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Sanity SaversTM and More...
December 2012

Greetings!

In It's All About Choice, I ask you to consider how you respond when someone in your "orbit" is negative.

In Tips for Breathing Deeply, I discuss investigating various breathing techniques to keep you balanced.

Please visit my website, www.drdaleatkins.com for information and updates about my professional interests, thoughts, and engagements. Please contact me directly if you would like me to speak to your group or organization at dale@drdaleatkins.com.

I appreciate you sharing this newsletters by clicking the Send to a Friend button below.

Wishing you health, peace and balance.

Dale

In this issue
  • Sanity SaversTM
    Its All About Choice
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Tips For Breathing Deeply
  • Happenings
  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • JUMPSTART
  • A Thought

  • Sanity SaversTM
    Its All About Choice
    faces

    When we are obsessing about ourselves, we are taking ourselves away from the opportunity to enjoy what's happening NOW. Rather than relish a visit with a friend, we are concentrating on a matter at home; rather than valuing a visit with our family, we are obsessed with the thought of a past slight which was directed at us the last time we were together.

    When we live our lives stuck in the past or focused only on the worry about the future, it becomes a personal burden and prevents us from being in the present moment. That is powerful and it can affect others around us with equal power. Aware or not, we spread a contaminating or toxic energy that these other people have to address. In order to do so, they need to deal with us and the consequences of our mood or perception or whatever. When we have a "meltdown moment" we often do not appreciate or realize the impact that has on others around us. When this negativity is released, it can pervade the experience, requiring others to work hard to preserve their own balance and presence so that they don't feel poisoned by our issue. How do they do it? By choosing how they respond.

    There are many things that interrupt our daily routines or special occasions. We all have the ability to allow other people to go through their " stuff" without having it ruin our day. We can CHOOSE how we respond; we can choose how or whether it infiltrates and affects our health and well-being. With self-awareness and compassion, we can willingly say, "yes, I wish this were different. But this is how and what it is." We can respond in a way that is consistent with who we want to be. When we keep our emotional balance - knowing and accepting ourselves, living by and true to the values that are morally consistent with our beliefs, forgiving ourselves for being less than perfect, and caring for and about ourselves with compassion, we are better able to live and accept another as he or she is. We may be momentarily thrown for a loop and feel unable to restore our own balance. The people around us may, indeed, be living in such a way that it is virtually impossible for them to reap any pleasure out of anything that occurs in their lives. And that is real.

    The question is how do we process this and be compassionate as well as centered and remain healthy -- able to appreciate the moment for what it is; learn from it; and take care of ourselves? We must choose whether we will allow someone or someone's reaction deplete us, or can we instead decide, "I feel for this person but they are not going to be able to affect me and ruin my life."


    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
    aspen trees

    Finish a Task

    When my computer has too many files open at once, there is a high likelihood that it will crash. Somehow, that seems analogous to what can happen when we are engaged in many projects at once, going from one to the other, unable to complete any of them for whatever reason. Aside from turning things down (now THAT'S a good idea) how can we stay clear from feeling overwhelmed in the process?

    Finishing a project can bring with it a sense of resolution and accomplishment. It can also bring with it a sense of loss - but that's for another discussion. Unless you are an afghan fringe, having too many loose ends hanging can be unsettling.

    We all enjoy feeling as if we have some control, (even if it is just in our minds). Focusing on and completing a task - accomplishing a goal - contributes to that feeling of well-being. Daily, try to pay attention to the many tasks that are "undone" and decide which can be worked toward completion.

    Knowing we are on the right path can enhance our sense of accomplishment and finishing a task gives us the chance to sit back and enjoy a job that is done.


    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Tips For Breathing Deeply
    sky thru branches

    When we are in the middle of a stressful situation it is nearly impossible to maintain objectivity. We try to focus and get something done, and yet, sometimes, we are totally ineffective; we cannot move or think or reason. It is difficult to be clear or have access to insight when stress overwhelms us. We just don't have perspective; we are too close to the edge.

    Each of us can become better at staying away from the "the edge". Admittedly, it is difficult to focus on what works and what doesn't when we are feeling anxious or fearful about a particular outcome. We become aware of our breath, but likely our breath is shallow, adding to the increase in anxiety. Ironically, that is just the time to rely on our breath to help calm us and return us to balance.

    When we begin to be conscious of the flow of our breath we become aware of how our breath shapes the energy patterns within us. So the most important step is to just be aware. We can "watch" our breath in our "mind's eye." We can notice and observe our breath without judgment; noticing the lengths of our inhalations and exhalations, what is our "natural" rhythm, when and how do we hold tension, and what causes our breathing patterns to change.

    We can learn to breathe differently and we can do it anywhere; indoors, outdoors, walking, standing, sitting, lying down - it does not matter. What matters is that we are relaxing into our breath and are aware of it..

    We need to appreciate how important it is to slow down. Even when we have many matters to deal with, approaching things thoughtfully and slowly, one at a time, helps immeasurably. We are better able to see the issues we need to deal with more clearly as well as become more creative in our problem solving.

    One way to do this is to breathe deeply. There are many different ways to breathe for improved health and well-being. It is possible for each of us to find the right "breathing style" that is most effective at a particular time and in a particular situation. We can each "learn how to breath".

    Listed below are some examples of breathing for relaxation as well as for increased energy and focus. Practice breathing in one of these ways several times a day and notice the changes you feel.

    Diaphragmatic Breathing. - Many of us who sing or practice Yoga have been exposed to "diaphragmatic breathing," which is best learned in a relaxed, comfortable position. We need to see ourselves relaxed and we release tension that we are aware of by loosening our necks, shoulders. As we breathe in, the lower part of the rib cage and the abdomen should expand, and with our exhalation, the lower edge of the rib cage and the abdomen "deflate". It can be helpful to lightly place the palm of the hand on the lower abdomen to feel it rise as we inhale and fall as we exhale.

    Bellows. - Sit up straight. With your mouth closed, rapidly inhale and exhale. After 10 breaths, inhale once as deeply as possible, hold for two seconds or longer, then exhale slowly. Rest for five normal breaths and begin again, doing a total of three rounds.

    Paced Breathing. - Inhale for six seconds, then exhale for six. If that's not comfortable, begin with shorter breaths and work up to six seconds. Start with a short period - five minutes - and increase your time.

    Alternate-nostril Breathing. - Close your eyes and sit up straight. Hold your right nostril closed with one finger of your left hand, inhaling through your left nostril. Pause briefly and close your left nostril with the thumb of your left hand, releasing your first finger to exhale through your right nostril. Inhale through the right, then switch thumb and finger again to exhale through the left. Start with 5 minutes and build up.


    Happenings

    TODAY Show (NBC).
    Dr. Atkins is a frequent contributor.

    Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for latest updates, including changes of time.

    Dr. Atkins comments on breaking news for CNN's HLN. Please check HLNtv.com for updates.

    YWCA of Greenwich BRAVA Awards for 2013. I'm happy to announce that I will be an honoree of the YWCA of Greenwich BRAVA Awards for 2013.
    Luncheon to be held on Feb. 8, 2013, 11:30AM to 2PM at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich. RSVP by January 18, 2013.
    Proceeds support free services to victims of domestic violence, scholarships for preschool, afterschool, summer camps, and aquatic program, free women's leadership seminars, free racial justice activities, and subsidies for YWCA programs not covered by dues and fees.

    Reform Judaism
    Focus: Shanda -- What Will the Neighbors Say?!, a conversation with Edythe Mencher and Dale Atkins. Winter 2012 issue.
    http://reformjudaismmag.org/Articles/index.cfm?id=3124.

    Volta Voices Cover Story
    Connect with Dr. Dale Atkins, written by Susan Boswell. January/February 2012 issue.
    Published by Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

    TC Today Magazine
    Dr. Atkins is the focus of Work - Life Balance, written by James Reisler. Access PDF of the article at www.drdaleatkins.com.

    About.com
    Topics by Dr. Dale Atkins:
    Tips for Getting Along with In-Laws: http://video.about.com/marriage/Tips-for-Getting-Along-With-In-Laws.htm;
    Warning Signs of a Troubled Marriage: http://video.about.com/marriage/Warning-Signs-of-a-Troubled-Marriage.htm;
    Issues to Deal with before Marriage: http://video.about.com/marriage/Types-of-Issues-to-Deal-With-Before-Getting-Married.htm;
    Warning Signs of Cheating Spouse: http://video.about.com/marriage/Warning-Signs-of-Cheating-Spouses.htm; Tips for Maintaining Interfaith Marriages: http://video.about.com/marriage/Tips-for-Maintaining-Interfaith-Marriages.htm;
    Tips for Growing Old Together
    :
    http://video.about.com/marriage/Tips-for-Growing-Old-Together.htm;
    and, Most Important Questions to Ask Before Getting Married: http://video.about.com/marriage/Most-Important-Questions-to-Ask-Before-Getting-Married.htm
    .

    Visit Marlo Thomas' site to access my relationship column and Mondays with Marlo video stream. http://marlothomas.aol.com/search/?q=dale+atkins

    Read Dr. Atkins' chapter, "Therapeutic Issues with Recipients of Cochlear Implants," in the new text, Psychotherapy With Deaf Clients From Diverse Groups, Second Edition.
    Edited by Irene Leigh, and published by Gallaudet University Press.

    Read Dr. Atkins' chapter, "Family Involvement and Counseling in Serving Children Who Possess Impaired Hearing," in the new text, Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation.
    Edited by Raymond H. Hull, and published by Plural Publishing.

    I invite you to visit my website to access archives of articles and interviews on line.

    My sincere thanks to website developer, Barry Brothers, who, along with Carina Ramirez Cahan, brought vision and positive, creative energy to the site. Do take a look at Barry's work here: http://www.thelimulusgroup.com/bb and consider him for your business, development, design and communication needs.


    Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life

    SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to Live A Balanced Life is filled with suggestions to save your sanity every day of the year.

    A must for any woman seeking to find her balance!

    Once again thank you for continuing to read and talk about Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life.


    JUMPSTART

    WE CAN ALL ADDRESS THE LITERACY CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY. Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students and community corps members to serve preschool children in low-income neighborhoods in year-long mentoring relationships. Jumpstart's proven curriculum helps children develop the language, literacy, and socio-emotional skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late.

    Please help to spread the word about the mission of Jumpstart and the remarkable strides being made in low income neighborhoods every day. If you can, contribute by clicking on www.jstart.org/donate www.jstart.org/donate. There is something that every single one of us can do to help those less fortunate. Over one million children live below the poverty level in the U.S. This shameful situation must change. Each of us has a responsibility to repair our world. Let us eliminate the 2-year achievement gap that exists between children from low income and those from middle income neighborhoods when they begin kindergarten!

    Visit www.jstart.org to learn more about Jumpstart initiatives - such as Scribbles to Novels; We Give Books; and Read for the Record.


    A Thought

    "If we don't allow ourselves to experience joy and love, we will definitely miss out on filling our reservoir with what we need when hard things happen."

    Brené Brown


    coral sweater 1

    DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, lecturer and commentator in the media who appears on the Today show.

    She has more than twenty- five years of experience and focuses on living a balanced life, parenting, aging well, managing stress, life & work transitions, family connections and healthy relationships.

    Dr. Atkins is the author and/or co-editor of several books including:

  • Sisters
  • From the Heart:
    Men and Women Write Their Private Thoughts about their Private Lives
  • Families and their Hearing-Impaired Children
  • I'm OK, You're My Parents
    How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger and Create a Relationship that Works
  • Wedding Sanity Savers
    How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day.
  • And her newest book . . .

  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • Find out more....
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