Good health = happy employees #health #happiness #worklife

6035 Lifestyle: Good health = happy employees
by John Hazlehurst

Happy Healthy Employees!

Happy Healthy Employees!

When Ent Federal Credit Union was founded in 1957, three banks dominated the Colorado Springs market: First National Bank, Exchange National Bank and Colorado Springs National Bank. Named for Gen. Uzal Girard Ent, commander of the Ninth Air Force during World War II, Ent FCU was a tiny, specialized player, at first serving only service members stationed at Ent Air Force Base and their dependents.

The Ent Air Force base has long since closed (replaced by the Olympic Training Center), and the three once-dominant institutions have merged or closed their doors.

Ent is now the leading financial institution in southern Colorado with $4 billion in assets and more than 240,000 members, according to its website.

Thanks to its health and wellness efforts, the credit union has been named the 6035 Healthiest Large Company by the Colorado Springs Business Journal.

Ent’s business mission statement is “to improve members’ quality of life through education, unbiased financial advice and access to the highest quality financial products and services.” And it carries that business mission through to its employees.

One of the region’s largest employers, Ent pays particular attention to the health and well-being of its staff.

The company’s employee benefits include:

• insurance (health, dental and vision);
• paid time off (PTO);
• gym membership discounts;
• short- and long-term disability;
• life insurance;
• retirement savings plan;
• employee service awards;
• employee health and wellness program.

The Health and Wellness program is focused and comprehensive. Seventy percent of Ent’s leadership team (at the vice president level and above) currently participate. Employees who participate are given $10 in every paycheck as incentive to continue participation.

The program has many components, including blood drives, local 5K running events, other community fitness events and lunch-and-learn presentations on a variety of topics. These include: quick and fit, maintain don’t gain, dental hygiene, proper nutrition, food labels, gut health, healthier recipes, diet fads and facts, healthy eating on the run, creating a culture of health and wellness in the workplace, food is medicine, healthy holiday eating, stress management and the power of sleep, according to Victoria Selfridge, vice president for corporate communications.

Participating employees first complete a customized health risk assessment, personally assessing their own well-being. Assisted by a clinical health coach, the employee then completes a biometric screening that assesses 15 health risks. If an employee demonstrates three or more risk factors, he or she is encouraged to work with a health coach and establish treatment goals.

The program is free for all employees, even if they do not participate in the medical plan.

Selfridge said the program’s goals reflect the company’s mission statement. It’s dedicated to:

• improving employees’ quality of life;
• maintaining the dignity and privacy of employees; and
• improving health measures to reduce increases to employees’ health care costs.

The wellness program focuses on a partnership between Ent and its employees to achieve a common goal of being a world-class workforce by:

• maintaining or improving health risks year-over-year;
• supporting each other by building camaraderie; and
• employees holding themselves accountable for their well-being.

“Since the implementation of the wellness program,” Selfridge said, “our health care renewal premiums have been single digit increases, where the trend has been double digit across the Front Range. While we don’t currently correlate sick days [absenteeism] or employee turnover statistics to participation in our Employee Health and Wellness Program, we believe the wellness program has boosted employee morale and created a healthier and more engaged workforce.”

The credit union provides a full range of financial solutions through 27 service centers throughout Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Pueblo and Denver. They offer members online, mobile and telephone banking services, a Colorado call center and both consumer and mortgage loan centers.

Ent Federal Credit Union •
Contact: 719-550-6894
Type of business: Credit Union

10 Ways To Shift Your Mindset and Feel Better Right Now #stress #mindset #happiness 10 Ways To Feel Better Right Now by Shannon Kaiser

Today, I consider myself an extremely happy person, but it hasn’t always been that way. The truth is that I’ve made HUGE strides to get where I am today. I had to dig deep inside myself to access authentic joy. I used to cry myself to sleep every night. I felt lifeless, numb, and bored with life.

I’d obsess over my day and feel tremendous guilt and anxiety tied to my eating disorders, drug addictions, poor choices in men, and unfulfilling job.

We get what we focus on.

I did whatever I could to avoid the feeling that I hated my life and myself — I tried to numb myself with food, drugs, codependent relationships, etc. It was a vicious cycle. I felt so much pressure to be happy, which only kept me more miserable.

I thought I needed to get a new job, a thinner body, and more money in order to become happier, but this mentality just kept me unhappy. I was always waiting for the next thing.

Looking back now, I see that the real transformation in turning my pain into purpose was learning how to shift my mindset in each momentWe get what we focus on. If I wanted a healthier and happier life, I needed to focus on that. Small, moment by moment mindset shifts helped pull me out of depression and led me to find my purpose and passion as an author, life coach, and teacher.

If you’re having a bad day, month, or even a bad year, instead of waiting for your happiness to come in some achievement or big life change, start small by shifting your perception in this moment.

Here are 10 simple ways to do it:

  1. Remind yourself as much as you need to: You get what you focus on. If you don’t like what you see, change your focus.
  2. Instead of asking How can I get?, ask What can I give? The energy of giving rewards your soul.
  3. Joy is contagious. When you do what brings you joy, you uplift the world.
  4. Remember what’s meant to be will always find a way.
  5. Any troubling situation is designed to show you what needs to be worked on.
  6. Maybe you’re exhausted because you’re tired of acting stronger than you feel. It’s okay to be vulnerable.
  7. Say what you need to say. There is freedom in self-expression.
  8. Things don’t happen to you, they happen for you.
  9. Treat yourself more kindly. When you nourish the inside, the outside will flourish.
  10. Experience is the best way to learn. What you’re going through is preparing you for what you asked for.

My Thoughts on Suicide: Robin Williams

My Thoughts on Suicide: Robin Williams
by Maggie Hernandez-Knight

(not at all related to his circumstances)

KobalI understand when it’s a soul’s time to go, it’s a soul’s time to go. And I fully understand we have the right to make that choice on a spiritual level and folks do it every day.

But when someone takes their own life out of unhappiness and despair, ahhh it makes me very sad :-(.

I suppose I was there at one point in my life, not suicidal, but feeling like I just wanted to give up because, “life is too effing hard!”

In my case, life was hard because I had a twisted perspective on my experiences. I so strongly identified with being a victim, not finding the blessings, and holding on to resentments.

All of that changed when I decided to start taking control of my own life, changing how I saw the world and learning to forgive and let go.

I hope and pray that those in that unhappy place realize… “the power to change is in your own hands! Don’t deny us the beauty that is your light, waiting to shine.”

How to Get Up Once Fallen… into Depression!

123Unhappy, Depressed, and Nobody Knows it? Ha! If you’ve ever come to a class at JourneySpace, chances are… I know it. And, I’m sure others do too. We all have the ability to see and feel through each other’s masks. Some of us have been hurt and can’t get over the pain. Others are angry and choose to punish others. Or despite our will, we can’t seem to get out of bed to do anything for ourselves. We may feel there’s nothing that can be done because we’ve “tried everything and failed.” But trying and failing is really not an option. The child isn’t thinking they’ve fallen too many times to figure out how to stand so, “I’m going to give up!”. Ah, there’s much to be learned from little people.

My point is that if you have fallen and can’t get up… at the very least start smiling. Smiling alone has the power to flood our body with endorphins. These are the feel good chemicals produced when we smile, laugh, exercise and even meditate. And feeling good is key to motivating us into further action and eventually beating our depression.
To find out more about how you can overcome your depression, contact

How To Stop Faking Happy

fsWhen was the last time you felt you were genuinely happy? The kind of happy that was undefined by anything outside of yourself.

I will never forget my reaction to the ending of Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose. I thought, “what the heck? Our purpose is to just be?” Now if we believe our purpose defines our happiness, Ekhardt’s conclusion poses a huge problem.

For the majority of us, material pursuits consume most of our time and energy. The spirit, yearning to BE, is neglected and we are left feeling empty; a shell of person we once thought was whole. If we are unwilling or able to make a shift, we may resort — as I did many years ago — to faking it. I became very good at pretending I was happy, as most of us do. When asked if I was happy, I’d pause and tell my usual lie, “sure I’m happy”.

Then as I pulled myself out of victimhood and worked on healing old wounds, my definition of happiness shifted. It was about being free of worry and having more control of my own life. It was less about fleeting moments of joy that achievement brings and more about the consistent inner knowing that everything would be ok, no matter the circumstances.

How to Stop Faking Happy

· Strive for true, inner happiness, not just moments of joy.
· Know that your circumstances can and will change.
· Take control of your life by initiating change.
· Learn to forgive/let go of your pain.
· Be willing to ask for help.
· Have a grateful heart; all experience is your teacher.
· And most of all, trust that everything will be ok, and don’t worry!!!