Why Inhaling Lavender or Coffee Effects Work

Why Inhaling Lavender or Coffee Effects Work

Occupational
Inhaling scents directly effects moodiness. A scent like coffee may become a game changer in the workplace. Yet, which scents are truly helping or hindering work? Unity, health, and confidence may be produced by just one scent. We may create a common place by using external factors because they effect each of our internal factors. This second annual bean report in celebration of Easter reveals inhaled effects from the scents of lavender and coffee. A bean and a bud captures the essence of Easter in a variety of ways. The emphasis here is the need to do: plant it to produce. Did you know 'GIG' is the acronym for 'Good Is Ground'? Similar to beans and buds, when the terrain is fitting the crop produces. Scent aids in changing behaviors. A drafted scent can produce improved performance. Within…
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How To Be An Effective Multigenerational Workforce

How To Be An Effective Multigenerational Workforce

Workplace
Managing an effective multigenerational workforce requires tolerance and transformative thinking. Our generation membership is a contextual factor that affects our communication and work styles, and also our values and perceptions. The Doing, Being, Becoming Model from occupational therapy offers an effective managerial approach. This model establishes a collaborative work environment that harnesses the strengths of each generation. Doing is observable. The act of doing includes a person's work ethic, work style, habits and routines. An especially relevant 'doing' action is communication. Baby Boomers tend to prefer face-to-face and telephone chatter, Generation Xers generally favor email and texting, and Millennials trend towards texts and instant messaging. When we observe others doing we have the opportunity to learn as well as judge our colleagues. So, at its best, understanding the doing of others can:…
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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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Wellbeing Design Diary: Awareness

Wellbeing Design Diary: Awareness

Design Diary
How is mental and physical awareness important to health, relationships, a meaningful life? Wellbeing Design identifies the method and process used personally and shared as a consultant. Perfection is unattainable, so the method repurposes passion. In conclusion,  rewards of victory! There are effective nuggets of this method and process. This diary will share what, how and why wellbeing + design is effective. Creative wellbeing is the process of awareness of the person, tasks, and environments that play a part to current and future health. Furthermore, it's an exploration of physical, occupational (activities), intellectual, spiritual, social, and emotional values. This process heightens awareness to health barriers, health resources and results in healthy habits. Disclaimer: This is my journey. A friend of mine shared a term one doctor uses to describe a person's lifestyle: circus.…
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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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How To Use Fear to Motivate Performance

How To Use Fear to Motivate Performance

Emotional
Shaming fear is squandering one's ability to thrive. Fear is common. How do you and your culture use it? An atmosphere the supports the wellbeing of their employees and their families allows fear into the workplace. This act is endorsed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Americans with Disabilities Act. Healthy initiatives breaks down lifestyle and disease barriers where fear presents itself. Addressing the need of how individuals problem-solve begins with how they are solving their own life issues. According to existing research a culture that invests in health and wellbeing knowledge-sharing has improved employee engagement. That affirms James' adventurous story to overcome his fear. The same research cited telecommuters as a more disciplined group to engage. The question is are they engaging in healthy resources? Who is facilitating directives that reduce…
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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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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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Vanilla Is The New Superfood

Vanilla Is The New Superfood

Physical
Some of us at GIG have nixed sugar in support of improving performance. Seeking ways to get that 'sweet' something took a turn. It's not out of craving but joy. Jelly Belly's and licorice jelly beans are ultimate favorites. It's nearly impossible to push these past loves out of memory. Grocery stores stock end caps with every brand, flavor, and comic character. Matters get worse Easter season. Then...we rediscovered the vanilla bean. Immediately we dug into research about this saving sweet bean. Vanilla contains chemicals called vanilloids. They reduce inflammation. Stress causes inflammation which reduces mental performance. When stressed the body naturally releases an inflammatory protein (cytokine) to signal systemic inflammation behavior to other cells. Inflammation reduces brain function. The compounds in vanilla reduce stress when in its most natural state…
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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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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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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,…
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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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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…
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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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Mood In the Workplace

Mood In the Workplace

Emotional
Designers are slowly emerging with incredibly functional and stylish swings. A swing is a simple way to improve mood in the workplace. Swinging stimulates the vestibular system, the sensory system that contributes to balance and spatial orientation for overall coordination. This body system was found to modulate our mood states (Winter, Walmer, Laurens, Straumann, Krueger, 2013). When a swing moves in circles, twists or moves outside of the typical back and forth path it becomes a mechanism to excite! This is a great alternative for those who long to quit coffee or simply need to excite themselves to gain motivation. Somewhere it got lost in interpretation that swinging is a children's form of play.  Parents jump on a swing with their kids - why not for adult play? What are your thoughts…
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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'.…
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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…
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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.…
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Definition of Exploration

Definition of Exploration

Design Diary
I am exploring. I imagine “exploration” to be out at sea, going into caves or walking on lands I haven't even heard of.  I imagine screaming, “Ahoy captain! Take me to the closest island. I want to claim it as mine!”  I'm peering through a pair of binoculars. The island that I imagine is filled with an abundance of food, a toilet and all the amenities of typical American life. That island that I imagine probably doesn’t even exist and if it does, it probably belongs to some wealthy billionaire or royal heir.  I'll call these large scale explorations.  I'm outgrowing my sadness as I notice my definition of exploration is a lot different from "Indiana Jones" or "Gilligan’s Island". The scale of this world seems so much smaller. Maybe that’s a…
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Seeking Pleasure or Avoiding Pain

Seeking Pleasure or Avoiding Pain

Emotional
The influence of our senses supports our need to cope and celebrate life. We don't need a doctor to prescribe certain sensations. What's needed is simply observing our behaviors when seeking pleasure or avoiding pain. Through childhood I walked hard and loudly. I sucked my thumb while twirling my hair.  Comfort equated to being tucked in tightly or to be nestled up in a corner. I loved forts. On the swings or playground bar I hung upside down. I excelled in sports requiring heavy muscle pressure like softball, volleyball, and soccer. All those pleasure-seeking sensations were coping strategies to manage feelings that I was told by my elders were bad. Each was a simply way to respond to what most wouldn't classify as dangerous. Although, my nervous system recognized them as…
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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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DeClutter Clothing

DeClutter Clothing

Design Diary
There has been many times where I looked in my closet and thought to myself that I have nothing to wear.  Ironically, my closet is filled with clothes and shoes. Sometimes I feel that closet management can be a huge issue. I have so much stuff that I'd resort to dumping my clothes on the top shelves or buried deep into my dresser.  In an OT visual discrimination activity, we often have people perform activities such as word search or ask them to find all the aces in a deck of cards scattered on a table.   If someone has visual spatial or visual discrimination issues, our recommendation may be to block out a portion of the what they are looking at to help isolate the image or to facilitate the search.  De-cluttering is merely the same idea, filtering things you don't use…
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Morning Crazies

Morning Crazies

Design Diary
Planning what I wear to work has been harder over the past year. With shared spaces, what should easily be a 15 minute or less routine, often becomes a hunt.  Where did my favorite top go? Running between laundry baskets or digging into drawers is not uncommon.  I know my role with morning crazies requires a change in multiple areas: environment, obtaining specific items, senses, attitude. Consider reorganizing closet space The closet situation is not working out.  Hangers are a desired item in this bedroom.  I thought back on a time when this was not an issue. Picture a large closet with a glowing light filling it.  That closet brought about borderline morning miracles on a daily basis. Clothing Simplicity The next area to tackle was my mind.  Was my desire to switch…
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Write, Speak, Or Draw to Reduce Stress

Write, Speak, Or Draw to Reduce Stress

Social
Last week a group of women I socialize with began to discuss relational stress. By sharing our experiences, we learned the cause of our core stress was poor communication. The countless ways to immediately contact one another today including the computer, cell phone, landline, and various wireless signals are taking the place of connecting in person. Our conversation covered how we move less from one floor to another within a building, a home, or a drive across town. Rarely do we use our pencils, paper, and scissors. Most of us turn to social media to respond to others. Anxiety is rising and social media is one mechanism that is pulling the trigger. 40 million American adults fall into debilitating uncertainty or fear (NIMH). In the midst of our feelings we…
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Losing Things Anxiety

Losing Things Anxiety

Design Diary
While on a laidback visit with family in Delaware, I came to a hard realization.  Something was not working. I was losing items left and right.  I was losing things like my jacket, the dog dish, and my glasses.  It was a wakeup call.  I became aware things needed to change because I knew it was my anxiety creeping in. Slowly, I put the pieces together to try and wrap my head around this. You would’ve thought that would be obvious after being on my sixth pair of sunglasses and looking at a jewelry box filled with missing earrings.  However, some lessons take longer to learn than others. Keeping track of things can be a full time job.  Luckily, I surround myself with very observant people and a boyfriend who always checks the couch cushion…
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Gestalt Principles in Daily Life

Gestalt Principles in Daily Life

WholeBe Toolkit
Gestalt isn't a regularly used term. Out WholeBeSM method repeatedly engages design sensibility to enable stress management. The following definitions explain why gestalt is so important and meaningful in your everyday life. The universal root + definition of Gestalt GERMAN | gestalt {form, shape} In 1920, German psychologists used this term when describing something that is greater or different than the sum of it's parts. Something that is unexplainable through depiction of it's parts. Unified in physical, psychological or symbolic elements to create a whole Charlotte Bunch once said, "Feminism is an entire world view or gestalt, not just a laundry list of women's issues." Artists and designers trigger "gestalt sightings" of something that isn't finished. However, your mind still connects it.  An example is: conn_ct_d   Your mind fills in the blanks. Our mind identifies…
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Live and Learn

Live and Learn

Physical
To say, 'live and learn' is all toooo cliche, yet so true! Here's an example of a recent teachable moment plus five steps to reduce being unaware of what life may be teaching you. It began with how often I use my pool. You see, I moved into a new place just over a year ago.  Initially, I envisioned living near the ocean with a roommate to balance out the cost of additional preferences. I ended up with a better option: my own space with a pool. It took me nine months to use it! Now, this is odd because one way I calm myself is by touch, so my quick go-to may be a soft blanket, a hug or a bath.  Daily I gazed past the function of the pool with…
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Loyalty in Life

Loyalty in Life

WholeBe Toolkit
The word "loyalty" has deep roots. "Loyalty in life" involves perception and emotion. It's similar to allegiance and includes a sense of duty. At times our behavior isn't loyal to our values. Like snapping at someone you love because you are sleep deprived or hungry. This is an example of how loyalty can waver due to poor self-regulation. Sleep is one of the first things to go as a result of job deadlines, travel or family obligations. Anxiety becomes the antagonist to lack of loyalty! GIG Design's WholeBeSM method recognizes the following six core aspects: Physical Occupational Intellectual Spiritual Social Emotional The first step is to recognize your self-regulation issues. Loyalty in life directly affects your health, your relationships, and your success. Creative Wellbeing begins with our WholeBe Toolkits. Read more…
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Adjust After Traveling

Adjust After Traveling

Physical
Do you experience difficulty to adjust after traveling? Below are a few ways I regulate into 'normal' routines. In order to distance from stress with the onset of loneliness, anxiety and fatigue I use the following strategies to adjust after traveling. ROUTINES Being away from home lends to falling out of personalized routine. I've found it effective to ease back into normal routines by adding one patterned task every few days or so.  Prioritize those tasks that waver from routine then focus on one, one day at a time. LONELINESS Traveling often is filled with laughter, fellowship, conversations, and crowds. For those of you who are single, the loneliness following travel seems amplified. In reality those with partners feel lonely, too. My first day back home from the holidays I booked my spring…
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The Value of Using Sick Days For Emotional Wellbeing

The Value of Using Sick Days For Emotional Wellbeing

Emotional
Through great adoration of my genealogy I commonly seek what the Dutch culture does in situations I'm faced with. The recent flu shot requirements in health care led me searching. The question here is what's the most effective way to prevent getting the flu? Illness arrives from a poorly kept immune system. Stress management, healthy diet, adequate exercise, an invigorating social life are excellent flu prevention tactics. The Dutch weigh in: "Loneliness could perhaps be overcome if the elderly helped pre-school children with language impairments improve their reading," was drafted into legislation as a proposal then posted in the Volkskrant newspaper. "Or a retired accountant in a wheelchair could help out at the local council's debt advice service." (the Telegraph) The Telegraph's Bruno Waterfield informed readers that Dutch health minister Martin van Rijn drafted…
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Six Creative Ways To Invest In a Joyful Day With A Dreaded Commute On The Horizon

Six Creative Ways To Invest In a Joyful Day With A Dreaded Commute On The Horizon

Design Diary
Once I striped away the spite from a new, yet tedious commute to my weekday routine the challenge was to plan carefully - given traffic, traffic cones and added coffee stops along my route. Yes, some days it is plural. Temporary living conditions includes a culture where long commutes are the norm rather than the exception. I find this unfortunate. Getting my brain relaxed about the commute each day helps sustain energy.  With every sunrise I start anew and there is no cookie cutter answer. Although there are creative ways to invest in a joyful day with a dreaded commute on the horizon. Here are six: NPRs Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me! quizzes contestants on weekly news. Hilarious! Ask Me Another shares Puzzles & word games, including limericks. I heart NPR. Listen…
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8 Easy Freebies For Guaranteed Body Support At Work or For Travel

8 Easy Freebies For Guaranteed Body Support At Work or For Travel

Occupational
Adjusting to work conditions as a telecommuter has its challenges. Good fortune may bring a flat surface wide enough to support a laptop. Typically, its propped across the legs with occasional havoc if they're crossed. The back bumper of a car may become a chair. A work surface may be the cost of a warm beverage. Sometimes the price jacks-up when there's the unfortunate parking ticket. Of course, there is that occasional back corner desk that costs musty smells from trash-worthy office furnishings. A spirited stress-less performance while on the road depends on adaption.  This doesn't mean to desensitize postural or mental supremacy. These costs become epidemic to musculoskeletal disorders to the spine or hips or suppressive anxiety beatings. The occasional is an exception but retirement may span into later years if hospital bills or…
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How To Quit Smoking

How To Quit Smoking

Design Diary
Smoking isn't healthy but it kept me sane. It was a deadly habit but it helped me thrive professionally, socially and oddly enough, athletically. I loved to smoke and didn't attempt to quit until the day I stopped 'cold turkey'.  The miracle in this was I lost the urge to smoke but I gained a body that was unable to cope with stress. What I did: smoke to cope. Our hormones are what regulates stress. Everyone doesn't have the same hormone secretion so our level of what is stressful can vary. This is significant to how an individual will react within the fight-or-flight response. How to quit smoking is similar to unravelling a ball of yarn from a neatly organized ball. My late teens, twenties then just into my thirties were…
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Coping Strategies for Stress

Coping Strategies for Stress

Emotional
Have you been pushed to a point to leave your job? Office politics and peers are two known challenges to personally coping with stress. Personal issues add stress into work environments, too. Those committed to adhere to a stress-filled work role require behavior strategies for compromising. Stress coping strategies might challenge another core lifestyle role. Especially when values and morals are compromised. Children model their elders in life experiences. They learn what their values, morals and beliefs are within their surroundings. Their ideas on handling conflict blooms from their culture.  When people share stories about how conflict or violence shaped their success and failures it offers diverse opportunities in how to cope or strategize for managing stress. Conflict is personal but it reaps great rewards when openly discussed and resolved.…
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One of These Three Stress Responses Will Empower You To Boost Performance

One of These Three Stress Responses Will Empower You To Boost Performance

Occupational
While sitting at your desk, working in the kitchen...in every task and environment your senses are bombarded. All information comes to us through sensory input. An average of 2,000 bits of information per second enters our brain (Willis 2009). Although, everyone processes through this information differently. Our senses first sift through all of it before it even reaches our awareness.  Neurologically our body organizes then attempts to adjust its reaction to an impulse. Modulation provides a behavior that safely adapts to the stress of change with less risks on health. Everyone responds to stress differently. Knowing how your senses respond may empower you to boost performance: Some of us are sensory over-responders, in which we react to sensations faster and stronger than those with normal response levels (Reynolds and Jane 2007).  These aren't willful,…
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Boost Sleep

Boost Sleep

Physical
All this social media talk about sleep. Is it overrated? Sleep is an occupation that directly supports its counterpart occupations like work, self-care, participation, education, and interdependent relationships. When you're unable to sleep an average of 7.5 hours daily occupations may face an uphill climb to simply focus then act. The less or more sleep the steeper the hill to being productive or to be at your best performance (Hublin et al 2013). Recently, I've been burrowing stress and it's surfacing. I can't fall asleep! Do you sympathize? Share your story in the comment section below with that remedy (or others) that worked. Perhaps, you're a pro! Any routine may remedy next day blahs. But is it creating a healthy lifestyle for gracefully aging? Let's beginning with the notion of…
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Our Gut Brain

Our Gut Brain

Physical
Who said we feed more than one brain? The butterflies. Those feelings that begin in our stomach plays one part by our second brain. That's right - the one in our gut. Here's how this breaks down. Our gut houses a system called the enteric nervous system. It communicates to our head brain feelings that exceed hunger. Our head brain directly communicates to our gut brain the conversion of sensations to feelings. This information exchange regulates hormone secretion. Stress strains our mood-regulating hormone, serotonin, by a whooping 95%! Organs suffer from that much serotonin. Stress is as common as life choices. It's not bad. The culprit is how we prepare for stress and manage it when it happens. Take action with healthy votes. One is preparing for stress like proper nutrition, the sight…
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Texture May Arouse Emotional Workplace Behaviors

Texture May Arouse Emotional Workplace Behaviors

Emotional
Texture is full of variance. It has pattern, color, material, and weight. Have you considered using it for shock value? One way to form a memory is by shocking our nervous system. Our response to seeing an appealing texture is to touch it. Something soft but feels like sandpaper will leave a lasting impression. It may sound harsh but in the right context it works! Our brain's plasticity allows us to change unhealthy behaviors.  It first detects, then reacts to sensations. Detection occurs on an unconscious level. Reaction is what fosters a behavior. Texture is just one way to access our millions of neurological functions in pursuit of changing behavior. Texture may arouse emotional workplace behaviors. Texture of fabric weave in clothing, jewelry settings, or skin care products may irritate some.…
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When It All Becomes Overwhelming and You Start to Shut Down

When It All Becomes Overwhelming and You Start to Shut Down

Design Diary
Sometimes I'm scared of my body.  I'm not always sure what pains I will wake up to or what thoughts will wander into my head or even what colors will come out of my nose.  This past year, I've become more in tune with this while living in the Mojave desert.  Lake Havasu City is a very different climate compared to back east - coming in at about 10-18% humidity according to my hermit crabs' barometer.  This has left me at times dehydrated, congested, raspy, and/or wiped out.  Nonetheless, it has helped me become very aware of any changes internally and how the environment affects me. This is something I'm glad I'm beginning to realize now.  It's important knowing who you are and how you react under the most trying…
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Why Storytelling Results In A Creative Wellbeing

Why Storytelling Results In A Creative Wellbeing

Design Diary
As a kid, on the weekends we use to break out the dress-up box and slip on dresses, fur coats, trench coats & top off our look with an old lady church hat. Between the five girls on the Baxterly Ave block, we would throw double weddings or funerals or explore the backyard filling containers with worms and twigs or lightning bugs. Every day was another adventure and a chance to create a new story. This played a huge role in life. Stories bring us understanding and give us freedom from ourselves.  They let us explore another world without leaving the comforts of our everyday life.  In essence, we all have our own story.  We tell stories every day.  Although now there are no longer elaborate dress-up tea parties or…
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