Learning how to self-soothe in times of stress or anxiety is a wonderful gift you can give yourself. While it is great to have the support and comfort of others in times of need, it’s not always the best option. Sometimes, you need to learn how to heal yourself and comfort your own emotions.
These 5 self-soothing techniques provide healthy coping mechanisms when you have difficult emotions you are struggling with.
1. Use Guided Meditation
The first self-soothing technique is guided meditation. With guided meditation, you don’t have the added stress of trying to clear your mind during a meditation practice. Instead, you listen to someone else’s calm voice to soothe your emotions, often using visualization during the meditation.
Guided meditation comes in many forms, including some that are for specific feelings or emotions you are dealing with. You can find meditations for stress, anxiety, fear, positive mindset, love, and so much more.
When you do a guided meditation, try to find a quiet and relaxing place in your home. Listen to it sitting up or lying down, though keep in mind it is easy to accidentally fall asleep during one of these meditations if you are lying down in a dark room. However, that can be a big benefit if you need help with insomnia.
2. Ground Yourself
Learning how to ground yourself is a great way to start the self-healing process and can be used any time you need it. Grounding is a way to pull yourself away from your current environment to find a simple and effective distraction.
People with anxiety often use grounding techniques to help relax their mind and self-soothe. Preferably, grounding should be done with touch, but that isn’t always possible. You can also use visualization, mindfulness, and focusing on simple things like numbers or colors for grounding.
Some excellent grounding methods include:
- Touching your bare feet to earth. Grass works great for this one.
- Putting your feet or hands in water.
- Going for a walk in nature.
- Counting backwards from 100.
- Using your other senses for grounding, such as sight or smell.
3. Find Healthy Distractions
The important thing to keep in mind when self-soothing is that while distractions are often effective, you need to focus on the right ones. Otherwise, it isn’t so much as self-healing, but hurting yourself even further.
Some healthy distractions might include watching something funny or heartwarming, listening to your favorite music, doing a creative project like painting or drawing, or playing with your pets.
Unhealthy distractions to avoid include alcohol, drugs, and habits that are going to end up making you feel worse in the long run.
4. Practice Gratitude
The benefits of practicing gratitude on a regular basis are immense and being able to cope with your emotions is at the top of the list. It is easy to underestimate the healing power of gratitude because it is such a simple practice, but the more you do it, the more you see just how much it can transform your mindset.
With gratitude, don’t just pick any random good thing in your life and write it down. That tends to be more of a mindless chore. Instead, you want to be mindful during this process. Consider the good things in your life and write down the ones that bring a smile to your face. The kind acts by strangers that make you feel more faith in mankind, the nice comforts in your home that bring a sense of peace, a blessing that makes you feel joy.
These are the items that will work best on your gratitude list. You can express gratitude at any time, but it is a great thing to turn to when you need a little extra self-soothing from a particularly stressful event.
5. Use Affirmations
Lastly, positive affirmations are a wonderful practice to add to your routine. Like gratitude, they can be used on a daily basis as a part of your regular routine, or just when you need them most. There are affirmations for improving your mindset, reducing stress, having more self-confidence and self-love, building your courage, and so much more.