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When Feeling Distressed - Post Your Ideas for Soothing



Feb 28, 2010
Hi Folks,

When someone is feeling like their skin is crawling, or is feeling anxiety, it feels Awful- and usually a big part of that distress is felt in the Body. Its a circular chain... mind is suffering- its felt in the body- which is now suffering- which increases the distress felt in the mind- which increases the bad feelings in the body...

A common strategy is to pick one or more of the senses, Taste, Smell, Hearing, Sight, Touch and find something to sooth that sense. As a small amount of pleasure enters the body it helps to break the mind/body distress chain.

If you have suggestions regarding one or more of the 5 senses please post them. Your idea may very well help someone feel much calmer.

Here's mine: Touch- Draw a hot bath. Dim the lights (light a candle or use a night light, etc.). Relax in the bath- adding hot water as it cools off. Using a cup, scoop up some water evey few minutes and pour it onto an exposed part of your body and concentrate on how good it feels. Tell yourself out loud, "My body is feeling much calmer".

Ideas? Taste, Smell, Hearing, Sight, Touch



Well-known member
Nov 24, 2009
Well when I feel down, I eat :( Like right now it's 00:49 and I'm eating a whole packet of popcorn.. I don't know if that's relevant x
getting better

getting better

Active member
Feb 28, 2010
Behind you...BOO!!!
Mine are both pretty obvious but for the sense of smell light scented candles. In fact you could use Bills bath idea at the same time. Personally I find lavendar and rose the most calming. Getting a waft of scent every so often is very uplifting..and the mood the flickering candle makes is very relaxing too.
I also sometimes wear my very best perfume if I'm feeling down. It usually reminds me of going out and the good times I've had.


Well-known member
Jan 28, 2010
Hi Bill,

I like the idea of picking one of the senses, that's a new way of thinking about it for me - I haven't got a bath at my flat sadly (I love lying in hot bath), just a shower, but that always perks me up (touch I guess, and with nice smelling shower gel - smell). I like aromatherapy oils in a burner (ginger is a favourite of mine, also lavender, ylang ylang, and citrusy ones, and others), and/or incense ('nitiraj original' is a favourite). I love subdued light, also candles, and Christmas lights (all year) - v relaxing - sight.

I've been listening to music a lot of late - can be soothing music, but sometimes something angry or powerful music to resonate with something powerful under the anxiety (hearing). And I switch off rather with telly - hearing & sight I suppose.

I find myself going for comfort food too - especially cheese and bread, nuts, and for a bottle of beer or a glass of wine, but these are mixed blessings - getting drunk too much and getting fat aren't such good things in the end!

anyway, thanks for the idea of breaking the cycle this way!
Last edited:


Nov 13, 2009
Ive never thought of it like that:

I get anxiety, it feels like a weight on my chest, like my skin has been pulled off and I have been punched. It hurts, then the fluttering in my chest, like lots of horrible little flying beatles with sharp piercing wings.....I digress.

I tend to give up on trying to get rid of the sensations all together, I curl up in my computer chair, sit with a hot water bottle against my chest, hold onto it tightly. It does help.

But I think what does seem to help (aside from talking to someone which is my no.1 thing for helping, but not always possible at 1,2,3..am) is to try to get the feelings outside of my body. I write stuff down, draw things, make collages, try in any way possible to corner the feeling and take an external point of view at it, thinking "how to I express this to someone who knows nothing on a piece of paper" and let go. It doesn't take away the feeling, it does give me something to do. It doesn't mean they don't al, come slithering back once I stop, but it does buy me time. Possibly a few hours.

I also find that doing something to get outside of my own head helps. Trying to focus on something that is not my own feelings. Try to do something that takes alot of concerntration. Knitting, stitching, anything that takes alot of focus, even some forms of exercise (group stuff). Again this doesn't really work at 3am when you've no longer any energy to do any of that and so to fight, but if you did get an energy surge it can help to give you some time. Not a cure by any means, but a small breath of air.
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