Sanity Savers and More...
January 2006


The New Year brings new hope, goals and renewal. It's also a good time to check in with yourself and see if you are projecting to the world the person you want to be.

By changing your attitude you can bring more positive energy to into your life. And, your positive outlook can benefit those around you.

You'll find some attitude changing suggestions in this month's SANITY SAVERS - Make a "New" New Year's Resolution - Change Your Attitude. And while your rethinking those old attitudes, how about considering your view about people who have disability differences? How can you be supportive? See TIPS on Changing our Views about Those Who Have Disability Differences.

Once again thank you for helping to get the word out about my most recent book (co-authored with Annie Gilbar), Wedding Sanity Savers.

Please pass along this newsletter to your friends, loved ones and colleagues by clicking Send to a Friend button below.

Wishing you health, peace and balance in 2006.


In this issue
    Make a "New" New Year's Resolution
    Change Your Attitude
  • Happening in January
  • TIPS: Changing our View of Those with Disability Differences
  • A Thought

    Make a "New" New Year's Resolution
    Change Your Attitude

    The Same Ole’ New Year’s Resolution
    New Year's Resolutions are often about committing to an exercise program, losing those extra 20 lbs, or stopping smoking. While all of these are likely be terrific for your health, are usually begun with great promise and enthusiasm, and are made with the hope that your life will be better, funny thing is that often our New Year's resolutions from one year to the next are exactly the same.

    A “New” New Year’s Resolution
    How about making this year the year of a different kind of resolution? Changing our attitude about something or someone (including ourselves) can be a refreshing start to the New Year. So often our attitudes remain unchanged and unchallenged; we never question whether they still serve us well or if they restrict us, holding us back.

    Attitude Adjustment can Enhance our Lives Immeasurably
    How many times have your own or other people's opinions prevented you from doing or trying something? “I always wanted to go skydiving but my friends will think I’m crazy.” “I would like to take an art class but I can't draw.” “I would like to learn to play the piano but I was never very good at it when I was a kid.” “I would like to travel but I don' t have a companion.” “I would like to dance but don't have a partner.”

    Sanity Savers
    By changing our attitude we can try things we thought we were "unable" to do and have experiences that will open our minds to incredible possibilities. Here are some Sanity Savers to help you get started to change your attitude.

    1. No Challenge. No Change. - If you don't give yourself a challenge there can be no change and without change there is no growth. Ask yourself, “How can I be continually challenged?”
    2. Meet People Who are Different from You - Step out and don't limit yourself to your usual group (age, culture, race). Find those with similar interests but who are from different backgrounds. Meet and be with people who are both younger and older than you. Learn from their experiences.
    3. You Are Never Too Old or Too Young to Change Your Self Image - Daily events fluctuate and influence your ability to stay focused, adaptable, happy and positive. The stronger and more resilient your sense of self, the better equipped you are to deal with all of what life presents.
    4. Be Aware of Your Patterns - When we don’t notice our patterns we get in our own way. How can we possibly move forward in life if we are bound by behavior or images that elude us?
    5. Be Conscious and Present –By being fully aware, we can accept, reject or change that which we don’t want into something that can be helpful and productive.
    6. Be Eager for Personal Growth - Seek knowledge, adventure and friendship. Do not confine yourself to a familiar road, traveling along paths others have gone or mapped out for you. Leave the familiar path from time to time. Be adventurous. Find your element; never stop searching. Continue your quest in life. It is all about growth!
    7. Be Resilient - Even if you have experienced a serious set back or loss, it is part your life's story. You can integrate all of it. Just as a forest is replanted after extensive logging, resilient people figure out ways to adapt to what has been taken from them by time and/or circumstance.
    8. Find Your True Self Worth - All of us have value; no matter how great or small your public recognition and reputation. True self worth comes from your personal inner resources and appreciation of your own self.
    9. Maintain a Good Self Image- Combine flattery and critical self-analysis. Don’ t waste time or energy putting yourself down. Focus on, emphasize, and live in way that is consistent with your core values.

    Happening in January

    TODAY Show
    Click to Dr. Dale's website for upcoming TODAY Show appearances.
    Dates and times subject to change.

    Jack Birnberg Speaks Out
    January 14, 2005, 9:30 - 10:00am
    WVNJ 1160AM (NJ)
    ...After the Holidays

    Naomi's New Morning (Naomi Judd)
    January 22nd, 10:00am, Hallmark Channel
    How We See Ourselves

    Also Look For...
    Modern Bride
    Feb/March 2006 Issue
    Being with a (Much) Younger Guy
    Dr. Dale Quoted

    TIPS: Changing our View of Those with Disability Differences

    Many people in our world live with disability differences
    Hearing loss, learning or developmental disabilities, visual impairment, and spinal cord injuries are among the multitude of disability differences that set some of us apart from the “norm”. But what is “normal” and how do we form our attitudes about whom or what is “different”?

    According to Everybody’s Different by Miller and Sammons (Brookes, 1999), gaining knowledge and acceptance of those with disability differences brings:

    • New Awareness of disability differences in others
    • Better Understanding of your emotional reactions to those with disability differences
    • Increased Skills for interacting with disability differences

    It's never too late to change your attitude
    It is never too late to gain a new understanding of those with disability differences (or, for that matter, any other preconceived notions you might be harboring.) It is useful to ask yourself how you developed your attitude and who helps you maintain or perpetuate this attitude that you are now challenging. Remember, without challenge there can be no change. Think about what is invested in keeping or hanging onto your former attitudes. How have they served you? In what ways are those attitudes limiting? To whom can you turn to revisit your old attitudes to begin to construct different ones?

    Examine your attitude
    By examining your attitudes and being open to establishing a new perspective, you can free yourself, your family and your children from a restricted and often stereotypic view of the world and begin to look at people who are different from you with compassion. Remember that your attitude about a person who has a disability difference may have a vast impact on how that person feels about him or herself and how they are viewed by others. By exploring ways in which you can alter your attitude, you will be making a stand for what is right and showing others love, care and support.

    Here are some TIPS adapted from the Anti- Defamation League to help you change your attitude toward those with disability differences and to take a proactive stance:

    1. Accept Your Feelings – It is normal to have a range of feelings when you think about or encounter someone who has a disability difference. Acknowledging your feelings is essential to making a good decision about what you want to do. Accept all of the feelings you have; even the ones you think are “unacceptable.”
    2. Recognize Myths, Beliefs and Assumptions – Most of what we believe about people who have disability differences comes from stories, family lore, and little is based on fact.
    3. Speak Out – Be vocal about prejudicial jokes and slurs aimed toward those who have a disability difference. It’s NOT enough to refuse to laugh.
    4. Don’t Be a Bystander - Stand up for someone who is targeted for being “different”. Be their ally.
    5. Find Support – Discuss your concerns about those who have disability differences with the people themselves when appropriate, with your family, friends, co-workers and peers.
    6. Become Educated – Learn about the challenges of those who have disability differences and share what you learn with others.
    7. Report Prejudicial Incidents – Accept zero tolerance in the workplace, at school, in the community. Express what you see as unfair.
    8. Think Before Reacting to Other’s Prejudicial Comments – Keep calm and don’t respond immediately. Try not to over-react emotionally but first understand your feelings. Then respond appropriately.
    9. Exercise Leadership – Model to others exemplary behavior and spread the word about what is and is not okay.

    A Thought

    Your daily life is your temple and your religion.

    "Kahlil Gibran"

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

    She has more than twenty- five years of experience as a relationship expert, focusing on families, couples, parenting, aging well and stress management.

    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
  • and her lastest book

  • Wedding Sanity Savers
    How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day
  • Find out more....
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