Overwhelmed? Distressed? Anxious? Upset? Emotional discomfort isn’t fun. Tolerating discomfort means being able to self-soothe – or comfort yourself to help get yourself out of a difficult situation. There are a number of different ways to soothe yourself, it is about finding an effective way that works for you. Self-soothing techniques generally consist of physical strategies that engage your senses. Using your senses (touch, sound, vision, smell, taste) helps to ground you in the present and deal with intense emotions. Self-soothing has to do with comforting, nurturing and being kind to yourself. The following are only a few examples of the many ways you can engage the senses to help soothe yourself. Try at least one of the techniques this week. You might want to choose something from each category or you might want to pick a single thing to try. However you choose to do it, do it mindfully. Allow yourself to be fully in the experience. If you’re unsure about mindfulness or want more information or exercises, you can find it here
Take a walk somewhere that you find beautiful. Look at nature around you. Watch a movie.
Listen to soothing music or sounds of nature. Whilst you are listening, be mindful, let sounds come and go.
Notice smells around you. Light a scented candle or incense.
Have a special treat and eat it slowly. Cook a favourite meal. Drink a soothing drink like herbal tea or hot chocolate.
Take a bubble bath. Pet an animal. Float or swim in a pool and feel the water on your body.