Self soothing is comforting oneself when you are upset for any reason. It is a critical tool to have in your emotional intelligence toolkit. Here are some ideas for you. What do you want or have in your EQ toolkit?
Hugging, backrubs, hand holding, massage, placing a hand on someone’s forearm or shoulder are all ways we can receive and give comfort. If you are a “touch” person, tell the people who care for you. Identify what kind of healthy touch works for you and then ASK for it.
A favourite perfume, cologne, detergent that you can associate with someone who helps you feel safe or love is a gentle way you can calm your nervous system with when you are upset. Pick a smell (peppermint oil) and put a dab of it on your wrist, a cloth, the rim of your shirtsleeve so you have easy access to it. Take a deep breath of it in and breathe out slowly. Repeat until you feel calmer.
Hot or cold? What’s your go-to drink when you wish to relax? Drink/sip slowly, feeling the cup in your hands as you focus on the experience your senses are having. Changing your focus can help calm you.
Imagine your favourite thing to do – hugging your pet – when you feel anxious. Look forward to and focus on the feelings you will have when you are with them again.
Picture yourself walking in the woods or your favourite place. Can you see it clearly. If someone is with you, describe it to them in detail.
What’s your favourite kind of music or song? Can you sing it, hum it, out loud or in your imagination. How do you feel when you sing along? Do you chill out playing an instrument? Recall in as much detail as you can what you feel when you are playing or listening.
Creating experiences and sensations that say there is no crisis or emergency helps calm your body’s alert system so your brain can go back to thinking calming again.