Never in the history of calming down has anyone calmed down by being told to calm down. if we can’t force ourselves in the calming down. How do we do it.
the autonomic nervous system controls our stress response. it also controls the relaxation response which is known as rest and digest, but we can’t easily control this part of our nervous system with just our thoughts. So instead of trying to think ourselves calm, one effective way is to access your nervous system through your body.
Your mind and body are closely connected and just like your brain can trigger your body to be anxious by thinking these worrisome thoughts, your body can also trigger your brain to be calm through sensory soothing, what I’ve had a long day doing at work, I often feel really tense and pretty exhausted. It seems like throughout the day that stress just builds up, but one of my favorite things to do is to take a steaming hot Bath, during A long soak my muscles soften my mind relaxes and gosh. I just feel calmer by Just thinking about it right now. something about the feel of hot water triggers that calming reaction. This is my favorite form of sensory soothing.
Sensory soothing is an important part of calming the emotions from a bottom-up approach by using sights, smells, your sense of touch or hearing. you can turn on the calming part of your nervous system and soothe your brain. Then once you’re calm, you can choose words and actions that are going to be more helpful. So this is called sensory soothing and these can be effective coping skills for when you’re upset. They can help you get centered, slow things down and you can come back to a problem and you’re calm.
one of our readers just shared this example. “I have a long commute, but I travel with an old Wash Tub a nice bar of soap a gallon of water and a washcloth on the long ride. I take a break to wash my hands and face the smell of the soap the coolness of the water and the old tub reminded me of home.” It’s simple, it’s calming and it is enough, here are some examples of sensory coping skills.
Smell: slowly smell a favorite scent, cinnamon, vanilla, perfume. You can use an essential oil diffuser or put a drop into a diffuser necklace or piece of paper put on some scented Lotion, use an essential oil or use a bath bomb to make a sense of bath.
Touch: hold a warm rice pack or heating pad, take a hot bath shower in the dark, pet an animal, wash your face with very cold water, hold an ice cube and notice what cold feels like or you can feel a comfortable texture. So this is like a child holding a blanket or an adult holding a rosary or you could try rubbing something smooth like a stone or a piece of satin.
Taste: drink a hot drink slowly or eat a small treat slowly, savoring the taste.
Sound: go someplace very quiet and sit very still, go for a walk by yourself with headphones on listening to music You Love.
Body movement: also known as proprioceptive go for a walk exercise or play a sport stretch your muscles do one yoga pose swing on a swing set rock in a rocking chair, or you can step outside for a breath of fresh air. Check out the two exercises included with this section taking a hot shower in the dark and the five four three two one grounding technique.