When you’re upset, angry and anxious, you need a coping mechanism to help you calm down. Self-soothing utilizes the five senses to help you calm down and feel better. However, there are ways of self-soothing that may be harmful. Relying on alcohol, drugs, or even food to cope can lead to addiction. Here are healthy ways to self-soothe when you feel stressed.
Look at Nature
Nature, plants, and sunlight all help lower your anxiety levels. Take a walk outside, buy yourself some flowers for your house, or even stare out the window for a minute. You could also look at pictures of nature, but it’s not quite as effective.
Listen to Soothing Sounds
Music can really set your mood. An upbeat and uplifting song can make you feel happier. Classical music can help you focus and calm down. Nature sounds, like birds chirping or a babbling brook, can also put you more at ease.
Smell Your Favorite Scent
Light a candle or take in the smells of nature. You could even bake some fresh bread or cookies to fill your house with a delicious scent. Take the treats to a neighbor or friend who could also use a pick-me-up.
Touch Something Soothing
Cuddle with your kids or spouse. Take a bubble bath. Pet your cat or dog. Put on a fluffy robe and slippers. Lie in a nice soft bed. Touching something comforting can help you feel better.
Engage with People
If you’ve been sad or stressed for a long period of time, engaging with others can help you feel better. Hang out with loved ones, volunteer, or see a therapist to talk through what’s bothering you.
Practice these things mindfully. Don’t just walk outside or listen to your favorite song and zone out. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and take the time to experience the moment.