Self-Soothing Techniques for Managing Stress

Self-soothing involves bringing calm to your mind and body as a way of making yourself feel good in tough situations. It’s also an excellent way to maintain balance and prevent upset in your life. Although it’s pretty easy to do, it can be hard to remember to do it. In fact, it’s so simple, you may laugh and think it won't work — but it does. Plus, there are a variety of ways you can do it. Try these simple self-soothing techniques for the five senses.

woman sitting and drinking coffee

Sight

  • Enhance one area of your home (clean one area of a cluttered house).
  • Go somewhere beautiful (i.e., lake, garden, flower store).
  • Visit an art museum.
  • Look at a magazine.
  • Go outside and look at the sky — find images in the clouds.
  • Make the space you’re in appealing, whatever that is for you — open a window, stack papers, clear the counter — whatever you want!

Sound

  • Listen to music — it can be soothing or exciting/invigorating music, depending on your mood.
  • Call someone — a familiar human voice can be very calming.
  • Listen to the sounds of nature — crickets chirping at night or ocean waves. You could even buy a sound machine.
  • Listen to everything around you. Pick one sound to focus on and drown out the rest.

Smell

  • Light a scented candle.
  • Smell roses or other flowers.
  • Spray perfume.
  • Smell delicious food cooking.
  • Step outside and smell the fresh air.

Taste

  • Drink your favorite soothing drink (special tea).
  • Eat one thing mindfully.
  • Chew a piece of sugar-free gum or candy.

​​​​​​​Touch

  • Get a massage.
  • Put a cold or warm compress on your forehead.
  • Take a warm bath

Make sure you focus completely on the task at hand while implementing these strategies — be present and mindful of the senses you are engaging.