How to Be a Soothing Presence
A recent study found that individuals who said they were given support and understanding during the event of a crisis were less likely to report psychological distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. And learning how to be a soothing presence is important if our goal is to help others.
Yet, people need a soothing presence, even when a crisis situation is not underway. At times, situations can be blown out of proportion and we all need a soothing presence in our lives to help ground and calm us.
According to MSN, some of the traits of a soothing, calm presence include being present and trustworthy.
If you have a loved one that is often overwhelmed with life or anxious, it is best to learn to be a soothing presence, so you can help diminish anxiety instead of adding fuel to the fire. Whether it be a spouse, friend, or child, these techniques will help you learn to soothe and care for loved ones so you can feel good about interactions instead of regretful for saying or doing something to make the situation worse.
If you want to learn how to be a soothing presence and offer support and understanding, it’s important that you:
- Get permission before touching someone.
- Be aware of your body language – stay calm and keep your body still.
- Take time to give them space if they want it.
- Listen carefully without interrupting or judging what they say.
How can I help someone that’s feeling anxious?
If you have people in your life that suffer from anxiety, it is best to learn some methods to help calm them and ease tension in your relationship.
Remember, if someone has anxiety, it is not their fault and often they cannot control how they are feeling. Yet, there are methods to help soothe anxiety and you can offer to be a soothing presence instead of agitating anxiety.
Things that may agitate an anxious person include but are not limited to:
- pushing the person’s boundaries
- dismiss feelings by telling them to get over it or that it is not a big deal
However, you can learn to be a soothing presence by using some of the following techniques:
- give the person space if they need it
- listen without judgment and allow feelings
- Break down the fear
- Care for yourself
Learn to be a soothing presence, by using the following tips:
#1 Give the person space if requested
Oftentimes, people feeling extreme feelings need space.
If they need space, be respectful, and when they are ready to talk, use the following tips to help soothe them.
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#2 Acknowledge the Feelings and Reactivity- Be Present and Listen
One of the most important things we can do as humans are to acknowledge that other people’s feelings and reactions to events are valid and worthy of our attention. This first step can be difficult for some people. Yet, it is necessary in order to change the way we talk to each other and improve our communication.
So what does this have to do with communication with family or friends? A lot.
One of the challenges for families coping with anxiety is how they deal with their loved-ones emotional reactions during times of stress. Family members often react defensively or become emotional. This makes it difficult for them to listen, process information, and respond appropriately.
Acknowledging feelings set up a foundation of open communication between family members.
#3 Break Down the Fear- Help Them Label & Reassess their Thoughts
One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with anxiety is trying to figure out what the source may be. It is difficult to pinpoint the true cause and can lead to a cycle of worry and aggravation. There are some helpful techniques that one can try such as:
- Breaking down the fear: Helping them label and reassess their thoughts – Breakding down fears and worries not only acknowledges a persons feelings, it helps defuse the situation. If you can get to the bottom of why the person is feeling fear, anxiety or overwhelm, you can begin to understand and help.
- Examine what they’re anxious about – Once the underlying anxiety is determined, a discussion about the “why” is a helpful way to soothe and calm the person.
- Talk it through: Talking helps reduce stress and anxiety – Taling about it and being a good listener will help you be a soothign presence, when a loved one is feeling this way.
Reducing fear will help the anxious person stay calm as you continue to be a soothing presence in the situation. –
#4 Care for Yourself- Take Care of Your Needs Before Taking Care of Theirs
As you are learning to be a soothing presence for others, it is best to take care of your own needs first. If you are constantly putting others’ needs before your own, you will end up burnt out and overwhelmed. This idea of putting your own oxygen mask on first will help you concentrate on your own needs and often when your needs are met, you are more capable of helping others if this is your desire.
However, when you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed, it is easy to forget about others’ needs, and during these times, we often snap at others and say things that are not helpful to the situation.
As you try to take care of your own needs, ask yourself the following questions:
- What time of day are you most productive?
- Do you need a break?
- Do you need to take a walk, eat, or drink something?
The answer is that it depends on the individual. For some people it’s morning and for others it’s evening. Be an advocate for yourself and practice self-care because your needs are important and when well-met, will help you be a soothing presence.
How to be a Soothing Presence Final Thoughts…
If you want to be a soothing presence, this post outlines tips and hacks to help you achieve your goals. In fact, it is best to learn to stay calm and help others by first taking care of your own needs, and then attending to others. Some ways you can help your loved ones are by listening, giving space as needed, and remembering that all feelings are valid. discuss the reasons for fear or anxiety and help diffuse fears by staying calm and breaking down the fear. As you continue practicing these tips, it will become easier for you to be a soothing presence for others.