16 Ways to Comfort Yourself, Part 1/3
How do people comfort themselves? If you are a baby a pacifier, a blanket, or nursing are all acceptable forms of calming. Toddlers get it by snuggling a safe adult or a stuffed animal. Youths find comfort in fairness, routine, and boundaries.
Self-soothing is a skill we hope to learn early in life. But what comforts adults? John Bunyan says it is a quiet mind: “If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot.”
How do you get that quiet mind? Do you . . .
- Put on your sweats after a hard day at work?
- Turn on the TV and watch the shows in your TIVO queue?
- Lace on athletic shoes and go for a hard run?
- Stuff your body with sugar?
- Find someone to help?
The more ways we can self-soothe, the better job we will do at being comforted. Because if one thing doesn’t work, we have other choices available to us. Obviously the healthier our choices are, the better long-term health we will have.
Below are some quotes about things that bring comfort.
Comfort of Activity
Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. Cesar A. Cruz
Music is amazing. There’s some metaphysical comfort where it allows you to be isolated and alone while telling you that you are not alone… truly, the only cure for sadness is to share it with someone else. Wayne Coyne
Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head. Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies
Smoking had become my favorite thing in the world to do. It was like having instant comfort, no matter where or when. Augusten Burroughs, Running With Scissors
Comfort of Animals
A cat’s purr is a uniquely soothing sound, and the wagging tail of a dog can lift your spirits in times of trouble. It has been scientifically proven, too, that pets are a factor in lowering blood pressure. . . . . Rabbits, ferrets, hamsters and birds all offer companionship. And many of us find it wonderfully relaxing to watch fish swim in an aquarium. Read the rest of the squidoo page here.
One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why. Anonymous
Comfort of Authors
I carry Yeats with me wherever I go. He’s my constant companion. I always can find some comfort in Yeats no matter what the situation is. Months and months and months go by and I know I need to switch to Shelley or somebody else, but right now Yeats is enough for me. Linda Hamilton
I would self-medicate with fat, carbohydrates, and Jane Austen, my number one drug of choice, my constant companion through every breakup, every disappointment, every crisis. Men might come and go, but Jane Austen was always there in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, till death do us part. Laurie Viera Rigler, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
Comfort of Being Right
You may take great comfort from the fact that suffering inwardly for the sake of truth proves abundantly that one loves it and marks one out as being of the elect. Ernest Renan
Comfort of Books
I have a shelf of comfort books, which I read when the world closes in on me or something untoward happens. Anne McCaffrey
My mother had comforted me with tales ever since I was small. Sometimes they helped me peel a problem like an onion, or gave me ideas about what to do; other times, they calmed me so much that I would fall into a soothing sleep. My father used to say that her tales were better than the best medicine. Sighing, I burrowed into my mother’s body like a child, knowing that the sound of her voice would be a balm on my heart. Anita Amirrezvani, The Blood of Flowers
So go back to the books. They will comfort you and cheer you. If you earnestly work with them, neither sorrow nor anxiety nor distress nor suffering need trouble your mind any more, no, not evermore. Walter Wangerin Jr., Paul
2 following posts in this series list comfort quotes and discuss additional ways of providing self-comfort. (I will hotlink the posts once they go live.)
- Go here for Part 2 (drink, example, food, God, home, music).
- Go here for Part 3 (nature, people, possessions, rituals, words), the final post in this series.
- This is Part 1 (activity, animals, authors, being right, books).
During November I am writing or posting a photo about something for which I am grateful. This explains why.
My gratitude posting for November 16: I am grateful for my brain. It has a wondrous ability to brainstorm. My brain is active, able to make good choices, and doesn’t have to be overwhelmed by fear. See II Timothy 1:7. I didn’t realize that I had so many comfort “tools” until I sat down to write this. I bet there are even more!
Your Turn . . .
- What is your favourite and most immediate way of self-soothing?
- Which of the above tools do you use?
- What would you add to the list?
- Which one(s) would you like to try today or this week?
- 9 Environmental Tips to Help Lift Depression
- 10 Ways to Practice Self-care
- Recounting Blessings from a Reluctant Heart
- Self-Soothing: How to Take Care of Your Feelings