How do You Sooth Yourself?

JJ and Melissa dug in to an idea that we all have different ways of pacifying, calming or settling ourselves down after we’ve had an emotional upset. But how many of us use others as our crutch, expecting they can make us feel better? And are our own techniques even healthy for us? Check out today’s pod to learn more.

March 8, 2022
Show/Hide Transcript

Unknown Speaker  0:01  
Hey everyone. Welcome to the self awareness Journey podcast. I'm Melissa Albers. And I'm JJ Parker. This podcast is for seekers, seekers of happiness and joy seekers of a centered approach to success in life. Seekers of their true authentic selves. Get ready for some real talk on everything from anxiety, emotions and habits. To love, compassion and forgiveness. We know you'll be challenged and enlightened by this conversation. We're so glad you're here. Let's dive in.

Unknown Speaker  0:34  
Good evening self awareness Journey podcast listeners. It's Melissa Albers. And I'm here today with JJ Parker. And we are intentionally sounding very soothing and calming. Because of today's topic. Isn't that correct, JJ?

Unknown Speaker  0:52  
That's right. I don't think I can do the voice.

Unknown Speaker  0:57  
But yeah, we're gonna talk about self soothing. By the way, I just want you to know that when I did that, I was having a lot of fun because I was picturing like, being on a Saturday night lives, right? Yeah. No, that's why I like radio. Yeah. Okay. Okay, sorry. And we're back. We don't want to make fun of No, we don't the call mean self. helpy. No, no, no, no, like genre. Podcast. No, no, exactly. Are you no style? No. Right. Um, but let's talk about soothing. Let's talk about self soothing. Yes. What's interesting is with, you know, global pandemics and work and kids and bills and a million things we can get ourselves so wrapped around the axle, right. And people are right now. About everything. Yeah, I know. It's, it's really hard to come down from Right, right. Yeah, I think I love talking about this topic. I know, we had been talking about this for a couple weeks, like, Should we do a podcast on this and boy, more and more, more and more of my interactions are people that are even people that are naturally capable of making themselves feel, okay, are struggling, like people are really struggling right now. And I think it's a really important thing to identify and, and validate, you know, if you're feeling,

Unknown Speaker  2:21  
you know, like, my husband's a biology professor at a college, and he had a student just absolutely go after him in email. And his version of being with people is very different. He's very calming, he's very patient, and wrote really nice responses back. And then when he was with that student, he said, You really went after me in your email. And that student apologized and said, I'm just really having a hard time right now. And you know, and him being that gracious, and that authentic, allowed the student, to be honest. So I think people are way more amped up than normal. So I think it's important to talk about soothing. Well, when we, when you use the word soothing or self soothing. Yeah, it makes me think of like a baby. Yes. Right. Yeah, like, yeah, right, baby that's crying. And the way the baby gets calmed back down, there's buying by being soothed by someone or something else, right. Oh, that's really interesting. That's right. Exactly. Yeah. And the idea that like, as adults, we need to use self soothing techniques. Yeah, it sounds funny. Sounds a little funny. I know. I like what do you mean? Should I not need that? Yeah. Right. But I, but you do, you do need it? Because like, when I'm, you know, we've done now I've done a bunch of research around a specific, like childhood trauma called reactive attachment disorder. Yeah. Right. And part of that disorder for children, is that they were never soothed as a baby, so they don't have the ability to soothe themselves. Yeah. So you're talking about like in adoption situations where you Yeah, early trauma situation? I'll got it. Yep. Okay. And it's what is it called, again, reactive, reactive attachment disorder, reactive attachment disorder. So

Unknown Speaker  4:27  
yeah, early childhood events can cause this in,

Unknown Speaker  4:33  
in people, it really starts coming out, like, you know, early childhood adolescence can affect people well into their Yeah, adulthood. But the idea is, again, that that they can't, that person can't soothe themselves, maybe as effectively as another person could suit themselves. So it's super interesting, like emotional spikes that we might have that we're able to like bring

Unknown Speaker  5:00  
ourselves back down from eight individuals with rad are able to bring themselves back down. Right? Right. Right. Got it. So, you know, I even regardless of our maybe childhood circumstances, it's interesting to think of it in that context, right? Like, we all have an emotional response. And then we bring ourselves down from that every, like multiple times a single day. Right? Right, right, or we do come down, but we're unsure of, or lacking intention on how we came down. It might just be a period of time, right? It's just like, I know, I'm gonna just be like this until tonight, or, you know, sometimes we tell ourselves stories about it the other way I look, I was like, Maybe we don't get ourselves all the way back down. Yeah. And that builds up over time. Yes. And then it just takes one last step till our feet aren't touching the floor anymore. You know, what I was thinking of? So like, as you were describing that scenario, the other thing I was thinking about is like, why is it important to self soothe and understand the difference between us learning how to soothe ourselves or make ourselves feel better, versus wanting someone else to make us feel better? And I think if you were to apply that kind of thinking to where we are in this world today, yeah, it makes more sense. Because the tried and true methods that may be you you use to use to feel better, like I'm going to go talk to my best friend, I'm going to go do this, I'm going to go walk outside, I'm going to go hang out with these people. And just get my mind off of it. I'm just going to get my mind off of it. And that can make me feel better. Well, there's, there's not as much flexibility or ability to do that anymore, or now for this period of time. And so even using some of those old techniques for soothing, they don't work anymore. Yeah. So being able to make yourself feel better is even more important. I mean, it's extremely important. But now more than ever, you're seeing people that can't go to the places that they normally have, and you're seeing people behave, really over the top. I'm really seeing that a lot more now. While you're saying that I was even thinking it's so easy for us to distract ourselves. Yeah, right. Yeah. And use things like endless scrolling on social media. Yeah. Soothing technique was probably really a soothing technique. That's probably more like a distraction technique. Right. Right. We think it's soothing. Yeah, yeah, we think it's soothing. And that actually is probably one of the techniques that people do use to soothe themselves as distraction. And maybe sometimes that that's okay. You know, maybe that's okay, sometimes. But I think there needs to be a really well balanced approach to how we think about when and when can we, you know, and this is the whole self awareness journey is being able to tell when something is triggered us or when we're in this emotional state, that just feels terrible. Yeah, you know, and the the ongoing or onslaught of emotions that continue to hit us because we're in a really rotten feeling way and don't know how to get out of it, just like you were talking about. With rad.

Unknown Speaker  8:03  
Melissa and I are huge self awareness nerds, we've been working on this stuff for a really long time. And we love talking about it and sharing it with all of you, we've actually brought all of the stuff we've made into an online course. And we think it's really great. The course starts by learning about yourself, and how your mind body connection works. It dives into your thoughts and feelings. And then helps you learn how to become your true authentic self. Start your journey today. Head to the self awareness, Journey calm to learn more and sign up.

Unknown Speaker  8:42  
Okay, so what I want to know is why your soothing techniques are less. So let's get down to like some real practical

Unknown Speaker  8:50  
discussion. Well, you think like, what do you what do you do? Yeah, to get yourself like, grounded again. Yeah, I think that's the end. For me. It varies on what the situation is. But I have really spent the last several years getting really good at this. The first thing that I had to do, that's because you're so good at getting triggered. That's because I am an expert, trigger person. No, no, that's triggering other people. Well, in my coaching job, maybe I do that sometimes do now on purpose. I love everyone.

Unknown Speaker  9:24  
I think one of the very first things that I actually did, and I and I, I think it's where most people really could spend a little time and that is for me to understand when I was really upset, to not tell myself stories about what the real cause was. So for example,

Unknown Speaker  9:46  
you know, I could be at my house and somebody would have left a bunch of junk out in the laundry area or whatever. And I was already upset why spy something else, but suddenly I could make it all about that single

Unknown Speaker  10:00  
event in the in that dirt that dirty space, right?

Unknown Speaker  10:04  
I think we do that a lot. We tell ourselves stories that are real cause for dismay, our real cause for being upset isn't good enough. It's not valid. Right? Those are stupid feelings. Like I shouldn't feel that way. But it makes total sense to get mad about this common space that's messy. So I think that's the first thing is to really, because for me, I could get upset by something. But it'd be a really long time before I was honest with myself and just said, that made me feel vulnerable. I didn't know what to do. And I hate that feeling. Like, for me, I love always feeling like I have sort of an idea of what I would do in any situation. It just like, which isn't true, but I fancy myself in that way. Yeah. Right. So it's like if I would be caught with something or caught flat footed, as I say and not know how to respond to something. I could feel deeply embarrassed, embarrassed that I did it. Yeah. And then get really upset about how I felt. Yeah. That sounds like a very advanced self soothing technique. I don't think it is really, I mean, like, just really being able to

Unknown Speaker  11:10  
eat ice cream. Well, yeah, I well, I could tell you my body weight in chocolate and watch moving my heart flicks. Yeah. I only had like joking that way. Because, like, like you. You went to the place that really the core is the core. Yeah, right. Right. Right. It's, it's like,

Unknown Speaker  11:33  
trying to understand ourselves better. Trying to be really aware of those emotions that are coming up and then and then getting space. Yeah. Between them. And and yeah, so yeah. How about you?

Unknown Speaker  11:49  
What do you do? Um,

Unknown Speaker  11:53  
okay, so, I will do

Unknown Speaker  11:56  
as, as everyone probably, like, figured mine are? Why

Unknown Speaker  12:02  
are they?

Unknown Speaker  12:05  
Dude, woman? There you go. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  12:10  
But I, you know, I think when, like, when I'm feeling overwhelmed, yeah. I'm,

Unknown Speaker  12:17  
like, I will do some things like, like, there's a, there's one particular book that I've read a bunch of times. Yeah, that'll just go read. Right. It's The War of Art. I knew you're gonna say that. I love that. Like, whenever I get whenever I feel like, Oh, I just really need to, like, plug. Yeah, like really kind of just get myself grounded. Again. I just read from that book. Just anywhere. Yeah, so when I start reading from anywhere, cuz I know the whole thing. I know. You do. Yeah. And I bet for other people. It's like this, it you know, maybe is going to read scripture, right? Like to me, I guess. I guess the War of Art is like my scope.

Unknown Speaker  12:58  
But I like that idea. So you, you actually mentally shift your thinking on purpose by focusing on something else? Yep. I like this book makes me comfortable. I like this book. I'm just gonna go like, think about the things in this book. Right. So that helps me.

Unknown Speaker  13:15  
A lot of times, like physical, like exercise. Yeah. Will help ya. Right. Just kind of like, especially if it's been a real heavy like, day at work. Oh, my cuter. Right. Right. Right. Right. really gotta shift. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I mean, you can almost feel like the physical crinkle Enos of being, you know, not feeling very good. When you've been sitting in the same spot for a long time. Your, like, your physical body almost like rejects this sitting still any longer. Yeah. Yeah. And then sometimes something that's like, very soothing for me is like, like, building something or doing something like,

Unknown Speaker  13:53  
like a project. Like how have you been? Yeah, yeah. I mean, even as crazy as it sounds, like cleaning the house. Yeah. Soothing to me. Yeah. Because it's just like yeah, it's a no one thing I know how to do it. It doesn't have to fire my think right. There it is. Again, it's like you get out of your head. Yeah, get on my head. Just don't in on. Yeah, you know what one thing I also realized I do. I love having bird feeders. So our you know, we live on we live out in the kind of in the sticks on a lake. And we have this big backyard and I absolutely love birds and I used to hate birds. And now I absolutely love them. And so I started with just a couple feeders and then I really fell in love with hummingbirds. I absolutely love hummingbirds, right. So pretty soon I got to three and now I have like 15 bird feeders of all varieties, but I love to stand motionless, staring out the window and just watching. Watch the birds come come and go. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So just like watching outside and just taking myself out of my own scenario and just kind of watching something that I find really

Unknown Speaker  15:00  
Soothing. Like I find that really, really fun and nice feeling. It just feels good. Yeah. So it's interesting. All of our are examples are about turning our brain off a little bit. Yeah, right. Switching our context. Yeah. And being more present, and being more present. Yep. Yeah. And I think, you know, I would really encourage listeners today to really be thinking about these things, because, and I would I actually think it would be really interesting to ask yourself, when I get really upset right now, what are my natural three go to his? Uh, huh. Are they outside of me? Or are they me? Yeah. Because I really think part of the reason we're in this sideways place right now socially and politically. And when he I mean, you can't watch the news without covering your eyes at least five minutes, right. And I think it's because that's what's happening is one person is amped up and goes to another amped up person to try to feel better. And all that ends up happening is it just builds more, it's just building. Yeah. And the way to stop that is to stop the momentum. Right? And to just go in and just be more still and be more present and aware of how you're actually feeling. Yeah. So

Unknown Speaker  16:13  
that when I was thinking about the baby, yeah. And you were just talking about becoming more present. Yeah. What's the thing that you do with a baby when they're upset? Yeah, you give them the attention immediately, right? You like, yeah, boom, ah, yeah. You like maybe like, stroke their hair. Right. So this is a, like, try to really bring them. Yeah, right into the moment. Wait, like, sound and touch? Yeah. And those kinds of stimulation. Right, right. Right. The present is the key, right? Being in the moment not thinking about the future? Or what could happen. Nothing about the past of what did happen, right. Those things you can't really control.

Unknown Speaker  16:57  
Yeah, getting yourself into the right now is a really good, right. See the integrity Yeah, and and not just babies, but little kids. Like I remember one time I was crying because my grandma was sick. And I was sitting on the couch, and I was really upset and crying and, and my son was like, had a knock. And it's asleep or jammies. Right? He was really little. And I was sitting on the couch crying. And he looked at me, and he didn't even talk yet. And he disappeared down the hall. And he came back with his favorite blanket and a stuffed animal. And he tucked the blanket over my legs. And he tucked the the stuffed animal in my arm didn't say a word, but just that empathy, right just, and I wasn't searching from it for it from him because he was so little. Yeah, but how I could also feel good with someone else noticing I was that way not because I was reaching out. But just allowing that to like there are there is a lot of love and support for every single one of us. And a lot of times when we get upset, we don't even see that we don't even want to see it. We shut it off. We think it's all rejected, straight up rejected. And I think that's another way to be able to soothe yourself is to at least remain open and allow

Unknown Speaker  18:12  
someone even in their bumbling way or in a way that is is just means well, but doesn't help or whatever. But except Except What's there for you in your environment as well. Yeah, what I heard you say is that a good soothing technique is to be vulnerable. Yeah, that's what I heard you say? Yeah. Which is hard. It takes a lot of courage, strength. But if you can get yourself yeah, to share some of those around allow for some of that vulnerability to happen. Yeah, that that can get your get you into a really soothing space. Yeah. Because how much energy does it take to already be upset? And then try to pretend like you're not, that takes so much lot energy? And we all do that? Yeah, we all do that. Because we want to be actors. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  19:04  
Yeah, it's an interesting conversation. And I'm, I'm glad we had it. I think it's a really helpful way to be considering yourself right now. And to just, you know, it's like, love yourself. Allow yourself to be Yeah, give yourself some grace. Oh, my gosh, yes, and allow others the same. And I think that it will be much easier than for people to really recognize how they, how they choose to soothe themselves and maybe try something different.

Unknown Speaker  19:35  
Did you enjoy this episode, please go to your favorite podcast platform to subscribe, rate and leave a review so others can discover it as well. Growing self awareness is a lifelong journey, and there's always further to go. And it's better when we're all in it together. Please think of someone you know who could benefit from hearing today's conversation and share this episode with them. We can't thank you enough for listening. Until next

Unknown Speaker  20:00  
Time happy exploring seekers

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Discussed in this episode

Let's get real

Meet your guides

JJ Parker

JJ Parker is a serial entrepreneur passionate about building creative strategy, efficient operations, and unique marketing perspectives. Parker got his start as a student at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and soon after launched his first company Tightrope Media Systems (TRMS) with a high school buddy in 1997.

Melissa Albers

Melissa is passionate about developing people’s self-awareness and ability to positively interact with others. She focuses on the importance of building influence, and highlights the most important relationship we have is with self first. Ms. Albers speaks on leadership and self-awareness, and has shared the stage with John Maxwell (Leadership Author and Speaker), Lee Cockerell (Exec VP of Disney) and Les Brown (Motivational Speaker) to name a few.

Learn more about the topics in this episode

The Art of
Self Awareness Course

Have you ever wished that you could be happier inside more of the time? Does your productivity take a hit when your mood dips? Do you wish you would just do better but don’t know how?

If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, this course is for YOU.

Join The Self Awareness Journey to learn how feelings, when explored, inform us of our thoughts which ultimately cause our actions. When things don’t go as planned we often blame outside circumstances, people or timing. But most of us are unaware of our core feelings so we are never quite able to manifest our true desires.

Intrigued but want to know a little more?

Drop your contact information below and we'll keep you updated with our latest tips for increased self-awareness.