6 Simple Ways To Comfort Yourself (And Why You Should)
“If you don’t love yourself, nobody will. Not only that, you won’t be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the self.” – Wayne Dyer
And so does comfort. When we comfort others, it looks different – maybe an embrace, some kind words, or a gift but then when it comes to comforting ourselves, why don’t we extend the same courtesy?
If I ask, how do you comfort yourself? What will your response be? Well, if someone had asked me the same question a few years, or months ago, I would’ve replied with, “by drinking a warm cup of tea.”
But is that it?
Years ago, I would’ve felt guilty comforting myself or more like focusing on myself. What I, and many others, don’t realize is that self-comfort is an important part of our well-being. And not something we should be guilty about.
Comforting yourself during hard times can even help you cope with stress and other challenges life throws at you such as loneliness, depression, and sadness. Practicing self-soothing techniques can be good for your emotional and mental health.
Let’s take a look at why you should comfort yourself and how to comfort yourself when needed.
Why Should You Comfort Yourself?
Despite what others believe, comforting yourself doesn’t mean you’re distressed. Whenever you feel the need to comfort yourself, it’s usually when you feel something missing. This uncomfortable feeling can usually be because a need isn’t fulfilled. And this all can cause you to feel:
- Depressed, and
When you work to meet the need you’re missing, you feel comforted. An example; when you feel alone, you ask a friend to come to spend time with you or you go out and treat yourself to your favorite movie, then you may feel comforted. Your loneliness is still there but the care you gave to yourself helped you escape the feeling, temporarily.
When you engage in self-comfort, you distract yourself from the discomfort you’re experiencing. This may not be the long-term solution but it can still help you reset your mental and emotional state and restore the feelings of peace and calm.
If you’re living with chronic or clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic stress, or anxiety, then you can use these simple ways to comfort yourself when you feel sad, anxious, depressed, or lonely.
How To Comfort Yourself?
Comfort can be easy when you’re surrounded by your loved ones. When you feel alone, they can keep you company, when you feel anxious, they can hold your hand. However, our support system isn’t always there when you need comfort. So, for those days when you need comfort, here are some ways to comfort yourself:
1. Move Outdoors
Your surroundings can also influence your comfort level. If you’re distressed, then it’s likely that your environment has something to do with it. There are people around the globe that experience sick building syndrome, a feeling of discomfort that is related to poor ventilation, too much lighting, and radiation.
You can comfort yourself and avoid stress by improving your light and air quality. This can be easily achieved by spending time outdoors. Go for a walk, sit on your balcony, or open a window to let some fresh air in. See the magic happen when you change your surroundings.
2. Create A Comfort Zone
Home is the place where you can feel comfortable no matter what you’ve been through the day. Creating a comfort zone in your home can enhance the sense of safety and security while bringing you closer to your inner peace. This way to comfort yourself can also help you deal with your ongoing life challenges.
You can create a comfort zone in your home by:
- Swapping old furniture out for eco-friendly ones
- Adding an air purifier or humidifier
- Adding plants or fountains
- Choosing soft lighting tones
- Choosing soundproof features to avoid excessive noise
- Decorating your home with objects you enjoy
- Keeping your home clean and organized
Another way you can comfort yourself is to identify places outside of your home that bring you comfort, for example;
- Art galleries
- The beach
- A park nearby
- Hiking trails
- Animal shelter
3. Practice Self-Compassion
Self-compassion means giving yourself the same level of compassion and kindness that you’d normally shower on your loved ones. Self-compassion is closely related to self-worth and self-respect. You can try self-compassion as a way to comfort yourself when sad. All you need to do is what you normally would for a sad friend.
If you’re likely to hug them and say comforting words, then, in this case, hug yourself and say kind, comforting words to yourself. You can also practice self-compassion by:
- Enjoying an activity you love
- Writing a love letter to yourself
- Trying relaxation techniques
- Cutting yourself some slack by not judging your feelings
4. Mindfulness Can Keep You Company
Mindfulness is another great way to comfort yourself when in need. Mindfulness can help you re-center your mind and spirits. You can easily practice mindfulness by focusing on the little moments throughout your day. All you need to do is breathe deeply and focus on the present without dwelling on the past.
Using positive affirmations or mantras can also help enhance your mindfulness practice and bring a sense of comfort when you feel depressed or anxious.
5. Try Something Cathartic
Catharsis is “the process of releasing and thereby providing relief from strong or repressed emotions”. In simple terms, catharsis is about releasing your emotions. Bottling up emotions can leave behind negative feelings and finding constructive ways to express them can be sometimes challenging.
You can try to express your unpleasant emotions causing you discomfort by using cathartic methods such as:
- Yelling into a pillow
- Singing along to your favorite song
- Dancing to your favorite songs
- Drawing, or
- Physical exercising
6. Relax With A Warm Bath/Shower
Taking a long bath or shower can be both comforting and relaxing. In a study, it was found that taking a shower/bath can offer mental comfort. Cleaning yourself can also help you process your unexplored feelings, feelings of guilt, and feelings of doubt.
Read here to know how taking a bubble bath can be helpful for your mental and emotional health.
Try To Avoid…
If you had a bad day, then you may think that certain activities bring you comfort or give you an escape from the unpleasant emotions but it’s not always helpful. Some certain behaviors and activities might not be the right thing to do when trying to comfort yourself.
Some examples of what you should avoid while comforting yourself can be:
- Consuming alcohol or taking drugs
- Excessive shopping
- Spending time with toxic or negative people
- Binge-eating or binge-drinking
If you’re thinking about self-harm or suicide, then please immediately reach out to your local helpline number. You can also contact one of these helpline numbers:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1800-273-8255
- Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741
- TrevorLifeline: 866-488-7386
- iCall: +91-9152-987-821
- AASRA: +91-9820-466-726
- Vandrevala Foundation: +91-9999-666-555
Either you may feel guilty for taking the time to comfort yourself or you may not know how to comfort yourself. I hope with these above-mentioned ways how to comfort yourself, you’ll find the best ways for you to self-comfort. Remember, self-comfort can help you boost your overall well-being.
If comforting yourself is difficult for you, then you can always seek help from a professional mental health counselor. A counselor can help you figure out why you can’t comfort yourself and help you come up with new coping techniques.
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