Updated: Dec 4, 2022
According to a survey conducted in 2021,
39% of Indians practiced mindfulness exercises like meditation and journaling. These are one of the most important self-soothing techniques.
Tell me if I'm right or wrong now.
In today's really busy world, being emotionally mature can ensure that you have a place in the race. However, being emotionally intelligent can make you a winner.
But not always can you take calculated moves.
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, you might end up being hurt and broken.
Tell me that you resonate with this.
When you live in the future, you become anxious.
This is when anxiety kicks in.
So it's vital to practice self-soothing exercises.
Yes, I can see you nodding your head now!
Heard that you need help too. Just like me. Don't worry, I have got your back.
Let me take you through this journey now.
In this blog post, we will know about
What is self-soothing?
Why is it important for us to practice self-soothing?
10 best exercises to practice self-soothing?
My personal favorites.
What is self-soothing?
In simple terms, self-soothing means doing certain tasks and exercises that you love.
For example, journaling, cooking, singing, and writing. Meditation, getting ample sleep, and listening to music.
See, it can be engaging in any activity that you love!
Why is it important for us to practice self-soothing?
Doing that can make you
Calm and happy.
Take better care of yourselves to nurture your soul.
These are simple techniques that we can use on an everyday basis. They help us heal and manage our thoughts and emotions.
These self-soothing exercises also help in managing depression and anxiety.
When we hit rock bottom, extremely simple tasks seem like a burden for us. Self-soothing exercises like breathing, journaling, and meditation come to our rescue.
In my opinion, everybody should practice some sort of self-soothing exercise.
Continue reading to know more about self-soothing.
What are the 14 best exercises to practice self-soothing?
1) 5-4-3-2-1 method.
I understand that you are anxious. The reason could be anything.
You are lost in thoughts thinking about your job interview.
You might be playing all the worst possible scenarios in your head.
You might be having an important exam that decides your future tomorrow.
It can be anything!
Just try this exercise.
I'm sure this will help you manage your anxiety.
Look at 5 objects that are near you.
Touch 4 objects that are near you.
Listen to 3 sounds that are near you. If your surroundings are extremely quiet, listen to 3 of your favorite songs.
Acknowledge 2 things that you can smell near you.
Put 1 taste on your tongue. Be it salt, sugar, or bitter. Taste something.
These can help you stay grounded in the present moment.
These are called grounding techniques.
This is my personal favorite.
This has helped me tremendously!
Journaling is writing your thoughts.
Your feelings on paper.
I would always suggest you write.
Remember, your mind is a mess.
Hundreds of thoughts run through your mind every single minute.
Journaling is always advised if you are looking to improve or manage your thoughts.
Remember, a journal need not be a traditional diary.
You can write anything in your journal.
It's your personal space. Try to be as honest as you can.
You can have a gratitude journal where you practice gratitude every day.
You may write or dedicate a song to yourself when you feel low.
If expressing in words is challenging to you. You may also doodle or draw your emotions. These can be the simplest form of art. Trust me, that is art therapy.
Maybe, try writing a letter to your future self and reading it every day. That will definitely help you move closer to your goals.
If you feel you are distracted to your maximum extent, write and make a list of all the thoughts that distract you.
Identify your triggers.
These are some ways how journaling can help you.
Also, there are no time limitations for journaling. You can always journal when you feel you are distracted.
It may also be 5-6 or 10 times a day.
Read more about journaling in this article.
Now, this goes without saying.
I know most of you would have heard people saying that meditation helps.
I also know that you have tried and failed.
Maybe you found it difficult initially.
Agreed with all of these.
Still, the grass is greener on the other side.
I would still say that guided meditation helps.
Tune in to Spotify.
Check for podcasts on guided meditation.
Here is one for you.
I know that initially, you may find it difficult.
But do it for at least 1 month.
I bet you will find a difference.
Benefits of meditation.
It helps you have a better focus.
It helps you be in the present moment.
It de-stresses your mind and body.
It helps you connect better with the universe.
It helps you to let go. Trust me, holding on to things that no longer serve you is painful. It's not good for you!
It helps you practice mindfulness.
Try a guided meditation for a day.
I wouldn't be surprised if you feel better after just one attempt.
4) Positive affirmations.
This has to be done every day.
Just every day!
Reprogram your subconscious mind with these positive affirmations.
Whatever your goal is, wherever you want to go, it doesn't matter.
Remember to write these positive affirmations in the present tense.
I'm so happy today.
I'm attracting my dream job.
I'm with the love of my life.
I'm finding it easy to give space to my love.
I'm sure that my anxiety is easily manageable now.
Add emotions to these affirmations so they become more powerful.
They get deeply rooted in your subconscious mind.
Preferably, don't add negative statements in these affirmations.
Don't say, I don't mind if my love comes home late. I am not impatient.
Instead say, I'm patient even if my love comes home late.
How you claim your affirmations can make a difference.
Do this every day.
Whatever you affirm becomes a reality.
5) Pet love and Pet therapy.
Pet therapy is the most satisfying and long-term way of self-soothing.
It's said that Angels on Earth come with 4 legs and a wet nose.
Yes, pets are the greatest blessing to men.
Whatever it be, dog, cat, bird.
Try and get a pet.
Pets give genuine love and the purest form of affection.
Their love is unconditional.
Here is an article that tells about the benefits of pet therapy.
Pet therapy can decrease:
You would never feel alone.
There's always a special friend waiting for you back at home!
Having a pet can only change your life for the better! :)
6) Remove yourself physically from the situation.
Yes, if you can feel that you might get angry or anxious.
If you know you might not feel pleasant, consider moving out of that place.
Move out of that zone and step into a new place, doesn't have to be far.
It can be another room, the terrace, or the balcony.
This helps you with
Grounding better because you are in a new place.
Gives you time to process your thoughts.
Triggers are reduced.
Your mind will be calm.
Once you have gathered your thoughts, address the situation.
There's nothing wrong with asking for time.
7) Talk to your friend.
If you are a beginner in practicing self-soothing, having a support system is the biggest plus. Make a list of 2-3 people (remember, it doesn't have to be too many).
Even having 2-3 people who are happy to help you.
Who are willing to put in the effort.
Those who are looking forward to cherishing your friendship are enough!
They are your army.
They are your strength.
Having a bad day?
Talk to a friend.
Boss had a nasty argument with you?
Share it with a friend.
Friends are also there to help you through the downs.
Not just the ups always.
In fact, all that a human being craves is to have a non-judgmental friend.
Someone who can grow alongside!
Isn't it true?
Exercising every day is a need! It's a must.
Not an option.
No, you do not have to run 10 km every day. I didn't mean that.
But even if it's a 20-minute brisk walk, it can take you far.
It doesn't have to be big things.
Even if it's Zumba for an hour or dancing to your favorite music. Just do it.
Jumping the rope even for 5-10 minutes has its benefits.
Go out and explore the beauty of nature.
Get some fresh air.
They immediately calm your mind.
Listen to the birds chirping or the sound of the waterfall, they reduce your stress naturally.
Appreciate the beauty of nature.
It always gives you more than what you need.
Yes, don't tell me that you don't like the sound of waves.
Beaches and waves have a calming effect on our minds.
Connect with the beauty of nature.
You will in fact connect deeply to your true authentic self!
9) Chewing Gum!
Yes, sugar-free chewing gum is your best friend!
This article says that chewing gum helps reduce depression.
By chewing gum, you activate around 8 muscles of your face.
Some of the benefits of chewing gum is.
It burns calories.
Reduces the double chin.
Tightens the face.
Slims your waistline.
Make sure that you use sugar-free chewing gum.
That's a safer option.
Here is a complete guide to music therapy.
Check out this article to learn how music helps you manage stress and anxiety.
Music is divine. Music heals.
11) Work with a therapist.
Needless to say, managing our emotions can be challenging at times.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with the therapist. Remember, it's never a bad idea to invest in your health.
Being mentally stable, being in tune with yourself, and finding solace within.
These can go further than what you can imagine.
Remember, seeking a mental health professional can change you for a lifetime!
It's a risk worth taking.
What are my personal favorites?
Keeping my eyes open and focusing on the present!
Closing your eyes can make you miss out on the present. You may get back to feeling anxious or worried!
If I feel anxious, if I'm unable to manage it. I hold ice cubes for a few seconds. That helps me to stay grounded.
Journaling can never be an old-fashioned thing! This is my all-time favorite.
Staying grounded and being in the present are inevitable parts of our lives.
It only helps us understand ourselves.
Whatever triggers us needs healing.
There are many that I told you in this article.
Choose what resonates with you the most and start healing.
Begin your healing journey today.
And in conclusion, remember not to follow harmful self-soothing techniques.
You may have done that once at least.
Check this article to know harmful self-soothing techniques.
My advice to you, with an intent to do something good, do not harm your body!
Do not! :)
For having read this far, download your free pdf on grounding techniques here.
The author is a dentist by profession and a blogger at heart.
She started blogging after being hit by a personal incident. This turned her life upside down. That sowed the seeds of rare disease advocacy in her.
She also has a hand in psychology.
Check out the author's personal story of why she started blogging here.
Check out this article on Music Therapy:
I know love might not make you feel the same way every single time.
Check this article to know 5 points before falling in love.
Check this to know if we really need a mental health professional in rare disease management.