One important dimension of "doing life well" involves creating environments that are comfortable, satisfying and relaxing. Over the years, I have been a keen observer of the habits and practices of others that are directed toward creating comfortable experiences, wherever people find themselves.
The intention here is not to discuss or describe architectural or decorating features of environments, but rather to describe the objects and conditions that enable us to create the most comfortable person-environment fit that will suit our individual tastes regardless of where we are and what we are doing. Examples would include friends and colleagues who cherish the visual appeal of flowers to enhance their offices and homes, or the colleague who routinely carries the small comforts of home (traveling place mats and goblets) to enhance the experience of eating "on the go" when take out is necessary when traveling. Doesn't wine always taste better in real glass than from plastic or paper cups?
Some may regard these efforts as unnecessary or even silly, but I understand them as attempts to make the experience of everyday life more comfortable and enjoyable. Why not, I ask? Isn't this really part of the overall effort to live life to the fullest?
A colleague, occupational therapist and neuroscientist, Winnie Dunn, has written an interesting book about the senses, called Living Sensationally. In this delightful book, Dr. Dunn provides a clever and readable way to understand our senses, emphasizing that our unique sensory systems are a very important key toward enhancing our experience of living. After all, for each of us, perception defines our reality, and our perceptions, or experiences, must be processed through the senses, whether we are seeing, hearing, touching, feeling, smelling, or using a combination of these at the same time—as we typically are! Sometimes, our sensory systems get overwhelmed, but other times, we seek sensation, especially sensations that we find pleasing.
How do you please your senses and enrich your life? I invite readers to offer examples of their own personal routines and practices that improve and enrich the enjoyability and comfort of their personal spaces or make their travel experiences as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
DLW is an occasional blog about how people spend the time of their lives (every moment) to enable health, balance, meaning and fulfillment. As a blogspot about doing, it draws from personal stories and from studies of everyday living. It's main idea is that to be well, people must be involved fully in what they do. The activities that occupy our days help to connect us to the world, define who we are, and keep us healthy.
Great Links About What, How, Why, Where and How Often People Do Things
- Calculate your Life Expectancy
- O*Net - A terrific resource to get information about work related occupations
- Wisdom—A must see project of shared experience
- Brian R Little- About Personal Projects
- Authentic Happiness - Take the Work-Life Questionnaire
- wdydwdyd? (Why do you do what you do?)
- Calculate your weekly Time Use
- Bureau of Labor Statistics -American Time Use Survey
- ▼ February (7)
Interesting Books about Doing and Not Doing
- Bateson, Mary Catherine—Composing a Life
- Bruner, Jerome—Acts of Meaning: Four Lectures On Mind and Culture
- Christiansen, Charles & Townsend, Elizabeth—Introduction to Occupation: The Art and Science of Living
- Csíkszentmihályi, Mihaly— Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
- Diener, Ed, & Biswas-Diener, Robert—Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth.
- Edgell, Stephen—The Sociology of Work: Continuity and Change in Paid and Unpaid Work
- Gini, Al—The Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure and Vacations
- Kabat-Zinn, Jon—Whereever You Go, There You Are
- Little, Brian; Salmela-Aro, Katerina; and Phillips, Susan D. — Personal Projects Analysis: Goals, Actions and Human Flourishing
- Matuska, K & Christiansen, C. — Life Balance -Multidisciplinary Theories and Research
- McAdams, Dan P. —The Stories We Live By: Personal Myths and the Making of the Self
- Robinson, John & Godbey, Geoffrey — Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time
- Seligman, Martin—Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
- Tolle, Eckhart—The Power of Now