Self Soothing ; Coping with Anxiety and Depression

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.Self soothing and having a variety of coping methods for anxiety is an important part of surviving life in this world. Some children are guided to learn these things, while others are not. If you grew up with parents that were neglectful or abusive, then you most likely grew up with no self soothing skills. 

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Everyone has anxiety and stress to deal with, but some people end up with anxiety disorders that overpower their lives, and their ability to interact with others in stressful environments.

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If you never learned coping skills for anxiety growing up, then you can still find methods that will work for you. 

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If you suffer from depression and anxiety, then you need to be able to self sooth. You need to find special methods that work for you. Everyone is unique and not all coping skills work for all people.

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It does not matter what your go-to methods are, or how silly or childish they might seem to someone else. You can buy yourself a special stuffed animal and a soft blanket if those things are soothing to you. 

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Sometimes it is the inner child that needs soothing, in which case doing the same things that would sooth a small child might be just the thing you need to do. I don’t mean carrying around a stuffed bunny rabbit with you out in public, but in your own home you can do what you want without worrying about outside judgement.

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If you are living with people who would judge you, then you probably are getting some of your anxiety from living with those people and that might be an issue you will need to deal with at some point. 

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If you live alone, or at least sleep in your own room, then your self soothing and comforting activities can be ones that made you feel safe as a child. If you grew up in environments where you often felt fearful, then that inner child is still looking for a safe place to be. You may be triggered by things that remind you of your fears from childhood.

Other self soothing activities for you might be coloring in a coloring book, reading a favorite story from a children’s story book, or an adult story book. You can carry items with you during the day that you find comforting. It is easy to keep small things in your purse or in your car. 

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Indoor or outdoor places can be soothing environments also.

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If you feel relaxed and safe at the park, by a lake, at the beach, or someplace in nature, then you can take yourself for a visit to a place that makes you feel connected with nature. You do not have to feel guilty for taking time out for yourself, even though you may have been conditioned to feel that way. 

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You might feel safe and comfortable someplace like a book store, a library, a bowling alley, a movie theater or a museum. Whatever makes you feel more able to deal with your anxiety is a good place to go. There is no reason you cannot take some time out of your day for yourself. It does not have to be expensive or cost anything at all. 

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Yoga and meditation are great ways to center yourself also. You can take a yoga class or do yoga at home. There are meet-ups you can find in your area by searching a site like meetup.com.

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Being with people of similar interests might be helpful for you, and the exercise is very good for regulating the nervous system. There are small groups that meet for meditation and spiritual activities at churches and other places that people rent for the purposes of getting together. 

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If you enjoy animals more that people. then there are places where you can be around animals. Even walking around Pet Smart for a half hour can be a great break from the anxiety of the day. There are animal shelters that would be glad to have visitors to help with the animals or to volunteer on a regular basis. 

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Music is helpful for many people in reducing anxiety and increasing dopamine, as well as reducing cortisol.

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The levels of these chemicals in your body alter the way you feel, your mood and your anxiety level. Anything that reduces cortisol and raises dopamine and the feel-good chemicals is probably good for you. 

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You can find what works best for you with a little trial and error. If you are not sure about something but you want to try it, go ahead and see how it works for you. Once you begin to explore different kinds of activities you may find that you discover new ones that you would not have otherwise thought of. 

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If you are introverted then you will probably be most soothed by doing things alone, or in small groups of like-minded people, or people with similar interest and values. If you are extroverted then you might find the most relaxation with larger group activities. But you can vary your coping activities between introverted and extroverted ones. 

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It might help you to take a free Meyers Briggs test online. You can find one if you search google, or I can give you a link. If you learn more about your own personality type, it can help you to discover the kinds of things that trigger your anxiety . You may find validation for why certain things make you feel depressed. 

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Another thing you could consider is what you are taking into your body.

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The food and drink that you bring into your physical body can have a strong effect on your mood and will power. Sometimes a small adjustment in the kinds of food you eat, or adding a vitamin that you may be deficient it, can make a marked difference in your mood. 

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I have offered you some ideas, but you can discover many more. Be creative and open minded. Sometimes just the simple act of trying new routines and spending 20 minutes doing something that you don’t usually allow yourself to do, can have am effect on your nervous system. 

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The nervous system can become disregulated from stress, from abuse, and from having PTSD from a past trauma. You may be living in the present physically, but emotionally connected to things that happened in your past. Sometimes hypnosis, inner child work, and compassionate dialogue with a trained therapist or life coach can be helpful. 

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Make sure you choose any professional help with care, and don’t feel that you are stuck with someone that is not serving your purposes, or is not a great match for you.

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You can ask the person questions about what they specialize in and why. Someone who is going to be talking with you about a abusive past for example, needs to specialize in that area or they will have difficulty really understanding what your responses are about. 

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I hope this finds you all well, and I wish you healing and empowerment. You are a special individual. You are unique. You have just as much of a right to have a meaningful and empowering life as anyone else does. 

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Namaste,

Annie – gentlekindness coaching web site

http://www.gentlekindnesscoaching.com/

visit my youtube channel HERE


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJw1QUDzb59PbWTcnGjGJ7g/videos

it’s saturday, another perfect day for a joyride.

I didn't have my glasses on....

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amelia earhart and eleanor roosevelt 

once sneaked (yes, sneaked) out of a white house event,

commandeered an airplane, and went on a joyride to baltimore. 

“if you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.”

-toni morrison

credit: mental floss magazine

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