How to design a workspace that facilitates health

In the 21st century workplace, experiencing strains and work-related illness can be all too common.

The dynamics of work itself are changing, and specialists in the field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology (yes, it’s a mouthful) have been applying psychological concepts and principles to seek improvement for both the organization, and the individual who works within it. Interestingly enough, professionals are beginning to embrace notions that completely contrast assertions rooted in theories of scientific management, which sought the most effective methods of performing a task with little concern to laborers involved (Barling and Griffiths, 2003).

What are the consequences of laboring endlessly in a cubicle? Would you consider your mind and body well if you engaged in the same repetitive task for hours on end? How about if the demands for your job were incredibly stressful, and you lacked the support and control to adjust the manner in which you went about your responsibilities? Think about this, in the 1960 lawsuit Carter v. General Motors Corporation, a line worker successfully sued after claiming that working 8-12 hour days performing the same function, endlessly, actually made him mentally impaired!

Work is such a crucial component of our lives and our time is too precious to be spent on the mundane, day in and day out.

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Still searching for your purpose?

Can you imagine a world where everyone just gets it?

Where everyone just gets everyone else? Where everyone.. even gets themselves! Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Let’s not get too carried away here. I got rid of my Dashiki and suede fringe vest a while ago (just kidding, I’m still waiting for someone to buy them from me on ebay) but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a topic worth discussing.

Purpose. It’s what everybody wants to talk about. Purpose. It’s (apparently) what everyone is looking for. But I have one question: Why? Let’s be honest, this life and this world is pretty surreal. If we haven’t figured out the meaning of it when we were drawing on caves, we probably won’t figure it out now.

Some people feel like they’ve been gifted with a purpose, others feel like God or the Universe forgot to give them a call, or write a letter or send an SMS.

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Mental disorders are more common than you think

About one in four American adults ages 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.

Mental illnesses such as mood disorders are prevalent throughout societies around the world, yet these disorders largely remain hidden behind smiling faces and closed doors. Mood disorders like anxiety, depression, bipolar, and obsessive compulsive disorder are just a few common mental illnesses that people in general try to avoid discussing at all costs. Why does a stigma exist around mental illness? Why are those stigmas so difficult to remove? The struggles people face when living with mood disorders or other mental illnesses are real. How they relate to the world and how they relate to others are challenges they face daily. The concept of confiding in others regarding their condition is a complex issue, as the stigmas that are present create problems and build walls.

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Nipple rings and genital piercings were once a symbol of the Victorian upper class

Nipple and genital piercings may seem like a new fad, but they have proven to withstand the test of time.

Dating back to at least the Victorian era, intimate piercings have been the symbol of choice to demonstrate some societies’ most intrinsic values. Today, we tend to associate intimate piercings with unfavorable qualities like drug use and sexual promiscuity, but the original values represented by these types of piercings may surprise you and the current motivation behind obtaining them may not be what you would expect.

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Even universities can’t get mental health right

It is no secret that mental illness has a hit an all-time high amongst youth and young adults alike, particularly in the light of students attending university.

Regardless of rhyme or reason, this is happening. And what better way to tackle a demographically specific epidemic than to implement psychological support systems on campuses across the nation? (I know, it’s so smart it’s practically college-level thinking.)

In a perfect world, this resolve would be dealt with grace and professionalism, taking on the expected responsibilities as part of already existing university health clinics. However, the issue at hand with mental health support on college campuses is the blatant lack of sources and pragmatic treatment for the students. Too often, struggling young adults are underestimated, or even reprimanded, for expressing a need for help.

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How to find empowerment by saying “no”

As humans, we are capable of forming countless relationships.

Whether that relationship be friendship, familial or romantic, it is constantly up to us as individuals to make sure that we are being treated the way we desire to be. If seeing too much of your friend made you sick to your stomach, but you couldn’t control how often you saw them, how would you handle that situation? If you felt guilty not seeing your partner every single time you thought of them,  but seeing them induced just as much guilt, what would you do? In these unhealthy personal relationships, you might just leave your friend or your partner in search of more suitable companions.

Now, what if you were literally unable to live without these people, if not being with them for prolonged periods of time induced light-headedness, fatigue, and the shrinking of your vital organs?

Welcome to an unhealthy relationship with food.

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A World Full of Compliments, Part 2

Does receiving and accepting a compliment make us more or less powerful?

Many studies show that it is harder to receive a compliment then give one for a few reasons. First off, receiving a compliment means letting go of control. When we give, we’re in control in a certain way. It might be easy to offer a kind word or buy someone flowers, but can we allow ourselves to surrender to the good feeling of receiving?

When we receive a compliment, we open up the vulnerability in ourselves and that is hard for many people who have trouble with letting go of control. Another reason receiving a compliment is harder than giving one is that we ultimately think it is selfish. Whether it is due to our culture or religion, many people are taught that it is better to be modest than bring more attention to themselves.

Being socialized to view taking compliments as narcissistic is a problem many of us face.

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A World Full of Compliments, Part 1

We all have that one female friend or loved one who just can’t take a compliment. EVER. She usually responds to compliments with “oh no, I’m nothing special” or “oh please, you’re just saying that.” Women not being able to take compliments is very common. Instead of a sentiment of gratitude, a woman does the opposite and puts herself down in a sarcastic, and even self-deprecating way. Yet, when a woman actually accepts a compliment, and by some grace says “thank you”, then people judge and see her as being cocky or maybe even narcissistic.

Why is that?

One study showed that only 22 percent of compliments given from one woman to another were accepted, while compliments from men were accepted 40 percent of the time.
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Dress For The Job You Want: Why the devil is in the details

“Dress for the job you want, instead of the job you have.”

“The clothes make the man!”

We hear these and similar sentiments often, and seem to associate dressing better with doing better and achieving more in the workforce. But is there actually evidence that “dressing for success” works? How? Do certain clothes make us do better, or are we just perceived differently?

In the business world—with interviews, meetings, and presentations—appearances do often set a first impression.

We tend to consciously and unconsciously judge people based on what they look like, including what they wear. While we may be judging based mostly on [socially conditioned stereotypes], we are still making decisions toward and assumptions about people based on their outward appearance. These assumptions can be completely accurate or completely inaccurate; it’s impossible to know if we don’t look at a person’s achievements and work habits.

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Bang Your Head: 4 reasons why rocking out could be good for you

Mudvayne

Heavy metal. Punk rock. Hardcore. Screamo. Metalcore. The heavier side of the rock genre has evolved and diversified plenty since its breakout years in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Many regard it as the antithesis to the jams of the “free love” movement in the 1960’s that clashed with the sociopolitical upheaval of the era (like the continued U.S. involvement in Vietnam). Consequently, a new form of expression found its way into pop culture through angst-ridden themes and heavier tunes.

From the big four (Metallica, Megadeth, Antrhax, and Slayer) to newer groups making waves like A Day to Remember, Parkway Drive, and System of a Down, the list goes on and on of bands who have a following transcending generations. Although the sub-genres have accumulated a broad and dedicated fan base, debate still rages regarding metal’s link to inducing anger and facilitating delinquent and violent behaviors. For too long these antagonistic claims have been founded on loose assumptions and generalizations, but it is not an accurate representation. That’s right, metal may have a myriad of positive effects on the health of its listeners, like facilitating personal development, enabling the ability to deal with difficult emotions and process anger, and even creating communities.

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