When you feel stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, angry or hurt, how do you soothe yourself?

Maybe it’s with food or wine, shopping or Netflix binges. Or maybe you find yourself mindlessly scrolling social media or reaching for your phone. For me it’s always been chocolate.

Whenever I felt something uncomfortable, or I wanted to numb, I’d head straight for the choccie bars without a moment’s pause.

After trying over and over again to “quit” chocolate (and usually failing dismally) I got curious and looked loving at what was really going on.

What I realised is my chocolate habit was linked to soothing feelings like frustration, boredom, disappointment or sadness. 

When I realised that, I started looking for a better way to care for myself and I found this simple, powerful technique you can do anywhere, any time, and as often as you need.

It’s called Self-Soothing.  I learned it from the lovely Kirbanu, and it’s become a firm favourite in my self-care tool kit.

How to Self Soothe

Watch the Video

Read The Instructions

Place your hand on your chest, palm facing down, and gently stroke your chest with your thumb.

You can have your eyes open or closed – whatever feels most comfortable for you.

Slow your breathing and let yourself receive the feelings of calm, compassion and self-kindness.

It’s as simple as that.

As you do this, you might find emotions start to bubble to the surface.  If they do, it’s okay, simply notice them, offer the feelings (and yourself) some love by continuing to rub your chest, and then breathe them out.

You might also like to say kind things to yourself (either aloud or in your head) while you self-soothe, for example:

  • You’re beautiful.
  • I’m proud of you.
  • I appreciate you.
  • I love you.
  • You’re wonderful.

If you choose to say kind things to yourself, give yourself permission to say whatever come to mind.  Don’t worry if you repeat yourself or you feel a little awkward the first time you do this – it’s okay, and no one needs to know or hear you.  Simply say whatever loving things are on your heart or perhaps what you sense your inner child, inner rebel or the part of you that’s hurting needs to hear.

How to self-soothe when you're feeling anxious

There’s No Such Thing As Perfect

Know too that there’s no ‘perfect’ or ‘right’ way to do this.  It’s all about the intention and self-love you bring to the practice.  So whether you use words or not, or whether you self-soothe by stroking your chest, hands, head, face, tops of the thighs or arms, it really doesn’t matter, it’s simply about taking time to show yourself some loving kindness and acknowledge and soothe any strong emotions you’re feeling.

This technique has been so powerful for me and it’s helped me release stuck emotions, show myself compassion and soothe some of those feelings that were sending me straight for the chocolate bars.

If you find yourself numbing out with food, alcohol, shopping or anything else that’s not supporting you, and you’d like to try a fresh approach, give this self-soothing technique a try.

May it bring you a sense of calm, self-connection and self-love.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know in the comments how you go with this. I’d love to hear from you.

Sarah x

P.S. if you found this helpful, you might also like these tips on energetic self-care.