Life treats us all the same because even if we are all different, we all get hurt, we all feel sad or even anxious. A lot of times we spend time seeking remedies, how to heal from our anxieties. That is why a lot of people go for therapy because of the pain they feel at times. This is why we self-soothe. So, self-soothing is simply what we do to feel better. It usually helps;
- Boost our confidence
- Teach us self-control and restraint
- Reduce anxiety and fear
- Establish some sort of independence
- Calm our nerves
What Is Self Soothing
Self-soothing is any behavior we exhibit to regulate our emotions by ourselves especially when we feel sad or depressed. These behaviors are often repetitive. Because it is usually developed in our early stages of life. And we all turn to a creature of habit. However, it’s our safe spot and solace that calms us when we are down.
What is a self-soothing behavior?
After an acute stress response, self-soothing can assist in resetting the systems of the body and regaining homeostasis in the body. Everyone requires comforting after experiencing a startling event, traumatic experience, or emotional upset. Reaching for an alcoholic beverage or a tub of ice cream are examples of common behaviors that are used for self-soothing.
What is unhealthy self-soothing?
In most cases, unhealthy behaviors that are intended to soothe the individual actually serve more as an escape. When our unhappiness becomes too much for us to bear, we have the ability to “escape” or “flee” from the unhappiness by overindulging in food (also known as comfort eating), alcohol and drugs (also known as self-medication), gambling, shopping, or sex addiction (acting out).
Is self-soothing the same as cry it out?
The term “self-soothing” is likely to come up quite frequently in conversations about teaching infants how to get themselves to sleep on their own. It’s possible that some people will take this to mean that a parent should let their child “cry it out” or that they should ignore their child’s cries. This could not be further from the truth.
Self Soothing Techniques
The best techniques have to do with the ones that appeal to your five senses. These include:
This self-soothing technique has to do with what appeals to our eyes. Examples are;
a. Watching your favorite movie show maybe even a comedy show
b. Go for a walk at a park if nature is calming to you
This particular technique appeals to our sense of touch which is our skin. Examples of the techniques are;
a. Bubble baths.
b. Spa day/ massage
This self-soothing technique deals with the nose. Examples are;
a. Aromatherapy like a machine that produces cool mist and essential oils
b. Scented candles
This deals with the sensory organ for hearing which is the ear. Examples of techniques here are;
a. Using sound machines to fall asleep or rest. An example of a sound for self-soothing is the pink noise produced from a sound machine to help babies fall asleep.
b. Listening to your favorite songs. Music does wonders for a lot of people.
This has to do with the ingestion of something to self-soothe. Examples are;
a. Getting candy or chewing gum
b. Drinking hot herbal tea
c. Baking does the trick for some people
Self Soothing Habits Adult
These soothing habits are usually done to cope with stress or increase self-esteem. Some common practices are;
a. Acknowledging your fear. Own up to your fears, don’t run from them.
b. Be open to the idea for self-healing with any healthy technique that suits you.
c. Try calming and comforting yourself first before speaking to a third party. Try new approaches.
d. The comfort zone is too comfortable and is a major limitation to a lot of things. Step out of that comfort zone and find out what works for you.
e. Lastly, always track your progress
Self Soothing for Babies
Self-soothing for babies is when you know how to calm your baby down, and take them to their bed for naps. Babies who can self-soothe sleep for longer periods have longer total sleep times at night. Parents usually soothe their babies to sleep either by;
But here’s the catch, if your baby gets accustomed to a particular one of these, at night they won’t easily fall asleep unless one of these is done.
In conclusion, although self-soothing is good, it can be quite detrimental to your health when it turns into an addiction. Also, some practice bad self-soothing techniques like smoking or even alcohol and it can even damage them in the long run.
Self Soothing FAQs
How do I teach myself to self-soothe?
The following are practical to self-soothe
- Use Conscious Breathing to help you relax.
- Practice positive self-talk
- Create a state of witnessing.
- You are not accountable for other people’s karma.
- Think about it; in other words, visualize.
- Place your hand over your heart.
- Practice self-compassion.
Why do adults self-soothe?
When we are overwhelmed by unpleasant sensations brought on by various life stressors, we often seek solace in various items substances, events, or people. Some techniques of self-soothing aid in the regulation of our emotions, providing a healthy sense of peace and harmony.
What are self soothing behaviors?
Self-soothing behaviors are repetitive actions learned during a period of time when the child was under-stimulated and needed to find a method to spend his or her time, or when self-soothing was adopted to address the child’s emotional needs at the time.
How do adults learn to self-soothe?
Self-soothing behaviors that are safe, suitable, and successful include;
- Taking a deep breath and squeezing a stress ball.
- Listening to music.
- Bathing in a hot bubble bath.
- Going for a stroll.
- Using a punching bag as a target.
- Discussing your emotions.
- Expressing feelings in writing