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Breathe - It will be ok

Breathe - It will be ok

WE ALL GET UPSET - now that we've put that out there, Katie has offered a few suggestions on how to regulate these emotions.  Your emotions are real, and valid, it is the next steps that determine what happens next


Breathe - it will be Okay:

How To Self Soothe


Katie Laird, MC, R. Psych


Self-soothing is an emotional regulation skill that can be used after an acute stressor to relax and calm yourself. It is an important skill that many of us do not consciously do for ourselves when we are upset. Some people attempt to self-soothe in unhealthy ways, such as overeating, drinking or using drugs, shopping, or gambling. Many of us are more skilled at soothing others when they are distressed, especially those of us who are parents. Distressing or overwhelming thoughts and emotions can take their toll and disrupt our work, family, or romantic relationships.

Here are some effective ways to self-soothe:

Grounding- Using your senses to bring you back to the present moment by focusing on the physical world instead of your own thoughts. Focus on what you can touch, taste, smell, hear, and see.

Breathing: Box breathing is helpful during extreme stress, where you practice the following: inhale for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4, wait at the very end of the exhale for a count of 4, and repeat. This is a very deep breathing exercise that has been shown to calm and regulate the nervous system.
Self-compassion: Stop punishing yourself for your mistakes, and try to be gentle with yourself about your shortcomings. Talk to yourself the way that you would speak to a good friend.

Give yourself a hug: Might sound silly, but your brain cannot tell the difference between a hug you get from someone else and a hug you give yourself. A hug or any kind of compassionate touch causes your brain to release oxytocin. This hormone can make you feel safe, connected, and loved, explains Joree Rose, LMFT, a therapist and mindfulness and meditation teacher.

Validate yourself. Sometimes when we are upset we tell ourselves things like “It wasn’t that big of deal, I shouldn’t be feeling this way” or “I’m just being overly sensitive”. This kind of invalidating self-talk just makes us feel worse. Instead, it might be helpful to say something like “I recognize that I’m feeling scared right now and that’s hard. In this moment, the things I fear are not happening right now, and I am safe.”  Says Sara Lavelle, PhD, a clinical psychologist and hypnosis expert.

Please feel free to reach out and book a complimentary 20-minute consultation or an appointment with one of our psychologists if you need support or more ideas about how to self-soothe.

Our psychologists are all very personable and work with a wide range of clients.  It is not necessary to use a 20-minute consultation to see a psychologist.  If you have any specific concerns or are looking for a psychologist who uses a particular methodology we would recommend booking a consultation to better understand your needs and pair you with a psychologist that meets your requirements.

Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason aren’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.

Not at all. Everyone needs help sometimes. You may have had some skills or strengths that you’ve used to deal with challenges before, but for whatever reason, those aren’t working right now. Perhaps what you are dealing with right now feels overwhelming and you are unable to access your past strengths. Through your relationship with your counsellor and the process of therapy, you can explore the challenges you are facing and find your inner strength or develop new skills and strategies to find healing.


A typical session is 60 minutes but depending on the presenting concerns and the size of your family, it may be suggested to have 90-minute sessions. The length and frequency of sessions will be collaboratively determined with your psychologist.

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