What does Self-Soothing look like for you?
A) Having a couple of drinks
B) Ignoring your emotions to just get through the day
C) Loving yourself in each moment, no matter what emotions come up for you and allowing them to be felt without judgment or suppressing them
I say this with nothing but Love, but if you didn’t say C, you may have room for improvement in this area. And you should not blame or judge yourself for this. I am actually, deeply LIVID that self-soothing isn’t taught in schools!! Emotions are such a massive part of being human and relationships, and relationships are essential in life! (But don’t worry, I’ll self-soothe & be just fine 😉 )
So I’m taking the Be The Change Ghandi quote & running with it.
Honestly, if we knew how to regulate our emotions and process our feelings in a healthy manner.. do you think we’d see the adversity and Ego as strong as it is today on a larger scale? And on a smaller scale, how many relationships do you have that could benefit from yourself and/or others holding themselves personally accountable for their OWN emotions? I think we all could!
Not to mention how empowering it is to feel capable of handling your own emotions! How exhausting is it to expect everything to go just right around us or else our whole day could be ruined? Or to have expectations for how others need to behave and when(yes, when not “if”) they don’t, feeling upset, hurt or disappointed?
Here are a few practices you can put into place to build your personal accountability and growth in this area.
How To Self Soothe
- Know your emotions are always valid. Whatever comes up for you IS valid and these feelings need to be welcomed and felt through without judgment. Judging any difficult emotions only makes it worse. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to feel. Our feelings are neutral as long as we allow them to be and we treat them as such.
- Pratyahara. The yogic practice of “withdrawing from the senses.” When coupled with the Pranayama (breathwork) , the state Pratyahara is easily achieved. Practices such as these allow us to come into our bodies in order to really release feelings. Intellectually processing our challenges & issues is not the same as truly feeling, releasing and letting go.
- Parent Yourself. Imagine the “perfect parent” in your mind, whatever that looks like for you. Then BE that for yourself. View your emotions as your inner child. What would any good parent do/try to do? Accept you as you are, with whatever is coming up for you. Tell you that you have a right to feel this way, that they understand you, they love you no matter what and it’s okay to feel what you are feeling. Hold you close and give you reassurance and validation, tell you you’re brave for feeling these scary/difficult emotions.
- Become Aware of the Emotions Being Felt. While it is important to allow ourselves feel them, it maybe even be more important to recognize that we are separate from our emotions, as a being or soul, that we are NOT our emotions. Have you ever noticed when emotion completely takes over? For example if you’re mad, you only notice things that make you more mad, it takes no time for you to lose your patience, etc. This is when we are essentially One with our Emotion. Once we can make that separation, it’s much easier to release the emotion.
- Observe Your Thoughts & Emotions. I love Eckhart Tolle’s teachings because he says to observe your thoughts and emotions, which IS necessary so we don’t become too attached to them to let them go. But at the same time, can you imagine if a friend or child came up to you with hurt feelings and you simply “observed” them? (lol) Sometimes compassion & validation is required.
- Gain Perspective. I don’t mean this in a way that invalidates your feelings, at all. If we can ask ourselves honestly, “Will this even matter in a week or 2, or a couple of months?” “Will I even remember this soon?” “Will it greatly affect my life in some way? If yes, then what can I do about it? If no, can I find a way to let this simply go?” Then this can really put into perspective how much of our energy this particular situation is really worth.
- Stop Suppressing & Ignoring Your Feelings.Your emotions will dissipate when you practice unconditional love and acceptance for them. They just need to be felt and acknowledged. When we fight, suppress, ignore them.. they only grow stronger, become less manageable and fester. This can result in taking it out on loved ones or even a painful cycle you feel and experience all on your own. Suppressing our emotions can also create disease (dis-ease) in the body. No bueno.
- Gratitude. This one could very well be on every list I make in regards to the self help topics. That’s how important it is! I know when you’re already feeling down, it can be a trigger for someone to say “Be Grateful!” I get it. But it is one of the best ways to feel genuinely GOOD about the life you have created for yourself, or even just for life in general. If you don’t know where to start, I find just repeating the mantra “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” In my mind, naturally tends to bring up all the blessings I have in my life. Thank you for my lungs, to breathe easy. Thank you for my heart that never stops beating to keep me alive. Thank you for a roof over my head. Thank you for my eyes to see the beauty in this world. Thank you for loved ones. (If these don’t apply in you in some way, hopefully you get the idea.) Gratitude helps you to see through the pain, to WHY you keep getting up and trying again everyday, even when the going gets tough.
Learning to self-soothe can quite literally affect all areas of your life in a very positive way. When you know, that no matter what comes your way in life you’ll be able to trust yourself to handle it, this is Self-Empowerment at it’s finest.
I hope you were able to find some value in the information I’ve shared here. This has been acquired from plenty of life experience, studying zen practices, my love for all things psychology and my passion for women’s health & empowerment(which I’m in school for currently.) Please let me know how these tips and practices go for You and if you have anything else to add that could be of help in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
Have a beautiful day.