Best self-soothing techniques for adults
What is self-soothing? -
Self-soothing is a strategy that helps us regulate our emotions in times of distress.
Harmful alternatives - Naturally, mishandling difficult emotions in this way can also impact our intimate relationships as well as our health.
Roots in DBT -
Self-soothing is a practice rooted in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and was initially developed to help those who frequently experience intense emotions.
interactive soothing - Many of us turn to a loved one when we’re in need of comfort and support, which is effective way to regulate our emotions at times. This is called interactive soothing.
The health benefits of hugs -
Studies have proven that things like hugging and skin-to-skin contact are effective in releasing oxytocin, which reduces stress levels.
Change your environment - Ideally, this would be somewhere quiet outdoors where you can focus on nature, or a calming indoor room with a nice view.
Breathe deeply - It takes conscious effort to take deep breaths and properly fuel our bodies in a way that helps them function optimally.
Diaphragmatic breathing - This will reduce anxiety and racing thoughts, and slow the heartbeat to a comfortable pace.
When we feel overwhelmed with emotion, it can be difficult to think clearly and work through what happened and what we’re feeling.
Cognitive reframing -
If upsetting thoughts are the source of your emotional distress, you might benefit from trying cognitive reframing.
Have a good cry - Crying is a natural reaction to a challenging situation and studies show that it’s an efficient form of stress relief and emotional release.
Give yourself a hug - . Wrapping your arms around your chest and giving yourself a loving squeeze can quickly release some tension.
Go for a mindful walk - Take yourself outdoors, ideally somewhere with a bit of greenery, and walk around for 15 minutes.
Try autogenic training -
Autogenic training is a relaxation technique that focuses on reducing the physical expressions of stress and promoting feelings.
Rest your legs on the wall -
This restorative yoga position is known to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation.
Preventive plan - Make a plan to reduce the stress and upset in your daily life so that your days are calmer.