Calm Down Using Your 5 Senses



As some of you may know, I’m currently in a Dialectical Behavior Therapy program for Borderline Personality Disorder. Last week, we talked about self-soothe strategies that involve using your five senses to calm you down. Using your senses, you can effectively calm yourself down during times of high distress. I personally love channeling sounds and smells when I’m stressed. Finding the right calming scents have really helped me with my anxiety!

I use this strategy quite often, and wanted to give you some ideas for ways to calm down with touch, taste, sound, smell, and sight. I hope you can use these ideas when you’re extra stressed out!

Any affiliate links in this article are disclosed as such, but most of these suggestions do not include affiliate links. I’m committed to only suggesting purchases that I would make or have made myself.

This post includes affiliate links, where I make a profit when someone purchases what I suggest. See my disclosure policy here.

Calm Down Pin

Calm Down Using Sound

The most obvious way to calm yourself down using sound is through music, but you can also utilize white noise, or anything that makes noise!

  • Make a calming playlist on your phone or audio device. I have one filled with uplifting songs for when I’m down. Check out my uplifting song suggestions here.
  • Get a white noise machine (here is one with good reviews on Amazon)
  • Crumble up a piece of paper (this also utilizes touch!)
  • Check out some ASMR videos on YouTube. Personally, I find slime videos to be soothing, but anything with talking or whispering creeps me out. It’s a personal preference, and this method isn’t for everyone.

Calm Down Using Taste

This one is a little tricky for me because I don’t like to self-soothe using food. These suggestions are purposely not overbearing on calories (or nutrients of any kind).

  • Grab some sucking candies.
  • Drink some tea (your preference!)
  • Chew gum.
  • Wear a lip balm or gloss that tastes good.

Calm Down Using Smell

There are so many ways to utilize scents for self-soothing! I love Bath and Body Works’ hand sanitizers, personally.

  • Use hand sanitizers with great scents (check out these from Bath and Body Works. They have some specifically geared towards stress relief!)
  • Use a reed diffuser.
  • Spray your room with an air freshener that contains a calming scent.
  • Light candles (my mom bought this one from me and it smells great! I sell Avon, and this is an affiliate link).
  • Use a nice smelling lotion (this is also utilizes touch!)

Calm Down Using Touch

This one usually incorporates other senses, too!

  • Crumple up a piece of paper (also utilizes sound!)
  • Play a game on your phone. I love playing 2048- it’s simple and fun!
  • Pet an animal.
  • Use a soothing lotion (also utilizes smell! Buy some from me here using this affiliate link. I personally love the Skin So Soft products).
  • Draw, color, paint…get artsy!
  • Take a warm shower (also utilizes sound!)
  • Play with a fidget spinner (also utilizes sound! Even the “quiet” ones make noise).

Calm Down Using Sight

This one can mostly be done online or using your phone.

  • Watch calming videos on YouTube.
  • Look at pictures of cute animals.
  • Look at art that makes you happy or calm.
  • Read something that makes you happy or calm.

I hope these lists inspire you to find more outlets for self-soothing! Together, we can beat anxiety and distress.

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