In times of emotional turmoil, we may turn toward negative outlets: hurting ourselves, drinking, unsafe sex, drugs, bingeing etc They may seem the most appealing when we are at our lowest, but we must make it a rule to turn to healthier outlets even if you have no desire to engage in them. Once you engage in the behavioral aspect, our emotions will follow suit and soon enough our thought process will too, which will create a cycle of happier thoughts instead of being trapped within feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression, and negative thoughts.
So, create a list that caters to you and make sure to engage at least in one activity when you feel anxious, sad, guilty, depressed etc. and you’ll build the strength to properly soothe yourself in dire times instead of needing to turn to negative outlets or depending on others. Here is my list as an example.
- Run: Running does not only have it’s physical benefits, but it also has it’s mental benefits. It releases endorphins and also allows me to express my anger in a healthy manner.
- Listen to Music: Make a “crying” playlist if you feel the need to express constipated emotions. Or, make an “inspirational” playlist. These songs could include Fight Song by Rachel Platten or Move Along by All the American Rejects to help you get through the hard times. Lastly, a “dance” playlist will make you get up and move; the upbeat songs will force you to dance, which will then release endorphins and leave you more happy than before you started dancing.
- Aroma Therapy:
Some of the health benefits of aromatherapy include its ability to reduce anxiety, ease depression, boost energy levels, speed up the healing process, eliminate headaches, boost cognitive performance, induce sleep, strengthen the immune system, reduce pain, improve digestion, and increase circulation. (https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/benefits-of-aromatherapy.html) I’ll use 6-8 drops of lavender in a bath; 2 drops of lavender in a burning candle; sandalwood incense while listening to calming soundtracks: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBC57AFD85A40CC38
- Meditate Using Guided Meditations: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmh5WyUUsbZVP_txhe1T_xZA9aQhaxw04
- Write in your Journal: Write down your emotions then try writing down your situation objectively. Write out a thought diary to identify misconstrued thoughts, so that you may correct negative thinking. Here is an in-depth explanation of thought diary: http://alchemychild.tumblr.com/post/126489559365/therapy-session-ii
- Self- Pamper: Clear out your pores with steam, exfoliate your skin, hydrate your skin, wear a cooling face mask, and drink lemon iced water while listening to soothing music. Do your nails; shave; create a DIY face mask. Don’t let anyone disturb you and relax.
- Draw: Express surpressed emotions through your art. Draw whatever comes to mind. Don’t censor it.
- Clean: This most likely won’t be on anyone else’s list for a soothing technique, but it allows me to divert my attention to trivial matters and also leaves me feeling accomplished and clean. I’ll usually vacuum, dust, clean the sink, toilet, and shower, wash the dishes, or do laundry.