What does comfort feel like to you? When you need comfort, do you make yourself a priority? Or, do you tend to distract yourself?

As human beings, it’s natural to need and desire comfort. It’s normal to want to feel like everything will be okay, amidst uncertainty.

Life is a mix of ups and downs. If we fail to tend to the relationship we have with ourselves, the inner-battle we have within us, easily becomes the most tumultuous part of our human journey.

Making the relationship we have with ourselves a priority, is not narcissistic. On the contrary, investing in our well-being, helps us become well beings. When we lack self-awareness, or deny ourselves the comfort and care we need, that’s when we become the unhappiest version of ourselves.

When we turn our back on ourselves, we create a disconnect. That disconnect is what leads to the tendency to: act out, over-react, blame others, fall into the notion that life is terrible or hard, worry incessantly about things out of our control, believe others are out to get us, and basically lose faith in the magic of life itself.

When we don’t take initiative to care for ourselves, we become the people who others don’t want to be around. There is no need to become the high maintenance friend, or needy relative who lives for being a martyr. Expecting other people to fix us, make us happy, or deal with our unresolved inner turmoil, is actually quite selfish.

It’s important to care about the relationship we have with ourselves, period. It’s essential to appoint ourselves the curators of our happiness, instead of expecting others to fulfill that role. Let’s lay to rest, once and for all, the confused notion that self-care is selfish.

Imagine what life would feel like, if we all gave ourselves a bit more grace and comfort as we need it. Imagine how much smoother our inner game, and outer game would become, if we simply made ourselves a priority in the care-giving chain.

Here are the 3 methods that help me cultivate a more comforting and in-tune relationship with myself. If these ways resonate with you, give them a try.

#1: Tend to Your Core Wound

Our core wound is that well traveled place within us that doesn’t feel good. It is often a self-limiting belief we developed in childhood, for any number of reasons.

I view my core wound, as that first inner-severing I experienced, when I wholeheartedly believed I wasn’t good enough. I’m not talking about the kind of not good enough, that may be healthy – like the kind where we honor and celebrate our strengths and weaknesses, or our darkness and light.

I’m referring to the not good enough that brings you to your knees. The kind that creates a serious disconnect and feeling of discord in your inner spirit. That triggered part of us is real, and it can rear its ugly head at the most inopportune times.

Usually it comes up when we are feeling vulnerable, or when we are in serious need of nurturing. Our core wound can be triggered by new experiences, old experiences, or experiences we haven’t yet fully moved through. The point is, our core wound becomes a part of our story. Instead of trying to overcome it, hide it, deny it or pass by it – simply know it, acknowledge it, and tend to it if it happens to come up.

Give the wounded version of yourself some reprieve. Instead of avoiding, covering up or lashing out, give yourself the comfort you need. Let the evolved part of who you are step up and nurture the wounded part of who you are. It’s okay, it’s part of being human.

#2: Get Clear on Your Sources of Comfort

What are your sources of comfort? Everyone has a different life experience. What brings me comfort, most likely isn’t what brings you comfort. There are different foods, smells, scenery, sounds, and people we associate with comfort.

Get crystal clear on what your sources of comfort include. Make a list of all the healthy ways you can comfort yourself. Think of the different scenarios you tend to find yourself in, and match those scenarios up with some go to comfort cures.

If it makes sense, create a comfort kit. I love essential oils and am never without lavender oil or peppermint for headaches. Come to think of it, I also grow lavender and peppermint in my garden, and pick it regularly. I keep fresh cut lavender at my bedside, in my bathroom, in my office, and always have a bottle of essential oil in my purse.

The point here, is to know yourself and know yourself well. Then when you find yourself at a crossroads, or simply in a state of discomfort, it’s easier to know how to be your best caregiver, and reduce the urge to completely meltdown. Unless of course, if having a meltdown is what brings you comfort – then by all means do that.

#3: Create Meaningful Rituals

Along with knowing your triggers and your comfort cures, it’s simply smart planning to regularly do things that make you feel good. The best way to create healthy habits that stick, is to have meaningful rituals in place.

For example, sleep is important to our well-being. If you want to set yourself up for a good night’s sleep, create healthy rituals. I use a traditional alarm clock, instead of my phone because I know if I keep my phone by my bed at night, I will be drawn to check my email or scroll the internet. My addiction to technology will always hijack my sleep, so I plan ahead. Instead of reaching for my phone before I doze off, I think of 3 things I’m grateful for, and I set the intention to get the most restful sleep possible. This isn’t complex rocket science. I keep my rituals simple and meaningful to me, and that’s how they stick.

The idea is to take initiative and aim to be 100% accountable for your own comfort and happiness. Then instead of defaulting to autopilot and wondering why it all feels so hard, you see yourself as resourceful. When we tune in often and grow our awareness of ourselves, it becomes easier to step in and know how to put parameters in place that will set us up to feel good.

What about you, what rituals do you have in place that create comfort in your life?


  • Emily Madill is an author and certified professional coach, ACC with a BA in business and psychology. Emily is one of Thrive Global's Editors-at-large and a coach at BetterUp. She has published 11 titles in the area of self-development and empowerment, both for children and adults. You can find her writing in Chicken Soup for the Soul:Think Positive for Kids; Thrive Global; The Huffington Post; TUT. com; Best Self Magazine; MindBodyGreen; The Muse; WellthyLiving.ca; TinyBuddha; Aspire Magazine and others. Emily has a private coaching practice and an online program offering courses that support others to create lasting habits around self-love, well-being and all things related to time and weekly planning. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, with her husband, two sons and their sweet rescue dog Annie. Learn more at: emilymadill.com