In From Frazzled to Focused, I discuss how we can feel calmer, healthier, happier, more fulfilled, and less worried when we start with our breath.
In Being Quiet, I offer tips to help you become quiet and focus on listening.
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From Frazzled to Focused
Busy, Busy, Busy. Sometimes we feel we are all over the place going in several directions simultaneously.
A key element as we attempt to go from frazzled to focused is finding one's breath and using it to full advantage as we each find within us, a place of stillness. It is possible with practice.
It seems we are hungry for "time out to disconnect" in order to feel a sense of peace in the crazy fast paced world. This kind of time for stillness allows space for creativity and recharging of our batteries.
Frazzled folks are low on energy and high on unhealthy stress. When frazzled, we tend to neglect our health by eat unhealthfully, sleeping poorly (or not enough), forgetting to exercise, or taking time to calm our minds; all of which deplete our energy and our ability to focus. We don't think clearly and the thoughts we do have race through our brains without time or space for reflection which adds to the frazzle. And rather than focusing on the positive we are drawn to the negative. When frazzled, it is easy to overlook what we have to be grateful for, which contributes to spinning towards a downward spiral of reviewing that which is NOT good, NOT done, NOT positive.
We need to breathe.
Life's events present us with a series of choices. We need to decide how we will respond. It is our attitude, not the event, that determines whether we will be frazzled or focused. Truth is, whatever happens, we need to adapt. Change is a constant in life and it is up to us to figure out how we are going to deal with it. Do we waste precious time and energy bemoaning that which we cannot change? Or do we figure out a way to deal, integrate, and move on? We can learn to see change and obstacles as challenges and allow the feelings we have related to them, whether disappointment, anger, or frustration, to be part of the process of dealing with the situation in a way that does not diminish our ability to function well. When our impulse is to hurry, the better choice may be to slow down so we can actually give ourselves a chance to pay attention to what is happening within us and chose how we respond rather than have a knee jerk reaction that in the end, may hurt us. For example, instead of eating faster, we can consciously slow down and be mindful of our pace. Doing this helps us to "right" ourselves when we have been knocked off our center.
When we take a few minutes (start with 3! ) to be still and breathe deeply, we can quiet our minds particularly the chatter in our heads, The multiple roles we have, the busy schedules, the constant interruptions and distractions -- we all know what they are -- but when we find that we can be still and quiet for a moment here and there, we feel more control over our lives and recognize that we have power to change our lives in a positive way, one step at a time. The good news is that small changes have big effects.
Prioritizing helps and when you do it, life will invariably get in the way so know that you will have to drop some things and pick them up at a later time -- kind of like juggling balls, some stay in the air and some drop -- but if you focus on what you put down instead of what you are still juggling, you will be frazzled and not focused AND you will feel as if you did NOT do what you were supposed to do rather than feel good about what you DID do! Appreciate that some things on that to do list will have to be put away, for a day, a week, for "now," forever? Only you can tell.
Also, multi-tasking just does not work. The brain cannot do more than one thing at a time WELL. Something suffers. So do one thing at a time and do it well. Simplify, wherever and whenever you can.
Whether we are talking about love, work, home, conflicting or competing responsibilities, this works (and spills over to other areas of our lives which is really great!). We can feel calmer, healthier, happier, more fulfilled, less worried, perhaps more spiritually connected, and more content with our lives and those in it. Not a bad result for taking a breath.
*Photo credit: Dr. Janet Weathers, photograph of her garden view.
A Good Daily Habit
Read an inspirational saying or devotional message each morning.
This practice can serve many purposes among them: set an intention for the day; provide a different perspective on your life; move toward self-awareness; offer insight on a problem; and provide a spiritual respite.
|Sanity SaversTM TIPS
Tips for Being Quiet
Many of us talk more than necessary. The downside of talking too much is that we don't listen as well as we could. When we are quiet and focused on listening, our relationships improve dramatically because what comes across is our desire to be present with this other person and to consider their experience and perspective.
Generally, people who are quiet think before acting and are less impulsive when making decisions. Quiet people tend to have a calming effect on others and can help sooth difficult situations. They select their words wisely, leading others to want to work with them and trust their judgment.
Consider these tips in your efforts to be more quiet :
Try to find quiet within yourself by quieting your mind a few minutes every day.
Be Silent for Some Portion of Every Day. Resist talking on the phone as you walk or drive. Just allow yourself to feel the quiet and observe your surroundings.
As you consider what you do in your spare time, contemplate developing a hobby that does not require you to speak.
Before you speak, focus on the other person, with the goal of understanding them and their perspective.
Notice your own and the other person's body language and pay attention to what messages are behind the words before you comment.
Be aware of interrupting. Few things are more disrespectful than interrupting someone when they are expressing their feelings and thoughts.
Speak loud enough to be heard. Shouting conveys underlying meanings that can derail your attempts to connect.
Avoid speaking when it is not necessary.
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.
Jewish Home LifeCare Annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony
June 5th, 6PM: Speaker: Cultivating Happiness.
Jewish Home LifeCare, Sarah Neuman Center
North Dakota School for the Deaf
June 6-7th, Speaker: How To Take Care of Yourself While Working with Individuals, Professionals, Family Members of Children with Hearing Loss.
Devil's Lake, ND.
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.
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:
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
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
Balanced Life is filled
with suggestions to save
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.
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!
to learn more about Jumpstart
initiatives - such as Scribbles to
Novels, April 17th in NYC; We Give Books; and Read for the Record.
"Joy is not made to be a crumb."
DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist,
lecturer and commentator in the media who
on the Today show.
She has more than twenty-
years of experience and focuses on living a
life, parenting, aging well, managing stress,
work transitions, family connections and healthy
Dr. Atkins is the author
and/or co-editor of several books including:
Their Private Thoughts about their Private
Families and their Hearing-Impaired
OK, You're My Parents
Let Go of Anger and Create a Relationship that
Wedding Sanity Savers
Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and
Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect
book . . .
Savers: Tips for Women to
Find out more....
As Seen on the TODAY SHOW!
Wedding Sanity Savers
How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day
You're My Parents
How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger, and Create a Relationship That Works