Soothing Sunday: Use a Phrase or Word

This method of soothing takes a little practice to make it really kick in and start helping strongly. At least, it did for me.

Back when I was first in counseling, I was told to find some phrase or word that was encouraging and then to say that to myself throughout the day. I was not to wait for a moment of stress or anxiousness, but to be sure to say it to myself in more peaceful moments as well.

It took a few tries to find the two that worked for me, and to combine them. My first soothing phrase was, “It’s okay, you’ve got this.” I said it to myself in a very soothing tone, almost the same as I used when approaching one of the wild animals I used to rehabilitate. (Oh, yes, we will get to talking to yourself as you would talk to others, I promise.)

As I used the phrase more, even when dealing with smaller stressors like hearing a child complaining at a sibling in the next room, it took root and began to have greater and greater effect. It was like programming my brain to believe I could handle a situation.

I still have anxiety. It’s a daily part of life. Sometimes it’s because something happened that set off a trigger, sometimes because I dropped my phone. But, I use a phrase or a word (I have a few now) and I get through it.

So think of a word or a phrase, something that will help you calm yourself in stressful or anxiety-inducing situations. Start using it, on everything, and see how it goes.

(Oh, you don’t have to say it out loud. We already know we’re all crazy, just don’t tell the neighbors, right?)

 

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