How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Invoke basic human systems of comforting yourself. Here are some of the things you can do:
You may already do some of these naturally, which is just fine. Continue doing what works for you and try new things if you think this will help.
What you actually do will depend on two things. One is is the level of stress you are feeling and the consequent need for comfort. The other is the social situation and how embarrassed you would feel by using the comforting technique.
There are a number of common actions that humans take to comfort themselves. These can be seen in children and when people are highly stressed. There is no reason why these methods should not be used to help reduce stress.
Repetition is a particularly interesting form of comforting and has has an effect even for lower levels of stress, perhaps due to the triggering of responses to familiarity.
At a more dysfunctional level, People with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) often indulge in repetitive comforting actions, such as counting or cleaning.
When you are comforting others, permit and even encourage them to use natural comforters. When they cry, for example, say 'That's ok' rather than 'Don't cry'. If appropriate, give them a hug (another natural comforter).
Keren, H, Boyer, P, Mort, J, Eilam, D (2010) Pragmatic and Idiosyncratic Acts in Human Everyday Routines: The Counterpart of Compulsive Rituals, Behavioural Brain Research, 212, 90-95
And the big