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The Sense of Self-Soothing

Have you tried using your senses as a tool for self-soothing? Try engaging your five senses to explore what helps you feel calm, comforted, and safe.

  1. Visual: Is there a piece of art or a specific color that helps you feel happy or calm when you look at it?

  2. Hearing: Is there a style of music or a song that helps you slow down? Do you enjoy nature sounds?

  3. Smell: Is there a certain smell that brings back a happy memory? You can use essential oils, candles, or scented lotion to connect you to this sense.

  4. Taste: It’s called “comfort food” for a reason. What are the foods to which you have a positive emotional response?

  5. Touch: Do you like to curl up in fuzzy blankets? Do you like to feel the softness of your cat’s fur when you’re petting her? How about a bubble bath or crisp, clean sheets?

If you experiment, you might find something that your body really responds to. Practice it mindfully, and then it will be available to you to use as a tool when you’re stressed or anxious. 


Vicky Brandt is the owner of Looking Glass Counseling. She has over 14 years of experience working as a psychotherapist, both in private practice and community mental health settings. She has taught as adjunct faculty in the master's programs at Boston College and Lesley University.

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