How to self soothe to meet your emotional needs

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Do you get triggered or dysregulated easily, often causing you to be upset or anxious for hours and days? This is common with people who have experienced childhood trauma or acute trauma. When something disrupts your peace, it can feel like a full time job trying to get back on track.

Just as babies learn to self soothe, so too do adults need to integrate a form of self soothing to quell internal distress. Self soothing can be a really positive and safe way to meet your own emotional needs. How to self soothe:

  • Bring nonjudgmental awareness to the sensations happening in your body and mind
  • Create a dialogue with the pain
  • Begin by listening
  • You may hear, “I am afraid of being alone” or “I’m worried they will judge me” or “I’m afraid this pain will last forever”
  • Respond to this pain with the correlating affirmation of this need. This can look like, “I hear you. That sounds really scary. I can understand why you would feel that way.” This can also look like, “I am here for you. I accept you as you are.”

Self soothing is NOT:

  • Coming up with an invalidating response to make your pain stop
  • Telling yourself to be happy because everything is fine
  • Trying to fix or change how you feel

Self soothing IS:

  • Creating time and space to listen to your body and mind’s needs in a loving and gentle way
  • Giving yourself permission to feel exactly as you are in the moment
  • Validating the cries of your inner child

Want to talk to a therapist about how to self soothe? Visit our Calendly to book an appointment at CK:

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