Self-soothing is a wonderful coping skill to possess. It helps to calm us when we are anxious, afraid, or angry. It can help lower our blood pressure and helps us focus. People who have experienced trauma may get a special benefit from these visualizations, but you don’t have to have experienced trauma to benefit from them.
These three self-soothing exercises focus on breathing and visualization (imagining images that are soothing) and are found in the workbook, “101 Trauma Informed Interventions,” by Linda Curran.
Not every visualization is for everyone, so if you try one and it doesn’t work for you, take what you like and leave the rest and try the other visualizations. Visualizations aren’t the only way to self-soothe, but what we will focus on here. When people with anxiety come to see me I teach them the following exercises to self-soothe.
In the Roots visualization you will visualize having roots that ground you and go deep into the earth. Some of my clients say that this one helps their mind stop racing and helps them fall asleep at night.
In the Container Visualization you will imagine making a strong container that can hold anything that you don’t want to think about right now. You can put thoughts or feelings into this container and pull them out when you are ready to work on them.
In the Comfortable Place visualization you will create a beautiful and relaxing scene that you can go to whenever you feel upset and need help calming yourself.
The key to making visualization work is to use it every day so that it gets stronger and easier to use. Try these first when you’re not upset so that you can master them and they will be more effective when you do need to use them.
Want to learn more? Schedule an appointment and let me teach you.