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imagesWhen you are upset or stressed, it is important to know positive ways to cope on your own. Finding ways to self-soothe can help you feel at ease when you are dealing with frustration, excitement or having intense emotions. Some of these tips presented below are taken from DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition by Marsh M. Linehan. I also encourage you to add some of your favorite ways to self-soothe. Think of your 5 senses when trying to find positive self-soothing tips to share with us.


  • watch a funny movie
  • read a good book
  • go to a museum
  • look at nature
  • watch a sunset or sunrise
  • be mindful of each sight that passes in front of you
  • take a walk in the park
  • go window shopping


  • shop for flowers
  • use your favorite soap, shampoo, or lotions, or try them on in the store
  • burn incense or light a scented candle
  • boil cinnamon
  • make cookies or bread
  • smell lavender
  • put potpourri in a bowl in your room


  • take a long bath
  • pet a dog or cat
  • have a massage
  • change into comfortable clothing
  • soak your feet
  • hug someone
  • put on a blouse or shirt that has a pleasant feel


  • listen to soothing music
  • pay attention to sounds of nature
  • pay attention to sounds of the city
  • sing to yourself
  • learn to play an instrument
  • be mindful of any sounds that come your way, letting them go in one ear and out the other


  • eat your favorite foods
  • treat yourself to a dessert
  • taste the food you eat. Eat one thing mindfully
  • sample flavors of ice cream
  • eat a favorite childhood food
  • drink tea, hot chocolate, or smoothie

What are your favorite self-soothing techniques?


image taken from

Helen Nieves

Helen Nieves is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Attention Deficit Consultant Specialist. She teaches ADHD on line and is on the Advisory Board at The American Institute of Health Care Professionals. She also received advanced training in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and in Grief Counseling.

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APA Reference
Nieves, H. (2015). Self-Soothing. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Apr 2015
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