Self-soothing touch is a way we can relieve anxiety and lessen the effects of Trauma and PTSD.
Just as a mother’s touch calms an upset baby, so self-touch can sooth minor emotional upsets and anxious feelings that arise from the challenges of living.
Touch has a profound effect on the nervous system, whether it’s our own touch or someone else’s. Nerves in the skin and the muscles below sense the pressure and signal the brain to pay attention to the area being touched. This automatically draws attention away from disturbing feelings and helps the activated nerves in the area of the upset to spread the feelings over a greater surface area, thus reducing the severity of the feelings.
When you feel a bit anxious or emotionally activated, try the following touches:
- For a nervous stomach, place a hand on your belly and gently hold it there.
- For anxiety, place a hand on the back of your neck. Don’t massage; simply hold it there.
- For rampaging thoughts, place one hand on the back of your neck and one on your forehead or across the top of your head.
- For a racing heart, place a hand on the side of your upper arm just below the shoulder. Hold it for awhile, and then switch sides.
In each case, keep your awareness on the feel of the touch and see what happens. After some time, you may notice a deep breath arise on its own and a sense of calmness spread through your body.
Although self-soothing can help decrease anxiety, it will not cure the underlying cause. It is merely a band-aid. The wound, which is the residue of a past trauma causing the disturbing symptoms, will open and the pain take over again. Eventually, the symptoms will worsen and manifest in more serious ways.
Getting treatment for anxiety, trauma, and PTSD is the only way to heal those wounds. If you suffer from tension, anxiety, or panic attacks, get help now.
What kind of anxiety do you have? Please comment below.
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