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Self Soothing May Save Your Life

November 3, 2016

Self Soothing May Save Your Life

There are many ways we can soothe ourselves when we are under duress. We can take a nice warm bath, read a good book, have a hot cup of tea, take a nap, watch a good movie, communicate on the Internet with friends, write down our thoughts, talk on the phone, play some games on the computer, or go for a walk. We can play with our animals or children or grandchildren, and instantly soothe our stress. We can get a new haircut, go shopping, buy something we really like or if we don’t have the money, we can window shop. Walking through the malls and stores is good exercise. We can light some candles and incense and relax.

I believe it’s very important to try in all ways to keep our stress level to a minimum. Not only can it give us a headache, weaken our heart, upset our stomach, and corrupt our positivity of what we will think about, it causes back pain, head pain, neck pain, etc. Learning how to self soothe takes focus and understanding. It has to become natural for us to go to our self soothing mode and pick something out to do, and do it. When someone wants to argue with us, we can walk away, saying nothing, and the argument won’t turn into a fight.

Once we realize that we don’t have to get our two cents in to show we are right, and simply keep our mouths shut until an appropriate time to discuss what happened, we will feel better all around. I don’t have to prove I’m right anymore. I don’t care what color stain is right for the cabinets. If I should pick a shade others may not like, so what? They have the freedom to have an opinion, but I’m not going to argue with them. There is a line, and we have to learn where our line is. What are we willing to fight about?  

We’re not always going to be in wise mind, instead, we will say the wrong things because we are hurt and we want the other person to hurt too. Staying silent avoid those stinging words. I also learned to use a tool of pros and cons. What are the consequences going to be if I get in an argument, compared to enjoying life? Is it worth the aggravation and stress to pursue a negative and angry path we might want to follow? Words get said that are harmful, even when just said in anger. Do we want to walk on pins and needles and harbor ill feelings? Or do we just want to live our lives in the way we choose?

What are we willing to fight about? And how can we change our thoughts, words, and demeanor to produce the best outcome? Well, self soothing seems to help me. Once I feel comfortable, I may want to confront a person and talk the argument out until each person knows the others feelings and thoughts, and then move on. That is what I am striving for. I have learned these skills through the Dialectical behavior therapy. I highly recommend the program if your hospital has it. Basically, it comes down to common sense, but some of us didn’t learn how to express our anger, and built on that until something changed.

For me, I can use the skill of STOP (keeping mouth shut until a better time), DISTRACT-think of something pleasurable when someone is trying to get you to argue with them. SELF SOOTHE and feel better. I do things I haven’t gotten the chance to do as in laundry and correspondence and writing, and I feel better like I accomplished something good each day. I think in calmer times, talking a problem out and being open and non judgmental is positive and alleviates a lot of aches and pains. Most people don’t even know where they come from, they just know their back and neck and muscles hurt.

If you can learn these skills and more, you will live a less stressful, and happier life. We can let slide most comments or temper tantrums, and things seem to stay on a more even keel. We don’t have to swear every time something doesn’t go right. We can stay away from hateful and painful words spoken out of anger. We can do things at a slower pace, and enjoy whatever we are doing. We can stay on top of our responsibilities, and feel good about ourselves. The main point is that we can only change ourselves, others must want to learn how to grow and be more at peace as well. When you have 2 or more people trying to do the things I mentioned, there will be less stress.  

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Susan Thom is the mother of three children, two sons, and a daughter. They are adults now, and out of the house on their own.

Writing calms her, and gives her a place to go by herself! Clears the head and gets it out. She lives in a rural area, with a lake and mountains, and her partner, and has loved writing since she was a child.

She has been on a journey of self discovery for over thirty years, and has learned many things about the human mind, and how to maintain some resemblance of calm and peace within.

If someone reads one of her stories, and relates to her feelings, and gets a suggestion on how she dealt with them in a positive way, that would be the ultimate gift of her writing.

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