believe help achieve spiritual and mental health. Are you able to tolerate silence or very low music sounds? Our rational and emotional brains steer our reactions. We have a "window of tolerance", as Dr. Bessel van der Kolk call it. If we are hyper-aroused or shut down, then we disengage from that moment of time. Neuroscience research repeatedly points to self-awareness as the most effective way to change emotional IQ. Silence and music are no strangers to self-awareness. Our soul directly links to our mind. It changes the harmony inside our self. Van der…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
Post Traumatic Growth

Post Traumatic Growth

Spiritual
This last week while hiking in Connecticut, we came across a man that was hiking the entire Appalachian Trail.  He was asking some other hikers about the best type of hiking shoes and talked excitedly about an apple someone had just given him. We all were in awe at such an introspective and dedicated life choice.  Initially I was intrigued by this man’s story, what brought him to this point and well… a thousand more questions regarding logistics alone. The concept of moving and processing certainly goes together. But this man’s choice really isn't so far off from some of our own journeys. Recently, I heard someone say that we all have a turning point in our life.  We define ourselves by that turning point – essentially we view ourselves…
Read More
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…
Read More
A Jealous Moment To Direct Away From Harm and Towards Healthy Results

A Jealous Moment To Direct Away From Harm and Towards Healthy Results

Spiritual
"When we become consumed with the pervading idea that we lack things, we slowly become blind to what it is that we already have, and we become ungrateful for the gifts we have,"  says Monica Berg. A little healthy competition is good for everyone. But is it peer jealousy? According to psychologists everyone has these experiences. Its what you do in a jealous moment that directs harmful or healthy results. The stories we tell ourselves may be convincing, when we allow them to be. They remind us to be mindful of what you want to feel. This basic human emotion may result in injury, harm and destruction. So what sensational behavior  is optimal for health. Monica Berg leads: "The big question and hard truth is, 'How are we spending our days?' What…
Read More
Core Values

Core Values

Spiritual
Occupational therapy continues to climb the top job ratings each year. Why? O.T.'s are educated and skilled to facilitate people in the engagement of meaningful activities. Naturally, through daily repetition, they apply to their personal life what they do in their career. Occupational therapy practitioners are educated on the physiological and psychological impact of stress. Low stress and high outcome visibility was the natural course in my professional journey. Our profession is grounded in the values of altruism, equality, freedom, justice, dignity, truth, and prudence. Further explanation is found in the Core Values and Attitudes of Occupational Therapy Practice (AOTA, 1993): "Altruism is the individual’s ability to place the needs of others before their own. Equality refers to the desire to promote fairness in interactions with others. The concept of freedom and personal…
Read More
How To Stop Pathetic Future Meltdowns From Stress

How To Stop Pathetic Future Meltdowns From Stress

Spiritual
She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails. -Elizabeth Edwards Spreading newspapers and pulling out handfuls of goopy seeds are the welcomed precursors to carving a pumpkin.  Next, time will be spent together at a large table, calling dibs on a favored leg or wing to eat while simultaneously someone slowly carves the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. The next two months holds such focus on others: giving presents, cooking and creating New Year’s resolutions to better ourselves, the community and the organizations we believe in.  Carving time in our schedules for ourselves quickly goes by the wayside. It is easy to schedule a massage or a hair appointment and denote that time as “me time.” Often it is spread out,…
Read More
How Trauma May Damage Life Without Help

How Trauma May Damage Life Without Help

Spiritual
We learn from sharing our life experiences. Work in healthcare was like reading books. Thousands of individuals, young and old, shared their stories. A recent one was about the course of a journey up to witnessing a first body tremor.  It was horrific, sad...a consistent visceral response through the end.  This individual openly confessed to neglecting signs through their life that eventually led to neurological impact. Trauma occurred but the course that was chosen was one of neglecting the healthier path. To add to the tremors were  movement, visual and digestive issues. The American Psychological Association sites trauma as an emotional response to a terrible event - an accident, rape or natural disaster. Merriam Webster's definition includes physical, psychic or behavioral, and emotional events. The website helpguide.org summarizes: Emotional and psychological trauma…
Read More