Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Touch

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We often forget about our sense of touch, and yet we’re always touching something, such as the clothes we’re wearing or the chair we’re sitting in. Our skin is our largest organ, and it’s completely covered with nerves that carry feelings to our brain.

Certain tactile sensations can be pleasing, like petting a soft dog, while other sensations are shocking or painful in order to communicate danger, like touching a hot stove. Again, each of us prefers different sensations. You have to find the ones that are most pleasing for you.

Here are some suggestions. Check (…) the ones you’re willing to do, and then add any activities that you can think of:

(…) Carry something soft or velvety in your pocket to touch when you need to, like a piece of cloth.

(…) Take a hot or cold shower
and enjoy the feelings of the water falling on your skin.

(…) Take a warm bubble bath
or a bath with scented oils and enjoy the soothing sensations on your skin.

(…) Get a massage
. Many people who have survived physical and sexual abuse do not want to be touched by anyone. This is understandable. But not all types of massage require you to take off your clothes. Some techniques, such as traditional Japanese shiatsu massage, simply require you to wear loose-fitting clothes. A shoulder and neck massage, received while seated in a massage chair, can also be done without removing any clothes. If this is a concern for you, just ask the massage therapist what kind of massage would be best to have while wearing your clothes. Massage yourself. Sometimes just rubbing your own sore muscles is very pleasing.

(…) Play with your pet
. Owning a pet can have many health benefits. Pet owners often have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and reduced risk for heart disease (Anderson, Reid, & Jennings, 1992), and they experience other general health improvements (Serpell, 1991). In addition, playing with your pet and stroking the animal’s fur or skin can provide you with a soothing tactile experience. If you don’t have a pet, consider getting one. Or if you can’t afford one, visit a friend who has a pet or volunteer at your local animal shelter where you can play with the rescued animals.

(…) Wear your most comfortable clothes
, like your favorite worn-in T-shirt, baggy sweat suit, or old jeans.

(…) Other ideas:
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Learn more:

Distress Tolerance Skills:

  1. DISTRESS TOLERANCE SKILLS
  2. RADICAL ACCEPTANCE
  3. DISTRACT YOURSELF FROM SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIORS
  4. DISTRACT YOURSELF WITH PLEASURABLE ACTIVITIES
  5. DISTRACT YOURSELF BY PAYING ATTENTION TO SOMEONE ELSE
  6. DISTRACT YOUR THOUGHTS
  7. DISTRACT YOURSELF BY LEAVING
  8. DISTRACT YOURSELF WITH TASKS AND CHORES
  9. DISTRACT YOURSELF BY COUNTING
  10. CREATE YOUR DISTRACTION PLAN
  11. RELAX AND SOOTHE YOURSELF
  12. Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Smell
  13. Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Touch
  14. Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Taste
  15. Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Hearing
  16. Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Vision
  17. Self-Soothing – CREATE A RELAXATION PLAN

Advanced Distress Tolerance Skills:

  1. Advanced Distress Tolerance Skills: Improve the Moment
  2. SAFE-PLACE VISUALIZATION
  3. CUE-CONTROLLED RELAXATION
  4. REDISCOVER YOUR VALUES
  5. SELF-ENCOURAGING COPING THOUGHTS
  6. TAKE A TIME-OUT
  7. LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT
  8. IDENTIFY YOUR HIGHER POWER
  9. ADVANCED RADICAL ACCEPTANCE