When you are feeling extremely distressed, you can redirect your attention to the present.
- Splash COLD water on your face. Use an ice cold compress and place on the back of your neck or forehead.
- If you are feeling comfortable, take a walk. Count houses and notice the colors of the homes and their lawns.
- Focus on your breathing. Slowly breathe in from your diaphragm and keep count as you exhale.
- Take notice of your surroundings: Who is around you? What sounds do you hear? Is the T.V. or radio on?
- Find a space that soothes you. If you feel comfortable, sit outside, experience the fresh air. Feel the sun shining and enjoy the breeze.
- Keep a rubber band or hair tie on your wrist. Pluck it and feel the sensation as it reaches your skin. This will bring your attention to the present.
- Rub your palms or grip your hands together. Take notice of your hands. How do they feel? Are they hot or cold?
- Cross your arms and legs, this will help you feel the sensation of taking hold of your body. You are in control.
- Hold a comforting object, like something soft or smooth.
- Listen to familiar and comforting music. Sing along and recite the lyrics.
- Watch your favorite TV show or video. Play a video game.
- Reach out to someone who is supportive and comforting.
- Make a list of positive affirmations and keep them on hand.
Dr. Ariela Bellin is a licensed Psychologist in Brooklyn, New York.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Dr. Ariela Bellin, Licensed Clinical Psychologist at 516-690-7793.