Self-soothing strategies aim to improve your mood, comfort you emotionally and assist you to cope when you feel stressed or overwhelmed.

They involve using one or more of the five senses – touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. Self-soothing strategies are pleasant experiences for your senses that enable you to focus on what you are experiencing in the moment. They increase positive affect by directing your focus toward a pleasant experience. They also increase relaxation and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.



Self-Soothing Examples


In the expandable boxes below, we have included some self-soothing examples that we have split up by our five senses. Please click on each sensory title below, to open up the expandable boxes.

1. Touch


  • Having a warm bath
  • Relaxing in the warmth of the sun
  • Stretching
  • Wearing soft or comfortable clothes
  • Patting a pet


2. Taste


  • Eating a tasty meal
  • Drinking tea
  • Eating healthy food
  • Sucking on hard lollies
  • Chewing gum
  • Eating food slowly and mindfully


3. Smell

  • Smelling flowers
  • Using or trying on perfume and body lotions
  • Lighting a scented candle
  • Deeply breathing in fresh air
  • Baking food


4. Sight


  • Going to an art exhibition online
  • Watching a dance performance on TV
  • Reading a good book
  • Looking at pictures of loved ones
  • Looking at flowers
  • Looking at pictures of a past holiday or places that you would like to visit
  • Sitting in a garden and watching the plants and birds
  • Watching the clouds
  • Watching the stars


5. Sound


  • Listening to relaxing music
  • Singing to yourself or playing a musical instrument
  • Saying positive or encouraging statements to yourself


Practise Instructions


If you choose to do self-soothing:

  • Please choose 7 self soothing activities (preferably at least one from each sense category) from the list below or other ones that you think you would most enjoy.
  • Then add each activity as you complete them to the self-soothing self-monitoring form (see ‘Downloads’ box below). Alternatively, you may like to add in all seven ahead of time (as a reminder).
  • After you have done your self-soothing activity, fill out how you felt after completing the activity.
  • Then at the end of the week (or after 7 entries), review what you have done and think about the one activity you liked the most and why.




In this box you will find a pdf that you can download to assist you with your self-soothing practise.


Self-monitoring form

My Digital Health

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