When we become triggered into an activated state, we do not have the ability to problem solve or plan. Instead, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to find ways to soothe ourselves until the activation has subsided and we have all our thinking faculties on board again.
Following is a list I’ve compiled of my favorite self-soothing techniques — not all of them will work for everyone, but keep trying and you will find something that works for you.
- Using a light touch, press your upper lip (to a count of five) at the depression point in the middle. Pause and, repeat.
- Position both hands just under your collarbone and, using a light touch, gently press the place named the sea of tranquility.
- 4x4x4: Breathe in slowly to the count of four, hold the breath to the count of four, then breathe out slowly to the count of four. Do this four times.
- Place your hands over your belly and take a long slow breath in, feeling your belly expand slightly, then let the breath out slowly, feeling your belly return to its normal state. Repeat several times. Slowly.
- Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a calm place. This can be an actual place you remember that is tranquil and soothing or a place you read about that exists in your imagination. Notice what it sounds like, smells like, feels like to be in this soothing place. Involve as many of your senses as possible.
- Use an app like Calm.com that offers a few moments of soothing visuals, music and/or affirmations.
- Hold yourself using the Butterfly Hug, or just rub your arms softly up and down.
- With your feet firmly on the ground, press the sole of your foot into the ground as softly as possible (without raising the ball of your foot), then release. Repeat this several times. Then do the same with the other foot.
- With your feet firmly on the ground, move your hands down the top of your thighs, down over your knees, around the sides and rest them on top of your thighs again. Repeat several times.