Just like a baby sucks her thumb, as an adult you'll want to comfort yourself when things go wrong - and nothing rings truer for victims of narcissistic abuse.

Unfortunately, some habits like drinking, smoking, overeating, or shopping come with a high price tag. When you use them to escape from difficult issues, you postpone finding real solutions, and you may wind up with additional complications like poor health and less money.

On the other hand, making constructive choices can help you face challenges and build your self-confidence. Follow these steps for dealing with tensions and irritations.

How to Soothe Yourself by Changing Your Thinking

1. Accept your feelings. Embracing uncomfortable emotions is the first step in being able to process them. Instead of denying anger or jealousy, you can acknowledge the situation and decide how to address it.

2. Cultivate gratitude. Being grateful instantly brightens your outlook. Count your blessings and express your appreciation.

3. Slow down. Bring racing thoughts under control. Even a few minutes of meditation can clear away mental clutter.

4. Be mindful. Stay in the present moment. Give your full attention to one task at a time. You'll accomplish more.

5. Accentuate the positive. When you evaluate opportunities, pay attention to the potential gains as well as the risks. Adjust your self-talk to reinforce your confidence and motivate you to move ahead.

6. Use mental imagery. Picture yourself lying on a sandy beach or sipping tea in a cozy cafe. Engage your other senses by imagining the related sounds and smells.

7. Follow your faith. Find strength in your spiritual beliefs and practices. Adversity can help you develop insights and remember your purpose.

How to Soothe Yourself by Changing Your Routines

1. Develop a hobby. Activities that create a sense of flow are more relaxing and productive than watching TV. Find pleasure in playing the piano or building a log cabin.

2. Exercise regularly. Moving around reduces physical and mental symptoms of stress. Go for a long walk or play tennis with a friend.

3. Check your posture. Scan your body for tight spots. Stretch out your neck and limbs. Squeeze your muscles together, and then open up to release any anxiety that has been building up. Stand tall, lower your shoulders, and open your chest.

4. Eat more probiotics. Eating a balanced diet makes you more resilient, especially if you put yogurt and miso on the menu. Studies show that foods that promote healthy gut bacteria have a positive effect on your mood.

5. Sleep well. Rest is also essential for your composure. Go to bed and wake up on a consistent schedule. Darken your bedroom and block out background noises with a fan or ear plugs.

6. Connect with others. Build a strong support network. Spend time with family and friends. Make time for sharing laughter and heart-to-heart talks. Ask for help when you're struggling, and take your mind off your own worries by looking for ways to serve others.

7. Listen to music. Music has a powerful effect on how you feel. Cheer yourself up by listening to classical music, show tunes, gospel songs, or your favorite selections. Try Amazon Music Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

8. Breathe deeply. Using your breath to lower stress is fast and free, and you can do it anywhere. Create a slow, gentle rhythm as you pay attention to the air entering and exiting your nostrils. Gradually extend the time you spend exhaling to carry any disturbing thoughts out of your brain.

Stress is a part of life, but you can protect your health and well-being by the way you respond when things are falling apart. Soothe yourself with calming thoughts and activities that restore your balance and deepen your peace of mind.

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