Self-Soothing to Reduce Stress and Physical Anxiety: 6 Simple Methods

Self-soothing is an inbuilt evolutionary response we can tap into for immediate relief in moments of discomfort or suffering.

It’s rooted in the mammalian caregiving system; it’s what drives offspring to want to cuddle up to their caregivers and vice versa.

Central to this system is gentle touch and warmth—all mammals are soothed by these.

But it's not just touch and warmth, you can self-soothe using all of your senses.

6 Simple Methods to Cultivate Self-Soothing Skills

  • The Hand on Heart Technique - when we place our hand on our heart—or any other place that feels soothing—we trigger our own caregiving system. This helps us calm down by reducing our cortisol levels. It also helps us tap into our sense of self-love by stimulating the release of oxytocin, our “love hormone”
  • Thermotherapy - as mentioned above, warmth is central to all mammalian's caregiving systems. Options for self-soothing using thermotherapy include a using heat pad, warm bath or a water bottle
  • Soothing Vision Board - use vision as a source of self-soothing by making a Pinterest board or a photos folder on your phone of pictures you find soothing, such as animals or nature
  • Soothing Scents - self-soothe through scented candles or by putting some drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow
  • Soothing Tastes - use taste as a self-soothing method by practising mindfulness with a herbal tea or square of dark chocolate
  • Soothing Music - sound can be a highly effective self-soothing tool. Try it with relaxing music you can find on Spotify, YouTube, Insight Timer and many other apps and websites. Alternatively, listen to a white noise machine featuring soothing sounds
Why not try combining the Hand on Heart Technique with a Breathing Technique or Anti-Perfectionism Affirmations?
Stress Workbook

Committed to Reducing Stress and Physical Anxiety?

  • Increase your stress-awareness by developing a deeper understanding of your personal signs and triggers
  • Boost your stress-resilience by learning practical techniques to help you manage stress
  • Join our users who describe having ‘lightbulb’ and ‘aha’ moments learning about the latest scientific research

Pin This Page