Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Importance of Appreciation in the Work Place
 Appreciation is the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.  Traditional mentality argues that work interactions are more economically and financially driven than emotionally driven.  Your employer thanks you for doing your job with a paycheck and you thank him/her in turn by doing your job.  According to one study, 35% of respondents believed that expressing gratitude would lead to employees taking advantage of them. This, however, could not be further from the truth.  Gratitude can help improve not just your mind but also your body. Researchers are finding that positive behaviors like gratitude can improve the cardiovascular and immune function. One study links gratefulness with improved heart, pulse, and respiration rates as well as reduced levels of stress. The study even suggests it may help you to live longer.
Elsewhere in American life, people say “thank you” to acknowledge the good things they get from others, especially when they give out of the goodness of their hearts but not at work. According to a survey of 2,000 Americans released earlier this year by the John Templeton Foundation, people are less likely to feel or express gratitude at work than anyplace else.
It’s not that people don’t crave gratitude at work, both giving and receiving.  The majority reported that hearing “thank you” at work motivated them and made them feel good. “Thank you” doesn’t cost a dime, and it has measurably beneficial effects. In a series of four experiments, psychologists found that “thank you” from a supervisor gave people a strong sense of both self-worth and self-efficacy. This same study also reveals that the expression of gratitude has a spillover effect: Individuals become more trusting with each other, and more likely to help each other out.
But here comes the really messed up part: Almost all respondents reported that saying “thank you” to colleagues “makes me feel happier and more fulfilled” – but on a given day, only 10% act on that impulse. A stunning 60% said they “either never express gratitude at work or do so perhaps once a year”. 
In short, it is said that Americans actively suppress gratitude on the job, even to the point of robbing themselves of happiness.
Hopefully this statement is not as true at Tanner as at other work places but certainly there is room for improvement. People like being appreciated for who they are and what they do.  It costs you little to express sincere appreciation but it can make someone else happy.  Making someone else happy will make you happy.   It is truly a win/win situation.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

prescription pill abuse

The abuse of prescription medications is epidemic in our society. I see it on the news. I see it at work. I have seen it in my own family.

The CDC says that:
• Drug overdose death rates have more than tripled since 1990
• 100 people in the U.S. die every day from drug overdoses
• Many of these overdoses are accidental and involve prescription drugs

The most commonly abused prescription drugs are opioid pain relievers (Lorcet, Percocet, Vicodin, Oxycontin, et al), benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, et al), and stimulants (Ritalin, Adderal, Adipex, et al). Opioids and benzodiazepines can also impair driving ability. There has been a big increase in DUI arrests for driving under the influence of prescription pills. These substances can be valuable in the treatment of some medical conditions. But when abused or taken regularly for an extended time they can lead to tolerance (needing more of the substance to get the same effect), dependence, addiction, or death. Anyone with a family history of alcoholism or addiction is at much higher risk for developing addiction to prescription drugs.

The CDC estimates that for every death from pill abuse that there are:
• 10 hospital admissions for pill abuse
• 32 Emergency Department visits for prescription pill misuse or abuse
• 130 people who abuse or are dependent on their prescription pills
• 825 users of prescription drugs who do not have a prescription

Prescription pills are popular among teens these days. Many teens (mistakenly) believe that prescription pills are safer than street drugs. More people die from prescription drugs than from street drugs, While the rate of usage for several street drugs has decreased, the use of prescription drugs among teens has risen. Many teens report that prescription drugs are easily obtained from friends and family (sometimes without their knowing).

What can you do?
• Do not take any medication that is not prescribed for you
• Take medication as prescribed. Do not take more than is prescribed and do not stop taking a medication without asking medical advice.
• Talk with you healthcare provider. Ask questions. For how long will you take this medication? Will you build up a tolerance to it? Does it impair performance/driving? Is the medication to be taken at regular times or as needed?
• Talk with your teens and other loved ones. Educate them about the potential dangers of prescription drugs. Keep your medications safe and secure from prying eyes and fingers.
• Ask for help. Go to the Emergency Department if it is an emergency. Call the free assessment center at Willowbrooke at Tanner (770-836-9551). Utilize the great benefit that is Tanner Employee Assistance Program. Call any time to talk, ask questions, and/or schedule an appointment (770-834-8327).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Helping Children Handle Stress

Children often struggle with the stress of everyday life. Pressures may come from a number of different sources, including expectations from parents and teachers, tension and competition in the family, difficulty making friends and finding support, identity issues and peer pressure. How can we help our children handle the stresses of everyday life? Pressure can take many forms, and children need help from parents learning how to respond to stress in healthy and adaptive ways.

Children may respond to some events perceived as stressful with relative ease. Other events may be seen as threats to their own or the family's integrity and well-being, and these events are therefore more troublesome. Whether or not a child takes up the invitation to learn from a stressful situation often has everything to do with the presence or absence of supportive adults. Children need parents, teachers, coaches, and significant others to help them interpret good stress from bad stress – opportunities to learn even when things feel difficult versus situations that are unhealthy, harmful, or even dangerous. Stressful situations can involve figuring out how to better navigate life’s challenges if children have guidance from someone with more life experience.

Children are often very sensitive to changes in their environment and relationships. They may have to cope with a bully on the playground, a move to a new neighborhood, a parent's serious illness, or the disappointment of a poor sports performance. They might feel a constant, nagging pressure to do whatever it takes to fit in at school or to pretend to be somebody they’re not in order for others to like them. Reminding children that they are loved just for who they are is an important and ongoing task for parents.

Sometimes children feel hopeless about their ability to deal with life but don’t know how to ask for help. Adults who care must watch for signs of stress and be proactive about connecting with children in a caring and supportive way.

Sometimes children feel hopeless about their ability to deal with life but don’t know how to ask for help. Adults who care must watch for signs of stress and be proactive about connecting with children in a caring and supportive way.

Some of the signs to be aware of include:

·        loss of sleep or appetite

·        oversleeping or overeating

·        irritability, negative attitude, or unpredictable moodiness

·        problems with academic performance at school

·        behavioral problems and/or aggression toward others

·        difficulty maintaining friendships or getting along with peers or siblings

·        social isolation or difficulty talking about feelings with trusted others


Not all stress is bad. Moderate amounts of pressure imposed by a teacher or a coach, for example, can motivate children to keep their grades up in school or to develop their potential in athletic activities. Successfully managing stressful situations or events enhances a child's ability to cope with life and uncertainty. Most everyone needs encouragement and affirmation sometimes, and parents need to remember how powerfully they shape their children’s self-perception. Staying relationally connected to children and providing opportunities for them to share their experience of life is one of the best approaches for supporting and encouraging them along the way.  Remember, when you need a safe place to talk about concerns regarding your kids, the counselors at Tanner EAP are available and happy to help.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

miracle cure

Ask any of my family, friends, or co-workers ….. I am forever looking for and trying new “keys to health”. While some of these ideas may smell of snake oil, I have recently re-discovered a cure that is, as my Daddy used to say, “good for what ails ya”.

This miracle cure has been shown to:
• Improve heart health
• Strengthen bones
• Help to clear your mind
• Improve symptoms of depression
• Lower risk of stroke
• Lower death rate
• Improve blood pressure levels
• Improve blood sugar levels
• Lower the risk of obesity
• Lower the risk of breast cancer
• Lower the risk of colon cancer
• Reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes
• Improve sleep
• Lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
• Reduce pain
• Improve creativity
• Help with weight-loss
• Improve many, many more health outcomes

Are you ready to sign up for my multi-level marketing plan? Well, there is no need to buy anything, join anything, or take any pills.

The miracle cure is…….. walking. Over 2400 years ago Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine said, “Walking is man’s best medicine”. Hundreds of studies over the past decades have shown the tremendous, even miraculous benefits of walking. Yet, less than 35 percent of Americans walk the recommended 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. Taking a walk, alone or with a companion (my wife or my dog), is one of my favorite times of the day. It gets me away from the television, the phone (I don’t take it with me), and chores. Besides the benefits of physical activity, it is stress relieving. It provides me with some fresh air and vitamin D.

Visit Tanner Health System’s Get Healthy Live Well website for some tips on getting started with a healthy walking program. And Tanner employees, remember to attend the Workplace Wellness roll-out next week (Monday in Carrollton, Wednesday in Villa Rica, and Friday at Higgins) for information, education, and motivation on moving in a healthier direction.

“If you seek creative ideas go walking.
Angels whisper to a man when he goes for
a walk.”
― Raymond I. Myers

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Making Space for Difference in Marriage

Negotiating personal space and appreciating difference can be challenging for any two people trying to carve out a life together. For many couples, space and difference become an ongoing source of contention. The most common sticking points are how to spend time together and how to express love in a way your partner can appreciate. Regardless of the details of the dispute, the same question lives at the heart of most of these conflicts: Where does the "us" end and the "I" begin? Couples have to find a balance between togetherness and individuality.

Spend Time Apart
Time apart can inspire and invigorate time together in a relationship. Differentiation in marriage is crucial for long-term companionship. Each partner should ideally seek to find his/her own sense of wholeness, autonomy, and personal balance within the relationship. Space between partners and a healthy respect for the solitude of the other person is essential for creating intimacy and connection. We all have a need for physical and emotional space away from others. When two people assume that all their needs are going to be fulfilled by each other, the relationship is set up to fail and become disappointing. Maintaining friendships with other people offers a valuable complement to the limitations of your partnership. Participating in a variety of activities helps to make you well-rounded and gives you more to talk about with your partner at home. Negotiating time together and apart can be a tricky business, resulting in all kinds of uncomfortable feelings, such as: rejection, insecurity, jealousy, mistrust, and resentment. Solutions come when couples recognize each other's needs, communicate honestly about their differences, and create viable compromises together.

Recognize Your Differences
In your efforts to strengthen and sustain your marriage, recognize each of your individual needs. Many couples wrongly believe that they should have the same needs and desires because they're a couple. It may be more constructive to recognize that each of you has different needs and that neither person’s needs are better or more important. For harmony in a relationship, it’s important that each person tries to respectfully honor the needs and values of the other person. Even if your partner’s priorities don’t make sense to you or seem foolish or less worthy than your own, take a step back and humbly acknowledge that at least s/he is letting you know what’s required to make this relationship work. In a cultural era in which divorce is much too prominent, it helps to know that your partner is with you in wanting to make this relationship work!

Talk to Each Other
Talk about your differences in a constructive manner by addressing difficult topics when you feel calm and collected. Talk about what you need, rather than what your partner is doing wrong. Be specific about your needs and goals. Practice being free from judgment: it’s not that one of you is right and the other wrong, one more mature and the other more selfish. Find a way to say what you mean that makes space for your differences. Give your partner the chance to voice his/her needs and goals as well. Think about what you can realistically offer in terms of change. Ask for the changes you need from the other person in order to be willing to hang in there. Remember that you’ll both feel better when your relationship is a source of shared strength instead of conflict!

Tanner EAP is a safe place to sort out feelings and develop diplomatic language.