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Elder Leanne

Therapist's Corner...SUMMER FUN

    I love summer! It also seems to go faster every year. Sure, there is stress involved but I know that it can be mind over matter. I have developed positive words for SUMMER FUN to help remind me of the positive aspects when stress threatens to overwhelm the positives. After reading what I have come up with, you can make a fun personal activity, or a family activity, and come up with your own words.

  S: sun, swim, sandals, shorts, seashore, seashell, sandcastle, swimsuit, savor, sunglasses, special, sprinkler, swimming pool, sunflowers, summer rain shower, sweet, sentimental, sparkle, 7th heaven
  U: upbeat, uplifting, umbrella, unaware (of each day's awesome possibilities!)
  M: mountains, miles, meaningful, marvelous, marigolds, motivated, merriment, music (live bands outside, yay!), mindful (of your many blessings)
  M: mornings, marigolds, mommas (all those babies in the fields and skies!), and more!
  E: energetic, engaging, enjoyable, entertaining, excellent, enthusiastic, excited
  R: road trips! (need I say more?), recreation, relaxation, rock hunting, radiant, rose, rejoice, refresh
  F: family, friends, fulfilled, Florida, flavors, fantastic, fabulous
  U: unlimited possibilities!, unique, unity
  N: nice, Nebraska, nature, naps!, neighbors

"In Summer" by Liana Mahoney
     Pour on lotion,
     Rub it in.
     Perfect for
     My summer skin.
          On my bike
          Or in the pool
          A sip of water
          Keeps me cool.
     Shades are on,
     Flip flops, too.
     In summer there's
     So much to do.

Summer gives me an extra zest for life. I hope it does for you, too. Have a great rest of the summer!

~ Leanne Elder, Therapist


Therapist's Corner...Smile to Increase Happiness 

     Most people want to be accepted. I know I do. In fact, most people have a need to be accepted, to feel included, to be wanted, and to be liked. Many of us want to feel good about ourselves, too. So here's a little secret: smile.
     Yes, smile. Genuine, sincere, bright, warm smiles have amazing powers. For example, what happens when you smile at another person? Usually they smile back. It's a mutual feel-good moment. A smile can transform a person's day, from negative to positive (or just add more positive to a positive day!).
     Have you ever had someone tell you "Hey, where's that smile? Let me see your smile" on those days when you're down in the dumps? Smiling may be the last thing you want to do, but that cheery person trying to make you smile has a good point.
     Smiling actually causes your brain to send out the feel-good endorphins, despite your sour mood. The endorphins then elevate your mood, making you feel more happy and increasing  your self-esteem in the moment. Yep, you read that right. You can MAKE yourself happier simply by smiling. It doesn't  mean your situation is going to get turned around or that you will suddenly become "fake" in your emotions; rather, it simply gives you a boost so you can more effectively deal with your circumstances.
     Try having a go-to collection of things that will make you smile. Maybe it's a box filled with memorable moments in life - winning the state championship, the birth of a child, etc. Maybe it's funny videos on your phone. Maybe it's one night set aside to go out and laugh with, and smile at, friends.
     While you're at it, take note of the increase in your positive mood, lowering of your stress level, and the boost in your immune system. Some people even say smiling is the secret to prolonging your life!
     (Did I mention the second week of August is National Smile Week? Do an experiment and consciously smile at 20 people per day. Seriously. Try it this week.)

~ Jessica McCaslin, Therapist


Tips from Our EAP...Smile At Work 

     Imagine a workplace where people were accepting and showed kindness towards each other. A very simple action can accomplish both - smiling.
     When you smile at another person with a warm, genuine smile, you tell that other person that he or she is attractive, pleasant, likeable, safe and secure in your opinion. A smile is so powerful that it can often snap a person from a negative mindset to a person with a positive attitude.
     Try something - each day when you arrive at work, go to each person on your team and smile at them. Ask them how they are doing. Listen to them and respond in kindness. Smiling at people is like igniting their potential by enhancing their positive attitude and positive thinking. Their performance levels rise because their self-worth and self-esteem has risen.
     Smiling is one of the techniques used to promote cooperation in the workplace. The ability to encourage cooperation amongst teammates is an important leadership quality. By using genuine, warm smiles, you will increase healthy, positive relationships with your team. Walking around with a scowl or negative look on your face leaves each person on your team wondering what he/she did to upset you. Because the focus is on your mood, productivity and creativity decreases.
     Here's an extra bonus - by going around and smiling at everyone on your team, you will not only increase their self-worth, feelings of happiness, and their productivity, you will also increase your own!

~Lana Lenz, EAP Coordinator (adapted from:

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