There will be times when you cannot help but feel emotions that are not helpful. What do you do in this case? Of course, you don’t want the consequences of those destructive feelings. You want to rid yourself of them as quickly as possible. Sometimes those feelings will be momentary so you need something that will work fast – in a couple of seconds – before you embarrass yourself. Mindfulness of your environment can be a quick distraction.
- What do you hear?
- What do you see?
- What are you wearing?
- What are others wearing?
- How old do I feel?
- What is the temperature around you? Are you too hot or too cold?
- What are you standing/sitting on?
- Who is around you?
- What is around you?
Other times you will be angry, sad, scared for a few days at a time. In such a case, you could choose two or three things that you can repeat to keep yourself on the level. I’m sure that you could come up with a list of things that you use to sooth yourself when you feel bad.
- Take a walk
- Write in your journal
- Write an email response to this article
- Get a message
- Talk your feelings out with someone
- Listen to Imagery tapes or CDs
- Learn some deep breathing exercises
- Listen to music that you like
- Listen to a recorded book
- Watch TV
- Color a Mandela
There are other things that you want to make a habit. Instead of calling them self-soothing, perhaps we could call them self-care.
- Eat right
- Get regular Acupressure
- Take a class (Painting, ceramics, make jewelry, crochet, etc)
- Learn to meditate
- Learn healthy self-talk
- Take a ritual bath
- Develop a “Go to Bed” Ritual
- Learn “Thought Stopping”
- Cast a Circle and meditate
- Make a list of things for which to be grateful and read it to the Goddess.
- Write a ritual about the thing that is bothering you.
- Smudge yourself and your house.
- Take care of your appearance (use good skin care, trim your nails, wear clean clothes.
These are things that it takes time to learn but realistically, they will prevent the experience of difficult emotions, which is much better than soothing yourself once they have been felt. My next few articles will be about some of the things you can use as self-care. You may have noticed that there was much more ritual mentioned in the last group. That is because they take time to learn and it is good to make them a habit, since they help greatly to prevent destructive emotions.