Dr. Dale Atkins, PhD Psychology P.C.
Sanity SaversTM and More...
April 2014

Greetings!

Well, I finally took the plunge and am now on twitter. Please follow me at @DrDaleAtkins.

In this month's article, Feeling Connected to Who We Will Become, I discuss seeing ourselves in the future without sacrificing our connection with the present.

In Tips for Managing Stress, I offer suggestions for re-examining our everyday life through a healthier lens.

Please visit my website, www.drdaleatkins.com for information and updates about my professional interests, thoughts, and engagements. Feel free to 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
    Feeling Connected to Who We Will Become
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Tips for Managing Stress
  • Happenings
  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • JUMPSTART
  • A Thought

  • Sanity SaversTM
    Feeling Connected to Who We Will Become

    When accepting his recent Academy Award, Matthew McConaughey spoke about keeping an eye on becoming the person he has yet to become. He said that he needs someone to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase. The person he chases is his future self -- 10 years into the future. He is aware that he will never catch up, but he wants to find out who that man will turn out to be. I admit I was a bit confounded when I listened to him, but I felt a surge of admiration. His curiosity was peaked (and mine too) by his desire to know who he was yet to become.

    Each of us can take a page from Mr. McConaughey's playbook. We can consciously plan, strategize, create goals, while leaving room for the unintended life events and synchronicities that help to determine our path.

    Research confirms that those of us who allow ourselves to wonder about our futures tend to have a healthy form of curiosity. Over time, this curiosity can lead to greater well-being. We view the world as being filled with possibilities.

    But wait! You may be thinking, aren't we all supposed to be living in the present; not focusing on the future? Here is where the balance part comes in. For those of us who live in the present, without thinking about or wondering about (as differentiated from worrying about) the future, we may experience a sense of freedom and spontaneity that comes with staying focused on the present. The downside of this, though, is that for some of us, we may be more inclined to take unhealthy risks because we ignore all future consequences. If we keep the balance between present and future, we can look ahead and envision what a particular path may be like for us if we make certain choices now. There is a consciousness about what we do in relation to where we are -- we can appreciate where we are and pay attention to where we are going.

    Of course, we will never really know where we will be 10 years from now. But we can think about it and move in a direction with a high likelihood of getting us to where we think we would like to be. We see ourselves as we would like to be (an ideal self) and we find ways to move in the direction that is more likely to help get us there. As we make these choices we are refining who we are.

    We learn how to plan by setting goals (near, mid, and long term). As we set those goals, we can integrate the observations and wise counsel of others, and have experience in the wider world. But we enhance our well-being if our goals and the way to achieve them are true to what is within us rather than imposed from the outside by parents, teachers, or others.

    This may not be easy but the payoff can be life changing.


    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    Include Time in Our Schedules for What We Want.

    The only time we are guaranteed to have is this moment. Yet, often, and needlessly, we spend our most valuable resource - time - on things that are not important to us.

    Given the reality that the only time we have is now, we need to be conscious of making time in our daily schedules to fit in what we truly want to be doing.


    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Tips for Managing Stress

    We can all think about our own life and its stressful situations. The problem is not that we experience stress (all human beings do). The problems begin when we do not deal with stress effectively. Each and every one of us has within us the power to manage stress by changing how we respond. Whatever we may be experiencing-the illness or death of a loved one; divorce; unemployment or issues at work; moving; relationships; aging - we have at our disposal choices we can make that will alter our lives and our health.

    While you probably now know that stress can lead to a host of health problems and disrupt your life, you may not know that you can be empowered to prevent or heal these situations by paying attention to what works in your life. As you begin to realize what is involved in this "empowerment", remember what works for you when you feel stressed so you can rely on these practices and techniques when you need them.

    Here are some tips for managing stress:

    Stay Positive and Laugh. - Laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries, and to increase the so-called "good" or HDL cholesterol. So, having a good laugh can help your heart. No matter how bad things are, laughing dissolves tension and because we laugh, we are better able to deal with our stress. When we try to lighten up, take things less seriously, we can help replace a negative mood with a positive one, reducing the level of stress.

    Exercise. - Every time you are physically active, whether you take a walk or play tennis, your body releases feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. In all likelihood when you finish your exercise, you will feel more optimistic, and you'll begin to look at the day's irritations differently, placing your attention on how to handle the more important things in your life.

    Disconnect. - Take a break and avoid e-mails, texts, tweets, and late night TV news. Take time each day - even for ten or fifteen minutes - to escape from the noisy, interruptive world.

    Breathe Deeply. - Deep belly breaths can reduce your stress levels right away. Many of us have been taking in breaths (not to mention information that can lead to stress) in a shallow, meager way. Simply breathe, deeply and from your belly, and you can feel your tension fading.

    Make Time for Friendships. - Countless studies continue to reinforce the value of connecting with friends as a reliable stress buster. Old friends or new friends, your health will benefit being connected.


    Happenings

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

    Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for updated appearances.

    NPR Interview - Take Care: A Conversation on Health and Wellness, WRVO Public Media
    April 9th: 11AM. Lorraine Rapp will interview Dr. Richard Isaacson and Dr. Atkins to discuss Alzheimer's Disease and Caregiving.
    http://wrvo.org/programs/take-care-wrvo-1-npr-news

    Guest Blogger for Joan Lunden's Blog
    Stress Busting Ways to Protect Your Heart - (for February Heart month)
    www.blog.joanlunden.com.

    Sixty and Me Interviews
    Four interviews with Dr. Atkins, conducted by Margaret Manning, throughout the month of April covering the following topics: stress and worry, care-giving, downsizing, and friendships.
    sixtyandme.com.

    Experience Life Magazine
    The Cares of Caregiving, by Jon Spayde. Interview.
    March, 2014 issue.
    http://experiencelife.com/article/the-cares-of-caregiving/

    I hope you enjoy my recently released chapter, "Family Involvement and Counseling," in the new text, Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation, Second Edition. 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 also partners with families, preschool centers, institutions of higher education, community groups and a variety of other groups and individuals to make certain that every stakeholder in a child's life is working to provide them with a high quality early education.

    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. 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 - May 13, 2014, at Cipriani Wall Street. Laura Schroff, author of An Invisible Thread, will be our featured guest.

    Please follow the link for more information and tickets: http://www.jstart.org/campaigns/scribblesnewyork


    A Thought

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

    Mark Twain


    dale with samson

    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:
  • A Practical, Helpful Exploration of the Intimate and Complex Bond between Female Siblings
  • 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.
  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • Find out more....
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