Self-Soothing Lesson

Self-Soothing Lesson


It was an incredible honor to spend this past weekend with the most amazing, resilient young person. I can't stop thinking about him. He made an indelible impression on my heart.

Patrick (not his real name) has lived through a lot of trauma already. He's just 5.  His smile is amazing, it makes you smile every time!

To help Patrick cope with the pain he experiences he has been taught a self-soothing technique. He has a soft t-shirt that he has handy and he simply rubs his fingers and thumb with it. 

What's so powerful about this? Patrick is some control over how he is going to continue to feel. He has access to something that can calm him, comfort him. 

Hmmm. What can that look like for us as adults?

Meditation, journaling, counting to 10 or 100, taking 5 slow-deep breaths, talking out our feelings with someone we trust to just listen, or some well crafted positive self-talk.

By the time we reach adulthood we have all practiced some very un-soothing ways of talking to ourselves. (Those of you who have hung around me are likely now picturing a little yellow duck quacking at you!)

Last night my husband Bill and I were given some amazing wisdom by a 6-year old: "The more you practice, the better you get!"

Patrick had practiced enough that he could quickly and easily reach for his shirt and get comfort.

What have you been practicing - self-soothing or self-destruction?

What are the situations that get you most upset that you need a strategy for?

One last lesson from Patrick. He really bonded with Bill. Near the end of the weekend I witnessed Patrick sitting with Bill and Patrick was rubbing his t-shirt on Bill's thumb. Wow. Beautiful and loving.

When we practice and excel at self-care and self-soothing we have an invaluable gift to share with those around us.


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