When you feel stressed or insecure, you just want to feel better. You want comfort and positive affirmation that you are okay. However, many of us just power through those ugly emotions and don’t address them. I have learned through mindful living that’s not a good idea. Those minor issues can turn into something much worse later if you ignore them. Therefore, I have created this list of 10 easy ways to self-soothe to give you an instant boost of healing.
1 – Hug Yourself
It may seem silly, and even the first few times you do it, you may feel awkward, but studies have shown self-love is extremely beneficial. You have the power to feel better instantly. Put your arms around you and give yourself a nice, long hug. You might be surprised at how much better you feel.
2 – Soothing Body Talk
In the same arena as hugging yourself, you can use soothing body talk to speak directly to a part of the body that doesn’t feel well. For example, if you feel anxious and have an upset or tight stomach, talk to it like you would a child. If you were to soothe a child in distress, what would you say? Use that loving language with your body, and you will experience miracles of healing. I have used soothing body talk in many ways with excellent results.
3 – Gravity Blanket
You may have heard about gravity blankets. They are soft weighted blankets that you can use to swaddle yourself (like a mother would a baby) when you feel distressed. They are great for people on the autism spectrum and anyone feeling anxious. You can use a plain heavy blanket to comfort yourself if you want. Pull it tight around like a cocoon you until you feel at ease. There is a reason why we hear the phrase “security blanket.”
4 – Do Something You Are Good At
Lately, I have been working with a team that provides a LOT of feedback. It’s been challenging because although I don’t need positive feedback when all you get is a boatload of negative, it can cause you to feel insecure. I have been feeling like that lately. To combat these feelings and self-soothe, I write one or two blogs for MPO. It always makes me feel better. It’s something I can do to help others, but also, I feel good about the work, so I instantly feel more like myself, and the confidence returns.
5 – Coloring
Adult coloring books have become all the rage. I gave my new son-in-law a coloring book on true crime (something we both love) and a nice set of colored pencils for Christmas. Studies have shown that coloring can lower your blood pressure and provide an instant boost of calm. I think it works because we tap into our creative selves, and our mind is focused on a singular task, so we don’t have time to entertain racing scary thoughts.
6 – Meditate
Whenever I feel anxious or depressed, my go-to self-soothe method is a quick meditation. I use the Calm app liberally, along with other meditation tools. I love the Oprah/Deepak Chopra 21-day meditation programs too. They always put me on a more even keel and make me feel more connected, calm, and focused.
7 – Chanting Mantras or Affirmations
Repeating mantras or inspirational affirmations is another great way to bring peace into your present moment. Hay House Publishing offers a list of these inspiring quotes from Louise Hay, the founder. Every day I start my morning by sending one of these quotes to my neighbor, and in return, she sends me one. It starts off our day on a positive note.
8 – EFT/Tapping
A fantastic tool for healing is EFT/tapping. You may have seen Nick Ortner’s book “The Tapping Solution” online. They offer an app that you can use to address pretty much any issue you are experiencing. For example, if you are depressed, you can tap it away quickly. If you feel anxious, a few rounds of EFT will help ease your symptoms. It even works for injuries, pain, and illness. There is no end to what you can accomplish with EFT. You can also work with an EFT practitioner for more deep healing work to release past traumas and emotional wounds.
9 – Slow Your Breathing
Use slow breathing techniques to slow down your mind when you need to self-soothe. Pay close attention to each in-breathe and out-breath and count them until you get to 10. Then start over. By slowing down your breath, you slow your blood pressure and send a signal to your body that it’s okay to calm down. You also slow your thoughts which create the anxiety in the first place.
10 – Thymus Tapping
Another great way to self-soothe is thymus tapping. Breath slowly and tap for 20 seconds on your thymus gland – about 3″ down from your neck. It helps ease stress in the body and recalibrate your body’s energy. It can help turn your day around. Try it first thing in the morning. Smile as you do the tapping and breath slowly. Then, use it throughout your day whenever you need a minute of calm.
The main thing to remember is to prioritize your own self-care and self-soothing. When sitting down to meditate or take time to do one of these other self-soothing practices, turn off your phone so that you won’t be disturbed. Everything else can wait! Your mental and emotional well-being is most important.