Back to the Body – Be embodied, be you!
To be and not to be… embodied?
To let the soul shine through the body for a wholesome being. Embodiment is important for happiness, health and success. It’s about the interplay of your body, soul and environment. Generally, the word embodiment explains how an idea or a feeling, even a quality, can be expressed tangibly, physically. A subjective thing made objective, something that’s abstract made physical. But in psychosomatic science, i.e. the science that deals with the interaction between and within mind and body, embodiment theory explains how bodily experiences play in fact a vital and very early role in information processing that normally is accredited to the mind or cognition alone. An example of this is social behaviour, which is greatly influenced by physical presence; gestures, movements, and facial expression that normally are not processed consciously but rather automatically and unconsciously.
You know, that subconscious sensory information that tells you so much about people or decisions or anything, completely without words. Some might call it body wisdom…
Be authentic, be true
Perhaps not surprisingly, being embodied is highly interwoven with the state of being authentic. When you feel like yourself, connected to your core, your values, when you feel you are at the right place at the right time… In the work environment, authenticity is when people are self-determined and free when they lead out tasks and identify with the roles or positions they hold in the workplace.
It’s when you feel true in what you do.
This pleasant state interestingly fuels intrinsic motivation, the inner force that engages people in their work and passions wholeheartedly with more power and long-term performance than any extrinsic motivation or paycheck could do.
We at MOVAMIN see being embodied and authentic at work definitely worthwhile. It’s practically a happiness-inspiring habit and a feedback loop for success!
Engage your core for truth
So, being embodied in your body makes it easier for you to reach that authentic state of being. And at work, this means you’ll find yourself more easily in the flow of things, you’ll be in your best shape and rock it!
The last century movement analysis innovators and creative thinkers Rudolf Laban and Irmgard Bartenieff would call this shape-flow-support; a shape change, self-motivated, of the individual’s internal kinesphere supported by breath. Generally speaking, it’s a pleasant state where we do things from the core (subjectively and objectively speaking), from the middle of the body, activating the solar plexus and its hidden personal power with it! Think about it next time you feel embodied, authentic – in your zone – , and just notice how your body is responding to that with sensations and reactions.
Try this MOVAMIN for core engagement:
Stand up, feet seemingly wide apart.
Starting with hands resting on the left knee, draw a rainbow in the air with your hands, landing on the right knee.
Repeat from right knee to the left, and again. Try jumping from side to side.
As you touch your knee and bend it, let your breath fall out and the body shrink.
As you draw the rainbow next time, freely let your lungs fill and you might wanna stretch your fingers. Let the movement grow upwards and out.
Notice the pattern of the movement in your whole body.
Sense it… Breathe…
The whole > The sum of its parts
We at MOVAMIN want to inspire a movement of work ethics that include the body, mind and social being of the worker in the workplace’s health policy, and this we do through the use of technology. We want to go back to the body for mental-, physical-, and social health at the office, bringing little but effective habits in the everyday-workday in front of the screen.
It’s about the gestalt of the worker and the life of the workplace, healing and/or preventing displeasure for more success and wellbeing. Getting people to be more embodied and in sync with their physical and social environments through better work habits. As the philosopher Merleau-Ponty wrote:
“Habit expresses the power we have of dilating our being in the world, or of altering our existence through incorporating new instruments”.
We are right now in development – but if you are an executive of wellness or just somebody with a heart that beats for staff-wellbeing and you notice and like us – then feel free to contact us already!
If Computers Would Feel For Us
Now that Christmas is right around the corner, we at MOVAMIN would like to cast some light on the empathetic side of life. That’s why we all agreed on giving feelings the stage this time.
But first something important before we take off: always save yourself first, then go on and save others!
With love, from our home offices!
Feeling All The Feels
I’m at the desk, been here for too long. All week I’ve been working overtime. Meeting deadlines, finishing stuff that never seems to get finished. It’s really taking a toll on my back, my shoulders, my legs are cold, I’m stressed, I’m feeling dry, and I haven’t connected personally with a person for a long while. I’m not feeling like myself, urgh!
An App That Knows Feelings
I’m working from home and it seems that all my communication throughout the day is to and from my computer. I type, I send emails, I call, I video call, I type, I click. Feeling distorted in all these virtual meetings, not sure if I’m a robot or an actual person.
What if there was an app that would simply know the feeling and was designed to support me throughout this kind of workday?
An App That Connects To Your Rhythm
We at MOVAMIN know desk work, we understand, we emphasize. We are passionate about work life balance and happiness, and we certainly vote for purpose above profit. Psst…! It’s because the prior enhances the latter. And if I’m driven by a purpose, I’m certainly gonna have to feel good while at it!
The MOVAMIN desktop application moves with your work schedule, your personal settings according to your daily routine, actions, and preferences. Private to you and partly visible to your manager that might want to know you’re well and productive at work!
Practical Like Vitamins
Both a digital therapist and a coach for your workers, Movamin gives you an insight into productivity and wellbeing in your company. It’s practical, innovative, and a spot on solution for the home-office and in-office’s physical, mental, and social environment!
Ready for a gratitude exercise?
Think of something in your job that you are grateful for.
With hands on heart, eyes closed, on a deep inbreath say in your mind “I am thankful for …” and on a relaxed outbreath, say “in my job”. Repeat three times!
Wonderful! Now, keep up the good work – positivity on top!
Our Vision and Background
From all over the world the MOVAMIN team teamed up and united through technology. We are professionals of therapy, programming, design, and business. We are living the new normal changes, curious and conscious, determined to use our potential and inventiveness for good. Bringing the focus back to center, where physical, mental, and social health integrate, we know that the individual, the community, and the company will all profit. Taken together; office work will be more pleasant and healthy!
That being said, be healthy and try to find happiness in the novelty of 2020! And let’s move together into the New Year…!!
Step on Stage
Imagine you would step on stage every time you would go to work. You would take on your professional role, wear your business clothes, say your phrases with the emotion and characteristics your character required from you. Then you would step down from the stage – the show’s over, lights turn off and you take your slippers and go home.
Swinging from Work to Home
For many, everyday life is exactly like this; we transition from home to work as we dress up for work and transit through the city, arriving snug, or tight! at the desk. Playing multiple roles in our lives, half of waking time spent playing professionals, swinging between different stages that occupy our time on earth, is a fairly normal – yet sometimes exhausting – pattern.
Body Follows Mind that Follows Body
Actors are masters at role-playing and role-switching. They know that the psychological distress that comes from stepping from one stage onto another can be detrimental to health and wellbeing if not cared for specifically. One method to relieve this stress is shaking. Yes, simply shaking off the role, literally, shaking the body when the show is over as an endpoint. This may be done in any setting of life where one steps out of one role into another. From being a worker into being a parent, from being a leader in job A into a part time worker at job B, and so on and so on. Because body follows mind that follows body.
Bright Future, Digitalized
Movamin is a self-care desktop application designed for (home) office workers. We acknowledge that people attain wellbeing from physical experiences, as well as social and mental ones. We also acknowledge that technology is the future, and surely a bright future if all ships are steered correctly. Therefore, we want to help you lead your office workplace into a healthier work routine with our various methods, activities, and exercises for better wellbeing at work.
Movamin supplies you with little digital vitamins (we like to call them movamins) throughout the day that motivate you to integrate your physical, mental, and social being while making your work routine more pleasant and productive. These little exercises are based on therapeutic expertise and will appear at the right time, in the right amount, personally tailored to every user.
Movamin, the Techno-Empath
Covid-19 has forced us all to learn more how to connect through video calls, video conferences, video team meetings, and long remote calls. The tension after a four hour long video conference is inevitable and one of a kind as the social environment and stimulation is essentially different to what we are used to. People have recently named this technostress and it has to do with the psychosocial work environment and the stress of digitalization at work, which is reaching new hights in our times. Movamin is a techno-empath, designed to assist you feel and do better in exactly these situations.
Productive and Well at Home
We sit in front of the screen at home office, juggling different roles at the same time. Family is there, all our personal belongings not far away and serve partly as a distraction, and to say the least – even though home office work has for many increased productivity – it has caused mental and physical tension for many, let alone social changes. Movamin is there as your digital buddy, to make sure you squeeze in little moments of self-care, for your physical-, mental-, and social wellbeing.
If Screens Were Organic and Alive
We engage in video conferences and remote calls frequently, look at the screen and appear at the screen as if the screen were alive – which is actually debatable. It is alive with all its people behind it, but it is not an organic alive creature. It does not move and breathe and offer a caress, and so, likewise, do we move less and less and dry up like malnourished plants with more and more screen time. What if technology would solve the problems that itself is creating?
Thrive in the New Normal
MOVAMIN serves you and your workers with modest but moving movamins throughout the workday, designed as wellbeing resources for the worker to thrive at office or home office in a healthy flow, embodied and strong in the new normal. Holding productivity and creative flow in first place, Movamin supports you integrate your physical-, mental-, and social wellbeing at work.
Be ready to thrive!
Working from home and well-being
What’s Your Corporate Culture’s Wave Like?
To live and keep clothes on one’s back requires work. Throughout adult life we need to work to provide for ourselves and our families and for the most part of our adult years we spend nearly half of waking time attending work in one form or another. Finding work life balance may become a challenge in everyone’s life at one time or another. At work we face challenges, find solutions to things, reach milestones in teams, and grow personally in our profession. Work is a precious part of life, with value both tangible and intangible for every employee. At both work and home we live and let our principles guide us, principles that we set with our families or loved ones or principles that govern our companies and workplaces. The culture at work, the system that holds the organizations’ shared beliefs and values, colours its employees’ life at home and vice versa. According to latest findings, organizations with a strong corporate culture have endured better the Covid-19 pandemic than those with a less strong culture. They are more community engaged, are more likely to adopt digital technology and overall run the business better. Corporate culture is also known to influence employees’ productivity, creativity, motivation, health and well-being. It makes one think of the power involved in principles and committing to them, the wavelike effect on the business and its people and their lives. Worth to consider when running a company.
Crisis at Work, Crisis at Home = Burnout
Organization’s greatest value lies in its people. In the corporate world, those may be jobs like office managers, data entry clerks, computer scientists, administrative assistants, office clerks, and business partners to give an image. Diligent and ambitious as they may be, suit workers like other people get tired, get back-, head-, and shoulder aches, get stressed out, lonely, pessimistic, and find themselves trapped in burnout ever so more nowadays. Burnout being defined in ICD-11 as being drained of energy and exhausted, being pessimistic and negative about work while mentally distanced from it, and generally less efficient professionally because of unattended chronic work stress. Theories suggest that “role-overload” and “spillover” from work to home and vice versa are the active factors of stress that may lead to those heaps of stress and burnout. In this madness people feel as if they have no control over their careers, the part of life which they devote up to half of their time on earth to. Taking a look at health at the workplace and the need for centering and occupational health awareness is therefore ideal for any staff manager or human resources manager during the current times of frequent home office with related family and work overlap, and global health and financial crisis.
Run a Healthy Workplace for Ethics’ Sake
As work life and life after work in society are intertwined, the way we approach health in these areas of life is also a web of interrelations. It is of great societal responsibility when workplaces establish and implement health policies for the benefits of their employees, extending even to the employees’ families and extended social groups. As WHO defines a healthy workplace, it is a place where workers and managers together join forces on improving and promoting the workplace‘s occupational health, well-being, and social sustainability building on: “”
- health and safety concerns in the physical work environment;
- health, safety and well-being concerns in the psychosocial work environment including organization of work and workplace culture;
- personal health resources in the workplace; and
- ways of participating in the community to improve the health of workers, their families and other members of the community.
It is therefore nothing but ethical to run a company, not only with good cause and economic profit in mind, but also with the human elements that contribute to each and every worker’s happiness. We all strive half of our waking time to keep the clothes on our back, after all.
Promoting Health, Promoting Productivity
Promoting health at the workplace sets off a snowball effect resulting in improved health of the employee measured in aspects such as cooling down stress, enhancing self-esteem, enhancing experienced well-being, making the morale better, and letting people feel more satisfied with their job. In turn, proactivity of the workers in the health actions benefits the whole organization by improving staff morale, reducing absenteeism, lowering health care or insurance costs, and importantly increasing productivity. Even the spring of presenteeism is mostly poor health – physical, mental, and/or social – so promoting integrated health at the workplace is a strong move when boosting productivity is one of the missions.
Stress, conflicts, deadlines, complex tasks, and other casual labour at work affects our minds and cognition. Being mindful and fostering readiness to see many solutions or any solution that may work, instead of fixating on one ultimate solution can ease tasks and make things run more smoothly. Being mindful and self-aware at work can thus as well foster emotional awareness resulting in better performance, better coping strategies, and more accessibility to intuition.
Spread Some Love
Loneliness is a threat to social health and has been informally described as an epidemic on its own in recent times even before the onset of Covid-19. With the Coronavirus demanding lockdown in societies all around the world, social distancing orders, and governments recommending the least possible social gatherings, loneliness has inflated and increasing remote work has certainly changed the landscape at workplaces. People engage less on average in good quality communication, yet everyone is trying their best with the novel reality of frequent video meetings and conferences.
People try their best at work for several reasons. For most people career, community, and cause are the main driving factors. People enjoy working where their strengths can shine, where they feel recognized and respected, where they can implement and enhance their communication skills, and where they sense their job makes an impact.
Being able to unite with colleagues by engaging in good quality communication, perhaps fun and creative communication, with a group or team at work that shares values, resources, and talents is beyond price. Socializing and solving problems with likeminded people reinforces a sense of being at the right time, at the right place; a sense of belonging.
Respect Your Body
And then there is the physical presence at work. Any work environment comes with certain movement patterns that are necessary to do the job and in corporate office work settings this is often manifested most primarily in awkward or troublesome postures at the desk for long hours with rare breaks, leaning forward to a screen with neck and back and groins suffering longtime. This disrespect takes a toll on the body’s posture and the following consequences are history.
Intertwine Techno Empathy With Your Wellness Actions
Work overload often contributes to health related absenteeism by impairing performance, leading to errors and mishaps, resulting in injuries or problems of physical or psychosocial health – mental, physical, and/or social. The whole human existence, whether looked at from the perspective of the body, the perspective of the soul, or the perspective of the community, is all together morphed into the same system. Body, soul or mind, and community, are so intertwined that sometimes solving a back problem can fix a marriage or lead to the next discovery at work.
With changing times globally and in the whole economy, with safety hygiene protocols and working from home being a necessity and unavoidable action in most corporations – even some switching permanently to remote work – health promotion actions must indisputably adapt too. Technology steering the wave in the storm of health threats.
MOVAMIN makes a move in the changing times by offering an empathic digital health promoting solution, using Calm technology and therapeutic expertise. At times when technology dependency is skyrocketing globally and usage thereof developing in essence at the speed of light, we at Movamin strive to boost your company’s wellness at home and at the office with an integrated digital solution for a healthier work routine.
Author: Anna Dúa Kristjánsdóttir
Content creator, MA Dance Movement Therapist, BSc Psychology