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  • Why Does Neurodiversity Create Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

    For people who are neurodivergent, rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) can mean extreme emotional sensitivity and emotional turmoil.  Some professionals say it can even imitate bipolar disorder with suicidal ideation. Is Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria a New Diagnosis? Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria is usually misunderstood as rapid cycling bipolar disorder.  RSD is extreme sensitivity and pain triggered by the perception that a person has been rejected or criticized by important people in their life.  People with ADHD or ADD often times have diffiuclty regulating their emotions and their response to being rejected, criticized or fail are much more severe than for the neurotypical individuals.  RSD is a Externalizing the criitcism looks like an explosive anger toward the perceived person who is causing the pain.  Therefore, people may see those with RSD as overly perfectionistic, over-sensitive, or overly reactive to even the mildest types of criticism. RSD is not a mental health condition in the DSM-5, so therefore has no set of empirically quantifiable criteria for and official diagnosis.  RSD is a new label that is only starting to be researched in depth. Moreover, RS can mimick Social Anxiety Disorder but the person may not be as anxious before an interaction (like someone with Social Anxiety Disorder will be) but instead will have an extreme reaction if they felt it went badly afterward.  People with RSD feel shame, guilt, sadness, or even rage about what they perceive as a rejection, rather than debilitating nervousness that comes before an interaction even happens with Social Anxiety Disorder. People with ADHD or ADD cope with this emotional dysregulation in many ways: 1. They become obsesed with pleasing others and go out of their way to make sure people are happy with them. 2. These people give up doing things that are anxiety-provoking and end up feeling stuck professionally and socially. 3. Some people become overachievers because they are constantly working to be the best at what they do and strive for idealized perfection. 5 Ways to overcome and heal RSD 1. Work with a therapist to heal the part of you who gets triggered by criticism. 2. With your eyes open or closed identify where in your body you are holding the fear of criticism. 3. Pay attention to the sensations in your body that are caused by this fear of criticism. 4. Use the breath or touch to relax the muscles around the part of the body that is triggered by the fear. 5. Name the qualities of the bodily sensations such as: my chest feels tight, cool and heavy. 6. Practice self-compassion toward the triggered part. Have a question for Dr. Pound to answer in upcoming blogs?  Let me know. Go to my website at to learn more about my services Warmly, Gretchen Pound, Ph.D. Owner and Founder of Healthier Life Therapy

  • Panic Attacks are Scary: 7 Steps to Reduce Anxiety

    If you are in a high anxious state, your fight/fligh/freeze system may take over.  Here are 6 steps to stay in control over your anxiety. 1. Find the anxiety in your body.  Focus on the sensation. 2. Notice the qualities of the sensation. Do you feel heat, coolness, tightness or clenching? 3. Accept the anxiety. 4. Breath into the spaces that are feeling tight and tense. 5. Feel your feet on the gound. 6.  Exhale slowly allowing the tenstion to release out of the bottoms of your feet. 7. Imagine a place or person that makes you feel safe.  Bring that image to your mind's eye.  Say, "I am safe."

  • Eating for a Healthy Brain

    Healthy eating is very important to helping improve mood, decrease anxiety and improve concentration.  Eating healthy foods such as vegtables, fruites, protein and grains can also help improve ADHD symptoms. Creating healthy eating habits improves racing thoughts, foggy brain and focus.  Follow these 8 easy steps to creating a healthy eating routine: 1. Eat when you're hungry 2. stop eating once your full 3. Eat slowly 4. Wait until previous food is digested before next meal. 5. Eat sitting down 6. Don't eat while upset 7.Rest for a few minutes after eating. 8. Offer gratitude for the food you are eating. Intuitive eating improves anxiety symptoms and hyperactivity.   Practice eating and drinking when your body needs it. Drinking plenty of water improves brain and immune function. Eat mindfully by chewing slowly for 35 counts.  Set your kitchen up for successful eating by making sure you have a clean and cluter free space.  Put fresh flowers out and play gentle music. Put your phone and computer away and infuse your kitchen with soothing fragrences such as lavendar, orange peel and chammomile. Using grounding techniques while you're preparing your food will help improve concentration, focus and racing thoughts.  For example, feel your feet on the ground, take deep breaths and notice your body.  Walking meditation as you move around your kitchen can improve the energy of the food and of the cook. Practiicng mindfulness doesn't have to be a chore.  Following the above steps will help you feel rejuvenated, relaxed and refreshed. If you enjoyed this blog share

  • Stress Relief from Mother Nature

    Using mother nature's plants and flower essance is a great way to reduce stress and improve balance of the body, mind and spirit.  You can use aromatherapy to harmonize and promote a healthy lifestyle.  Adding a few drops to your bath water or in a diffuser can give you the relaxation you need for healthier living.  Adding essential oils directly to your skin is another way of using these powerful healing agents for deep relaxation. One of the most common essential oils used for relaxation and stress relief is lavender.  It's considered a nervine and helps to promote inner tranquility and restfulness.  Research has also found that it helps to reduce anxiety, panic attacks and depression.  You can use it to massage into your temples, neck and shoulders to release tension.  Make sure you get the 100 percent pure Lavandula Angustifolia, and not the Lavandula Latifolia, which is the stimulating lavendar. Bergamot is another soothing essential oil for calming the nerves containing properties that helps to reduce stress, sleeplessness and depression.  Bergamot oil stimulates the pleasure hormones in your body and brain to help you feel good. Made from the flowers of the Cananga odorata tree, ylang-ylang is a stress buster that leaves you feeling relaxed and less depressed.  Combining essential oils can also be used for deep relaxation purposes.  Have fun and be creative when you're looking for ways to melt the stress away. Written By: Gretchen Pound, Ph.D.,RYT, Reiki Master, Ayurveda Health Counselor

  • Pain and Depression

    Pain and depression are closely linked.  Depression can cause pain and pain can cause depression.  In many people, depression causes unexplained physical pain such as back pain or headaches.  This kind of pain may be the first or the only sign of depression. Pain can wear you down and negatively affect your mood.  Chronic pain causes a number of problems that can lead to depression, including insomnia and stress. The pain body as described by Eckhart Tolle in his book "A New Earth" is a powerful unconscious force with great momentum.  It's purpose is to continue to bring us pain.  Eckhart Tolle described pain body in his book as a 'psychic parasite' that possesses you and causes you suffering.  Pain is its food. We create our own reality through our thinking, feeling and behaving in certain patterns.  Until we change them, the same problems with exist again and again, including our tendency to keep the patterns alive.  This is how we can stay stuck for along time.  Our pain body creates further pain in whatever form: anger, destructiveness, hatred, grief, emotional drama, violence, and even illness.  Pain can only feed on pain.  Pain cannot feed on joy. To get symptoms of pain and depression under control, you may need separate treatment for each condition.  However, some treatments may help with both: Psychotherapy can be effective in treating both conditions Stress reduction Physical activity Developing coping skills Exercise to increase natural endorphins Yoga Meditation Journal your pain level and activities every day Reiki Decrease alcohol intake If you have pain and depression, get help before your symptoms worsen.  You don't have to suffer.  Getting the right treatment can help you start enjoying life again.  Call Healthier Life Therapy today at 858-224-2889. Gretchen Pound, Ph.D., RYT, Reiki Master, Ayurveda Health Counselor

  • The Science of Energy And Its Relationship to Reiki and Psychology

    Science has confirmed that everything in the universe is made up of energy, vibrating and oscillating at different rates.  Reiki is a energy that vibrates at a very high rate, and it works at an energetic level with both the physical body as well as the emotional body.  Therefore, Reiki can help your healing on many different levels, from the physical to the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects. The energy that comprises the human energy field has various names, depending on the spiritual tradition, Ki, Qi, Prana or Life Force.  This life force flows within the physical body through the energy centers and the energy pathways called miridians.  When your life force is moving freely, you feel healthy, strong, confident, full of energy, ready to enjoy life and take on challenging tasks, and you are unlikely to become ill.  If your life force is blocked you feel weak, tired and lethargic, and are much more vulnerable to illnesses. Reiki energy healing helps to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain, bringing feelings of harmony and peace.  It can freely block feelings and bring calm to emotional or mental distress such as nervousness, fear, depression, anger, or sadness.  Reiki healing helps you to forgive yourself and others, to release attachments to past issues, cut old ties that no longer serve you, and let go of the past. Combining energy work with psychology is a mind-body approach to understanding and improving human functioning.  It focuses on the relationship between bioenergy systems, neuro and electro physiological processes, and mental functions involving thoughts, emotions, sensations, and behavior.  The mind and body energy system are thought to be interwoven and interactive within the mind-body-energy system.  Combing Reiki with psychotherapy can be beneficially applied to the treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, pain, stress, psychophysioloical issues, and self-sabatoaging behaivors to regulate affect and promote emotional and physical health. Grechen Pound, Ph.D, RYT, Reiki Master, Ayurveda Health Counselor

  • How Yoga Combined With Psychotherapy Improves Emotional Health

    Yoga combined with psychotherapy can be beneficial when healing yourself from insomnia, major depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD and panic attacks. The many psychological benefits of yoga include: improved mood, concentration and focus. It promotes good sleep hygiene and it helps you to develop a good sense of self-awareness. Having a daily yoga practice can help you to achieve your activities of daily living and it can increase your energy to accomplish your goals. Practicing yoga can also help you better manage your mood swings and as it provides you with greater access to your emotions, which compliments psychotherapy. Furthermore, yoga will help you to release repressed emotions that are stored in the body and it will help you to self-regulate your emotions during times of dispair. Combining talk therapy with body movement is truly an integrative approach to healing mental illness and improving the mind, body and spirit connection. If you or someone you love is ready to seek help, please contact Dr. Pound at Reference: Gretchen Pound, Ph.D, RYT, Reiki Practicioner, Ayurveda Health Counselor

  • Why Self-Message Therapy for Stress Relief and Emotional Balance

    Message is the most ancient technique used for balancing emotions and relieving stress.  Still a valid and thriving art in most countries.  Self-message is used to correct our bodies imbalances, especially for anxiety, stress and depression.  Moreover, message stimulates the nervous system, improves mood and releases tension and stress in the tissues and muscles. Message increases bodily heat and the flow of life-supporting oxygen; it also improves circulation, causing the body to flush out its waste products more efficiently.  Promoting vitality, strength, stamina and flexibility, self-message also improves concentration, intelligence, confidence, esteem and youthfulness. Self-MessageTherapy for Balancing Emotions: Duration of Treatment: Anxiety/stress: 45 minutes; early morning or early evening Anger, frustration: 45 minutes; early or mid-morning Depression, low energy, apathy: 60 minutes; early morning General Self-Message Techniques: 1. Soothing rubbing movement: Use soothing rubbing movements on the surfaces of the arms and legs. Legs from the sides of the feet to the groin. Arms: from the fingertips to the legs. 2. Pinching technique: Muscles are grasped between the forefinger and thumb, away for the bones.  Apply pinching techniques only to the following areas: chest, arms, legs and back. 3.Kneading technique: Grasp the larger muscles with the hands and coax them into vitality.  Kneading may be applied to the entire body. Don't forget to message your temples, scalp, face, and shoulders.  We hold so much tension in all these areas of our body.  You can use your favorite message oil as well for a deeper relaxation. Self-Message for stress relief and emotional balance can be a very effective way for gaining energy and releasing tension in the mind and body.  It not only builds energy, it allows for the nervous system to relax, resore and renew itself.  Last but not least, the best thing is it's FREE. If you or someone you love is ready to seek help, please contact Dr. Pound at Healthier Life Therapy at Reference: Gretchen Pound, Ph.D, RYT, Reiki Practicioner, Ayurveda Health Counselor

  • How to Cultivate a Positive Body Image.

    The Moment your accept yourself you become beautiful. -Osho Loving yourself is the foundation to loving your body.  When you're obsessed with changing the way you look recognize you're perfect just the way you are.  Accepting the way you look brings you into your feminine power.  If you look for things that are wrong with you will find numerous flaws and things to change.  If you try to change them you will waste an infinite amount of time and energy that can be spent loving and accepting your radient being. There are an infinite number of ways to change your body image with lotions, creams, gels and pills.  Despite our efforts to change our bodies we find ourseles overwhelmed and financially broke from spending thousands of dollars on weight loss programs, personal trainers and diet pills. Although the media feeds into this inferiority complex we are responsible for what we think, how we feel and what we do.  We can choose to see your bodies as beautiful, sensual and lovable. How can you accept all your imperfections?  How can you feel more comfortable in your own skin?  How can you find self-acceptance and self-compassion?  Start by honoring your body.  Thank all your body parts for everything it does for you.  For example, thank your feet for taking you everywhere you need to go.  Make a list of things you can do for self-care.  Then schedule them into your day.  Do things that you love.  Find your creativity and express it with enthusiasm. Give yourself a hug everyday and say, "I love you." Lastly, take time to get intuned to your body by doing yoga, meditation and mindfulness practices.  Listen to your body when it talks to you and find out what it is saying.  Once you quiet your mind you can hear what it needs.  Nurture it like you would your own child.  Love it and treat it like a treasure.  Choose to replace self-judging thoughts with kinder ones.  Don't let your mistakes define who you are. Let go of comparisons and start celebrating your greatness. Be gentle with yourself.  You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.  -Max Ehrmann

  • Love Starts Within

    Learn to cultivate love within by saying these daily affermations 10 times. 1. I am powerful 2. I have a voice 3. I am creative 4. I am worthy 5. I am lovable 6. I am intuitive 7. I am connected Next give each affirmation a color: 1. Powerful = red 2. Voice = blue 3. Creativity = orange 4. Worthy = yellow 5. Lovable = green 6. Intuitive = purple 7. Connected = white As you say the affirmation imagine the corresponding color. Lastly, journal the sensations and feelings that arise after you finish saying your affirmations ten times. TIP:  Post your affirmations in places and spaces where you can read them outloud.  Get real and SHOUT it out. Congratulations! by doing this exerice you are creating new neuropathways to happiness.

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