This exercise is adapted from Healing from Trauma by Jasmin Cori, MS, LPC
By completing this exercise you will identify various thoughts, things, and people that can help you relax in stressful or challenging situations.
“Infants who are distressed need soothing. They can’t regulate themselves and need help calming down. As adults recovering from trauma, when our nervous system is activated, we become flooded in a chemical wash of stress hormones and feel just as irritated as a baby. We need soothing, too.
What each of us finds soothing is, of course, a matter of personal preference – which textures, sounds, kinds of touch, foods, kinesthetic experiences, and so on. It’s important to know what is soothing for you. We can refine our understanding of this by really listening to our body. When does the body relax? When does it go Ahhh?” (Cori, 160)
The following exercise will help you identify ways to self-soothe.
- Name a texture you find comforting.
- What is something you like to wear that feels comforting?
- Name a couple of comfort foods.
- What music or sounds do you find soothing? (Or do you prefer the absence of surrounding sound?)
- Name an object that is comforting (yes, blankies count).
- Name an animal and a way of being with that animal that is comforting to you.
- Name a place you can go when you need soothing.
- Name a person you find soothing. Now another person. Now get more specific. How do you prefer contact with either of these people? With what intention?
- What activities (e.g., walking, swimming, hot tub, being held) are soothing to you?
- Name a vacation setting that would be an immersion experience in self-soothing.
Please contact me if there is anything I can help you with!