We are offering a weekly blog series with a collection of diverse and effective coping techniques and exercises that can help reduce stress, improve mental and emotional well-being, and perhaps make you even more effective in achieving your individual goals. Check back every Wednesday for the newest skill of the week. Try them all out and find what works best for you.

This week Dr. Erin Jacklin recommends Self-Soothing Through The Five Senses (Part 1): This self-soothing exercise is adapted from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a mindfulness based approach to managing overwhelming distress and emotions. These self soothing techniques show how we are capable of soothing ourselves in simple ways.

When life gets to be overwhelming, take a few minutes to gently care for yourself by focusing on your five senses. Explore the senses one-by-one or combine them to discover what feels best to you.

Vision: Take a walk outside somewhere you find pleasing and look around you noticing what you see in nature. Sit in a garden, visit an art museum, or watch snowflakes during a snowfall. Light a candle and watch the flame, or buy a flower and bring it home with you. Look at pictures of beautiful art or scenery in a book or on the computer. Watch a video of nature. Notice what you see and observe how you feel.

Hearing: Listen to beautiful or soothing music, or to the sounds of the ocean or nature sounds. Listen to a baby gurgling or a small animal. Sit by a waterfall. Listen to someone chopping wood. When you are listening, just notice what you are hearing, letting the sounds come and go.

Ready to get started?