Here are 5 quick steps to self soothing. When you feel flooded during a conversation or argument take a break. Follow these five steps.* Here are five steps to soothe yourself: breathing, relaxation, heaviness, warmth, and imagery.
The first step is to get control of your breathing. When you are getting flooded, you will find yourself either holding your breath a lot or breathing shallowly. Change your breathing so it is even and you take deep regular breaths. Take your time inhaling and exhaling. Really focus on the exhale!
The second step is to find areas of tension in your body. First tense and then relax these muscle groups. First examine your face, particularly your forehead and jaw, then your neck, shoulders, arms, and back.
Let the tension flow out, and let yourself start to feel heavy.
The fourth step is to imagine your body parts becoming warm.
As a fifth step, add a calming image of personal safe place you can envision. The key is to meditate, focusing your attention on one calming vision or idea. It can be a very specific place you go to that was once a very comforting place, such as a forest or a beach. Imagine this place as vividly as you can as you calm yourself down.
*Based on the work of John & Julie Gottman, PhDs.