12 Ways to Soothe Yourself
You’re aware of self-care techniques right then how about self-soothing techniques? When uncomfortable thoughts and feelings arise, you may find yourself falling down the void of depression and overwhelming emotions.
During these distressing moments, you may feel like you’re losing control and that you can’t manage your emotions.
I have a simple answer for you! Self-soothing activities. Self-soothing is an emotional control practice that you can practice to regain emotional and mental stability after a stressful event.
These fun and relaxing activities can help you climb up from the void and heal you. How? Well, self-soothing techniques can help:
- Calm your mind
- Lower anxiety
- Give mental clarity
- Better your sleep
And more! So when you feel yourself in distress, you can try these 12 self-soothing techniques to soothe your mind and relax your body.
How Does Self-Soothing Help?
Self-soothing works to reset your nervous system after activating the stress response. After experiencing a traumatic event, you need to calm and soothe yourself, right? Many people turn to a big tub of ice cream to self-soothe while others turn to more unhealthy coping mechanisms like drinking alcohol.
When you experience a strong emotional response, you may feel unbalanced and it’s normal to counter this feeling with self-soothing. Many researchers have found that self-soothing works best when there’s physical touch involved like hugging, massaging, and even sexual intimacy.
Physical contact can release oxytocin, the love hormone, and this hormone can lower our stress.
12 Ways To Self-Soothe
Here are 12 interesting ways to self-soothe:
1. Change Of Scenery
One of my favorite self-soothing techniques is changing my scenery. When you’re distressed, just go outside and focus on the plants and flowers in your garden or take in the sights of the city from your rooftop. You can also try to find an indoor place with a pleasant ambiance or vibe to soothe your mind.
2. Stretch Your Body
After experiencing stress, our bodies can wound up tight and can respond by either fleeing or fighting. This can cause a lot of physical aches and pains, causing you to feel more distressed. So, take a few minutes to stretch your body. Simple twists, neck stretches, and bending at the hips can help.
3. Take A Warm Bath
Did you know that taking a warm bath can un-tense the tightly-wound muscles and can lower the stress? Well now, if you’re distressed, go and take a warm bath. A bubble bath can also work wonders to soothe your mind. You can also use aromatherapy oils or bath bombs to enhance the experience.
4. Gaze At A Color
Awake your sense of sight and gaze around. Focus on a color (preferably your favorite color or one that relaxes you). Gently let your eyes take in the hues of the color and while doing this, take a deep breath. Slowly let your awareness move to your breathing. While keeping your attention on the color, inhale for 7 seconds and slowly exhale. Let the color guide you to calm your mind.
5. Listen To Music
Did you know that listening to your favorite music can work wonders for you when you’re looking to self-soothe? Well, from my experience, listening to my favorite music track (check it out here) can put a smile on my face when I’m stressed, instantly calming my mind. You can also check out this scientifically-backed musical track to calm your mind.
6. Try Aromatherapy
Another way to self-soothe is to try aromatherapy. Pleasant smells created using either an essential oil diffuser, a scented candle, or an incense stick can work. All I ask is that you activate your sense of smell and let the scents calm you down. Check out the essential oils you can use to calm down.
7. Go On A Mindful Walk
Have you ever gone on a walk where you were fully aware of each sensation going through your body? Well, when stressed, go on a mindful walk; a short walk (at least 25 minutes), preferably in a garden (I prefer my feet bare), and take in the surroundings. That’s all. All you need to do is activate your five senses while walking. Sounds simple!
8. Try Tapping Or EFT
Another self-soothing technique is to practice tapping or any of the emotional freedom techniques (EFT). Tapping involves lightly tapping on your acupuncture points. This self-soothing activity can lower cortisol levels and manage other stress symptoms such as increased heart rate, shallow breathing, and body temperature.
9. Give Yourself A Hug
As I mentioned before, physical contact of any kind can release oxytocin making you feel relaxed and good. When you’re in distress, wrap your arms around yourself and hug yourself. Trust me, your brain won’t know the difference between a hug given by someone else or yourself. Just wrapping your arms around yourself will make you feel better.
10. Try Restorative Yoga
Another way to self-soothe is to try restorative yoga. One of the poses you can try is putting your legs up on a wall. This pose will activate your parasympathetic nervous system and trigger feelings of relaxation and calm. All you have to do is lie down, put your legs up on a wall, and rest like that for at least 20 minutes.
11. Repetitive Tasks May Help
When you repeat a task over and over again, it can create an odd rhythm that can help release the tension in your body and soothe your mind. You can try repetitive tasks such as knitting, cutting vegetables, folding your laundry, washing the dishes, or doodling.
12. Try Heart Breathing
Heart breathing is a technique that can help you gain a better understanding of yourself, increase self-awareness and return you to the present moment. To practice heart breathing, you need to follow these steps:
- Place one hand over your heart and the other on your belly. Focus on the heart area.
- Inhale and feel the breath flowing in through your heart. Exhale and feel the breathing leaving your body via the heart area. Continue to breathe naturally.
- As you focus on this breathing, visit your happy place. Experience the feeling of being in your happy place while you breathe in and breathe out.
Self-soothing is comforting yourself in the present to feel better and relaxed. If you need a proper health and care routine, consult a professional mental healthcare provider for more. You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on social media.
Think we missed your favorite self-soothing activity? Let us know in the comments below!
“There are times when we stop, we sit still. We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper.” – James Carroll
Stay healthy, stay safe, be kind!