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News You Can Use - December 2014
Information and tips to help you live healthier and happier

Happy Lady

Gratitude is good for your health 

Researchers studying gratitude report that practicing gratitude can improve your health and well-being. Robert Emmons, Ph.D. and colleagues at UC Davis randomly divided study participants into three groups, each which made weekly entries in a journal. One group had to write about five things they were grateful for. Another group was assigned to write about five things they found annoying or irritating. And a control group was asked to list five events that affected them in some way. At the end of the three-week study, those who focused on gratitude reported feeling better about their lives overall, were more optimistic about the upcoming week and reported fewer health problems when compared to the group that focused on hassles, or the control group.
Other research on gratitude reports:
  • Study participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period when compared to study participants who did not focus on gratitude.
  • In a sample of adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude intervention resulted in greater amounts of positive moods, better sleep quality and duration and more optimistic rating's of one's life, when compared to a control group.

Cultivating gratitude

If you would like to increase your focus on gratitude, the suggestions below can help:

Maintain a gratitude journal. Set aside time each day to record at least three to five things that you are grateful for. Psychologists say this is probably the most effective strategy to help you create the habit of focusing on the positive in your life.

Create a list of benefits. Create a list of benefits in your life and ask yourself, "To what extent do I take these for granted?" Seeing these benefits in writing can help you become more mindful of the good things in your life.

Use visual reminders. Use visual cues to trigger thoughts of gratitude. Put Post-It notes listing the things you are grateful for on your desk, your refrigerator or the steering wheel of your car. Or use other devices that signal you to pause and count your blessings.

Your EAP is here to help
Remember, your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to help you or your dependents with any personal, family or work-related concern. If you or a family member needs help, why not call an EAP counselor today? We're here to help.

Employee Assistance Program Services

The Broward County Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all Broward County Government employees and their families to assist with most personal problems affecting the quality of life at home or on the job at no charge. Participation in the program is voluntary and completely confidential. Licensed professionals can assist you with:

  • Family problems
  • Work conflicts
  • Stress
  • Grief and loss
  • Financial problems
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Anxiety
Call for a free and confidential appointment or more information at 954-357-5600 or email at Additional information on our services is also available at

Copyright © 2014 Healthy Exchange. This newsletter is not intended to provide medical advice on personal wellness matters, which should be obtained directly from your physician.

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