Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Practice of Self Soothing

Self soothing is a practice that I found I was completely missing earlier in my life. What is it? Self soothing is more than just bubble baths, candles, journaling and yoga, though it can include those things. Self soothing is something much deeper and more personal; and perhaps one of the most important aspects of Self Love that you can foster yourself.

Self soothing is the ability to calm yourself down in moments of stress or intense emotions. It is your emotional barometer, your internal regulator that keeps you emotionally stable, balanced and effective in personal mood control and relationships. Without the ability to soothe yourself, you cannot tolerate much. If you don't have enough self soothing tools in your toolbox, your relationship with yourself and others will suffer.

Adequate self care is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships, and for keeping you secure as a person. You need to find ways to reconnect with yourself and recenter--regardless of what is going on around you. Think of self soothing as a baby sucking its thumb. It's a way to stay cool until mama gets her butt over here. For us, we need ways to soothe ourselves, to reassure ourselves as an escape from hard, intense emotions.

If you don't have adequate self soothing skills that are learned naturally through parenting in childhood, then you're going to have a difficult time in life. Symptoms of lacking this skill include cutting, addiction and even suicide. People who are severely depressed are likely missing this important self-nurturing capability. Thankfully, the process of self soothing can be learned and practiced.

There are many ways to practice self soothing. Relaxation techniques are soothing to the psyche, and all self soothing involves positive, nurturing self talk. I'm going to break down different ways you can self soothe both physically, emotionally and mentally.

Physical Self Soothing
  • Bubble Baths, Massages, Spa, Sauna, Steam Room
  • Exercise, Yoga, Cardio, Weight Training, Swimming
  • Organizing, Cleaning, Decorating Your Home 
  • Cooking Your Favorite Meal
  • Relaxing by the Fire
  • Home Improvement, Painting, Refinishing
  • Art, Poetry, Blogging, Social Media 
  • Calling a Friend, Socializing
  • Joining a Support Group, Booking a Therapist
  • Attending Concert or Show
  • Going out of your way for yourself
  • Singing, Karaoke
  • Hobbies, Flying, Skydiving
  • Spending time with Children
 Emotional Self Soothing

Emotional self soothing is a way to keep you balanced and regulates your emotions. 
  • Positive Self Talk
  • Reminding Yourself of Positive Things You Did This Morning
  • Restating negative self opinions, correcting yourself 
  • Planning your personal time for the week
  • Planning your social activities for the week
  • Embracing your inner child
  • Speaking to yourself compassionately
  • Doing shame reduction work
  • Writing letters to those who hurt you
  • Writing out your thoughts, Journaling
  • Being with yourself through your pain
  • Breath Work to get in touch with emotions
  • Speaking to yourself with compassion 
  • Reminding yourself how far you've come
  • Facing reality, not allowing your emotions to go overboard
Mental Self Soothing 

Mental Self Soothing is soothing your intellect. I like to think of it as ways you help yourself succeed. 
  • Reminding yourself of past accomplishments
  • Directing yourself on the steps you need to take to reach your goal
  • Organizing your day
  • Listening or reading motivational content
  • Social media 
  • Reading spiritual texts
  • Reading intellectual material, or excellent fiction
  • Planning for the future
  • Planning your career
  • Reminding yourself that You. Can. Do. It! 
  • Learning about mentors
 These activities are productive ways to soothe yourself day-to-day, moment-to-moment. If practiced, you will become more vibrant, whole and attuned to your own spirit. I'm sure there is much more to add, but my eyes are sleepy, so goodnight! Love to all. <3

"Rigidity is a form of self soothing when you are afraid of the unknown." dotJenna


  1. This is great because it's hard to be negative when you are doing all these positive things for yourself.

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