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…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
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.…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
30 Details On Health Costs

30 Details On Health Costs

Workplace
Health Benefits manager Lisa Mrozinski at Robert W. Baird & Company said, “You may think you’re really healthy, but until you go through the process we can provide, you may not be aware that you’re pre-diabetic or have high cholesterol.” This quote was cited in the book The Grassroots Health Care Revolution by John Torinus Jr. Do you or your employees have a process to learn if they are genuinely healthy then achieve personal goals? Here are 30 details on health costs John shared through his book to remind us of the integrity of providing health improvement services: United States of America health costs are 2x per capita of anywhere else in the world. Increased national health care costs then reduced money spent for education, research & development, public safety, environmental improvement,…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
Lay Down Sleepy Head. You’ll Be Wiser For It.

Lay Down Sleepy Head. You’ll Be Wiser For It.

Physical
We personally know Client Want, Client Fear, and Client Loathe. Which one are you? “I want to sleep more.”  Client Want follows trends. Their routines may include caffeine to wake or to keep aroused, sugar to quickly surge energy, social media to distract, or saying ‘yes’ to all things. The body works naturally by following a biological clock according to daylight patterns. Find this rhythm. Rest assured a full night of sleep will be the reward. Values in diet, exercise, creativity, spirituality, and social behaviors directly effect the body’s ability to lead a peaceful slumber. GIG Design identifies sleep as an 'occupation' within a physical lifestyle. It's fundamental to wellbeing. In solo pursuit of more sleep, begin a sleep diary. Log how and when daily values are applied and their outcomes. “I’m…
Read More
The 40 Hour Work Week Disrupts the Natural Work Flow

The 40 Hour Work Week Disrupts the Natural Work Flow

Workplace
“I used to be exhausted all the time, I would come home from work and pass out on the sofa, but not now. I am much more alert: I have much more energy for my work, and also for family life.” These are the words of Lise-Lotte Pettersson, an assistant nurse and participant in a controlled trial of shorter work hours in Sweden. The results will be published in 2016, but so far results indicate nurses are less fatigued and more efficient (Crouch, 2015). How many hours do you work? Is it too few, too many, or just right? A 2014 Gallup survey of 1,200 American adults discovered that the average full time US employee works 47 hours per week and 18% work 60 hours or more (Green, 2015). I’ve been…
Read More
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…
Read More
Job Stress

Job Stress

Occupational
One-fourth of all employees view their job as the number one stress in their lives. ¹  Yale University found that twenty-six percent workers report they are "often or very often burned out or stressed by their work. ² Health care expenditures are nearly fifty percent greater for workers who report high levels of stress. ³ The National Institute of Occupational Science and Health state that job stress is: the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources or needs of the worker. Identifying the varied signs of job stress are what occupational therapy practitioners are skilled at. Stress is rarely seen as serious by both employees and employers. It's become a societal norm that people simply refer to their day as 'so busy'.…
Read More
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…
Read More
Reading and Visual Fatigue: A Personal Journey

Reading and Visual Fatigue: A Personal Journey

Design Diary
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…
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
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
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…
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
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…
Read More

When Asking a Question

Social
I found myself in several situations this past week where I paused after speaking with someone. Suddenly, I wanted to know their story.  How they overcame and where they persevered.  Often, it seems a snapshot is all we get.  Pausing before venturing into deeper waters, sensitive to their time or hardships. I have been told that I ask questions others may not. For example, “What’s in your hands?” to the man in front of me at lunch.  “What is home to you?” to a friend moving across the country. Initially, I think of the long line of slightly nosey ladies in our family and the people standing next to them that shake their head slowly.  But these questions have power. So where is the line drawn between nosey and curious in relationships? Like so many areas…
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
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'…
Read More
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…
Read More