How to Energize Body and Mind with Spirituality

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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?”

“Have I done something wrong to cause this to happen to me?”

“Can I still rely on myself?”

“What will the future hold for me?”

The telling research paper title “I Should Know Better” theorized fear surrounding HIV. Fear’s most common outcome is withdrawal and ignorance. The University of Cambridge published this paper on shame arguing it’s “an important role in self-regulation” and causes a negative effect on self-motivation.

Motivation requires attention and effort. In continuation of the conversation started last week on sensory modulation, sensory under-responsiveness impacts the central nervous system without notice or response to certain stimuli. This means the role of self-regulation competes with a low registration or passive response and reaction to sensations.

Below are five sensory responses and case studies addressing sensory under-responsiveness.

Interoceptive  This sensory response includes perception and awareness of self. An under-responsive person may experience:

  • a decrease in energy,
  • body weakness,
  • a decrease in awareness,
  • minimal interaction,
  • the requirement of extra movement to force or exert pressure on things, and
  • slow responses.

MODULATION SCENARIO  Incorporated meditative moments in each day improved awareness of mind-body connection. Yoga used as a health resource ignites mentally attending to getting the body into a unique position then sustaining it for a period of time.

Spiritual results increased awareness of work safety through reducing emotional fear to act from mind and body confidence. More health resources here.

Touch  Behaviors and sensitivities to touch for an under responsive central nervous system may effect engaging in work or socializing. Commonalities include:

  • being touchy,
  • enjoying messy activities,
  • fond of texture (i.e. gritty, prickly, mushy),
  • seeking rough play,
  • seeking deep pressure, and
  • poor hand and/or face hygiene.

DESIGN AND MODULATION SCENARIO  An environment swap from the gym to outdoor workouts provided diverse textures to the hands and feet. A daily log followed activities like hiking, swimming, and climbing. More health resources here.

Spiritual results improved awareness of self-accomplishments, creation outside of self, and recognition of others unique use of shared space.

Body Position  Balance and head-to-toe sensitivities may be counter-productive to self-performance. The sensory under-responsive person may experience:

  • slumping,
  • frequent hand placement to hold up the head,
  • poor balance,
  • frequent leaning on furniture, and
  • fearful of unsteady surfaces.

DESIGN SCENARIO A corporate executive office is fitted with furnishings that encourage sensory responses. The desk chair encouraged posture fit to the whole chair (leaning into the back of the chair, armrests, and wheels for footing movement). A textured area rug created daily ‘shoes-off’ time. Stairs were encouraged with mobility, plus the commute from the parking lot into the office building incorporated walking the five-inch high stone wall. More ideas for alternative scenarios here.

Spiritual results improved reliability of the mind and body to balance. Playful use of products reduced inhibitions of perceived ‘foolishness’ and improved humor and social presence in the workplace culture.

Hear  The sensory under-responsive person’s behaviors to noise may appear as uninterested, apathetic, or self-absorbed as exhibited by:

  • missed cues and directions,
  • lack of attention to background noises,
  • seeks noisy environments,
  • repeated reply of “what did you say?”, and
  • slow response to their name.

DESIGN AND MODULATION SCENARIO  Collaboration area used at work was designated to an enclosed room, away from visual distraction, with supportive seating for postural reinforcements. Alternative design ideas here. Daily memorization of affirmations (scripture verses) included writing, speaking, and sharing affirmations with incorporated name use.

Spiritual results reinforced the positive presence of self and purpose of active listening with self and others.

Joint and Muscle Compression to the joints increases central nervous system response, circulation, and muscular engagement. Body movement engages muscle activity. Under-responsive people often experience:

  • difficulty with fine motor control (i.e. fingers and toes ability to grip, grasp, and hold),
  • difficulty grading the amount of pressure used with fine motor and gross (large body joints) motor movement,
  • seeks fast movement activities,
  • ability to spin without getting dizzy,
  • needs to constantly fidget or move around, and
  • difficulty sitting still.

EDUCATION AND MODULATION SCENARIO  A daily log listed five cause and effect experiences with encouragement to log those that were unexplainable. Following each experience a thought of gratitude was written in relationship to the experience to motivate an attitude of acceptance and optimism. For ideas that are movement based look here.

Spiritual results reinforced life outside of the science of movement and into the art to find peace within ambiguous circumstances.

Unite the wellbeing of people and cultures through health resources that energize body and mind tactics identified as spirituality.

Health and wellbeing services that include skilled observation of latent needs facilitates the improvement of knowledge, design, and creative application. Sensory stimuli in one domain helped another domain in these scenarios. The results reduced absenteeism, presenteeism, and medical costs. It improved retention, job satisfaction, and creativity.

photo courtesy @tangojuliette

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