Wellbeing Design Diary: Sound

Wellbeing Design Diary: Sound

Design Diary
What's one sound that doesn't persuade you to look up from a task? Wellbeing design addresses sounds that distract and motivate. After all, our sensations are a necessary support. Creative wellbeing aligns sensory desires with goal achievements. One distractive sound addressed in recent years is smartphone notifications. How do you react when your favorite song is played? Or when a person is shouting from anger? Wellbeing improves through sound factors. Julian Treasure identifies how sound effects our physiological, psychological, cognitive, and behavior responses in his brief TED talk The 4 ways sound affects us. Additional  supportive research identifies changing, modifying, and masking sound agents will improve productivity, health, and wellbeing. Sound is found to effect all human achievements because or body responds to it in negative or positive ways. Diary Laughter…
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Why I Look To The Trees For Design and Health Continuity

Why I Look To The Trees For Design and Health Continuity

Design Diary
Today there is an absorbent amount of information readily available for whatever issue is at hand. People are becoming more specialized and willingly ready or already sharing what they know. Since childhood, I look to the trees for continuity. Last year I heard Ed Catmul say "art is about seeing," as he explained how he created a culture without a power structure to eliminate barriers to truth. "You have to go (through failure) to get something you don't know." Trees communicate design intelligence. We see their uniqueness, alive or rotted, and hear them when it's windy. They morph into numerous shapes that range from solid to thin forms. Trees give and support my ability to be creative. Often their waste is the expense for my ideas to become tangible. Trees resemble their…
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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 Do You Know If An Employee is Lazy or Value-driven?

How Do You Know If An Employee is Lazy or Value-driven?

Workplace
Every culture carries undertones of expectations or commonalities. For example, where there are four seasons it's common that productivity slows during summer months and the days between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve. Businesses reduce expectations with anticipation their employee's work performance will change. Is this a wise approach to managing production?  When we narrow productivity to the individual's responsibility of managing their daily performance we factor in basic quality of life choices. Lifestyle includes physical, occupational, intellectual, spiritual, social, and emotional aspects. Maintaining productivity within these six lifestyles simplifies with cultural support. An emotional example is when a culture shares a common language that invites fear responses. Under all circumstances this reduces the manifestation of workplace harassment. Presenteeism may appear as laziness. The result of an employee showing up to…
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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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18 Diet Resources That Will Empower Your Life

18 Diet Resources That Will Empower Your Life

Physical
Are you fed up with your eating habits? Are you tired of feeling bloated or depleted of energy? We've got 18 diet resources listed below that will empower your life. Doctor Norm Boeve has witnessed the strain obesity contributes to a person's skeletal system and overall health. "Everything you put in your mouth works toward either health or disease. Think 'Is this bad for me'?" Doctor Boeve is a retired orthopedic surgeon who now spends a portion of his time writing in publications and presenting on the importance of choosing to live a lifestyle for health prevention. Below are diet books and websites Boeve recommends.   The best "Starter Book"   How Not to Die (Prematurely) by Michael Gregor Excellent General Book    Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman MD For those seeking information…
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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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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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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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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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A Seamstress Exhibiting Stress In The Workplace

A Seamstress Exhibiting Stress In The Workplace

Workplace
GIG Design's team discussed observations of a seamstress exhibiting stress in the workplace. Observations of the work environment included details of the lighting, noise, temperature, and peer engagement. The work space is an open area of approximately thirty seamstresses, all sitting at a sewing station actively engaging in production of a product. Observations of the seamstress were noted to be signs of distress as exhibited by facial expressions, frequent posturing with head tilted into hand through elbow support, uncharacteristic pauses of production. Following a lifestyle profile and sensory assessment she identified as under-responsive to sensations. Under-responsiveness This form of regulating the nervous system is categorized by muted, delayed responses, and low sensory registration. This individual passively regulates their nervous system, has a high threshold to sensory stimuli, and passively reacts to sensations.…
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Is Your Employer Providing Sick Care or Health Care?

Is Your Employer Providing Sick Care or Health Care?

Workplace
There is a jolting difference in cultural motivation on 'sick care' and 'health care'. Sick care is reactionary, providing individuals support with onset of an injury, health or mental conditions. Sick care recipients pay for medical bills instead of luxuries. Their employers pay for loss of production or new hire training. Health care recipients pay for health resources that reduce the onset of uncommunicable diseases, depression, injury. Their employers pay out bonuses and employee rewards due to improved profit. Is your employer providing sick care or health care? Move health care awareness from knowledge to action. Sharing stories on health movement builds the belief its possible. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shared several stories of national communities that acted on health care. It's understood raw data in percentages or dollar signs build…
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20 Questions For Sleep Awareness

20 Questions For Sleep Awareness

Physical
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…
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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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One Toilet Paper Square Improves Performance

One Toilet Paper Square Improves Performance

Intellectual
Health experts often recommend routines to build healthy habits. What do you do when the unexpected destructs that routine diet, exercise plan, or stress relief plan? Enter: toilet paper. We use it routinely. It's designed to roll, to tear, for comfort, for hygiene, and for biodegradable properties that keep plumbing free from clogs. Do these features come to mind every time you spin a roll of TP? If this analogy makes you uncomfortable then its likely you have sensitivities worthy to explore. This link connects to experts trained in sensitivity endeavors. Awareness is necessary to engage in a task. Performance outcomes depend on insight and awareness. Toilet paper is a universal reality. Most may agree its an intuitive product, no instruction required. So, do you measure use with the perforation? And how does measuring T.P. squares affect your…
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Be Whoever She Wants To Be – A Meditation

Be Whoever She Wants To Be – A Meditation

Design Diary
Sleeping Beauty   No blanket can cover a hard days work Stories of strength behind each line Tucked between her furrowed brows   Rosy, rusty, deep bronze shadows Wiped clean. Flesh reveals her glow   She doesn't acknowledge This natural state. No powder, no grease, nor chiseled face;   All an illusion for power must prevail Twists and turns all night. It's a struggle Keeping it together. she could not fail.   Unwinding thoughts, broken spokes; Clock per ticks to hands awake.   Nothing and everything happens in between these hours. Fading fast. Glimpse of strings Connect alarming buzz in disguise repeated too soon cycled beautifully to open her glassy eyes.   Piercing glances, she picks up her Brush to paint her story. To face. She sees whom she cannot…
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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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Reclaim Joy In A Jubilant Quality of Life

Reclaim Joy In A Jubilant Quality of Life

WholeBe Toolkit
Below is a testimony 180 days following GIG Design's support... One of the reasons why I moved to the Pacific Northwest is because of the trees. Trees are everywhere - both beautiful and relatable. A tree must have been meticulously chosen for the WholeBe Toolkit. Its a visual metaphor that returns as a wellbeing tool to help one envision themselves at their greatest potential. I never thought of comparing myself as a tree. Organically, humans and plants are built so differently, but who's to say we can't learn from one another. Each gives in the exchange for being alive. One example is carbon dioxide gives fresh air to breathing plants; plants generously exchange it with oxygen for us. This is one magnificent exchange that is quick to forget. When I look…
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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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Distorted Thinking

Distorted Thinking

Emotional
Have you been educated on what a healthy relationship is? My parents modeled valuable aspects but they didn't sit me down as teachers of Relationships 101.  When I decided to research what 'healthy from the inside out' meant, I began to experience what healthy relating is. Healthy begins with an honest self assessment. It requires being prepared because it is a life-long journey. I say this because it takes work, time and awareness to identify then replace distorted information that your mind believes as truth...but it can be done. There are many layers to living honestly but here I expose a near-time experience known as distorted thinking. Author and professor Benjamin K. Bergen explains in his book Louder than Words that we simulate experiences, actions and performances in our mind through a scientifically…
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Design The Will to Act

Design The Will to Act

Intellectual
Occupational therapy practitioners are found in a variety of industries outside of health care, including automotive, architecture and non-profit sectors. Jim Burns is a major in the U.S. Army as well as chief of O.T. at Evans Army Community Hospital in Fort Carson, Colorado. He quoted Max Depree to support his opinion of what the key aspect of leadership is: selfless service. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality; the last is to say ‘Thank you.’ In between the two, the leader must become a servant. MAX DEPREE Burns integrates an abridged version of the U.S. Army's leadership development philosophy, which he goes into more detail about in his article about defining reality.  His philosophy includes seven values: Discipline, Motivation, Altruism, Physical Fitness, Continuing Education, Creativity, Respectful. Within these values he emphasized behavior patterns, goal setting, and communication. Each requires…
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Eyes on Screens

Eyes on Screens

Occupational
This last week I've spent more time on my computer than usual.  I have certainly felt accomplished but after a few days in a row, I realized my eyes hurt.  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 can be eye strain, headaches, or vision changes. If continued long term it can lead to potential health risks. Below are some strategies for screen time usage: CONTEXT Connect -meet in an environment that supports listening to a person instead of texting; be certain any screen is at least 20-40 inches away; invest…
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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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What does rhythmic pattern mean?

What does rhythmic pattern mean?

Intellectual
Recently a client passionately shared the fact that everything has and needs rhythm. He had many illustrations to support his thought-provoking and scientifically proven theory. However, his suggestion that I was a product of rhythm, the movement of my parents having sex, struck me. I reflected on the melodic and beautifully comforting concept of the moment of conception. If I had seen that point of view earlier, I would have been more merciful toward my dad and mom.  I do my best to consider their sacrifices through my childhood but sometimes I'll remind myself of my girlish, manipulative behaviors to refresh my deep gratitude.  I matured and love my parents for who they are. Within that truth, I'm nourished and able to love myself plus others. Just days after my…
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Surprise Behavioral Health

Surprise Behavioral Health

Occupational
Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking Fast and Slow says, "You are more likely to learn something by finding surprises in your own behavior than by hearing surprising facts about people in general". Do you adapt well to surprises? What is your reaction when you drop a glass and it shatters on concrete? Your response is the focus to this question. It may bring out your inner three-year old behavior from the first glass you broke.  It may bring about the angst of a tedious cleaning process you don't have time for. Either instance likely defines the remains of a day. Anger, fear, stress, or anxiety following a surprise affects every organ in your body as well as everyone surrounding you (Siegal and Bergman, 2006). How do you change your behavior following a surprise? Kahneman…
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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…
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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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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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Awareness of the Passage of Time

Awareness of the Passage of Time

Intellectual
Awareness of the passage of time will determine how you spend your time. "Even in the absence of time pressure, maintaining a coherent train of thought requires discipline." Awareness of the passage of time requires intellectual work. It's easy to get distracted by your surroundings. The above is a quote from the book "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman. His research (identified as 'system 2') on awareness shines light on why we make certain decisions. Kahneman writes, "People who are cognitively busy are also more likely to make selfish choices, use sexist language, and make superficial judgments in social situations. Memorizing and repeating digits loosens the hold of System 2 on behavior, but of course cognitive load is not the only cause of weakened self-control. A few drinks have…
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Clarity On The Meaning To Fulfill Wellness Within

Clarity On The Meaning To Fulfill Wellness Within

Design Diary
What do you consider being well? Is it the ability to run a 5k? To take your dog for a walk? To play with your kids? To sit outside? Wellness is all those things.  It goes beyond those healthy resources to living a meaningful, full life.  It covers having symptoms, signs, maybe even a disease which may require treatment.  But it also includes being mindful, aware, educated and achieving growth to who you want to be on a daily basis. I remember as  a kid always wanting to strive for a vibrant life when I grew up.  This included being outside, being active, having close friends and family and learning as much as I could about the world around me.  Those little insights I had at a young age have helped…
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