Give Yourself a {Butterfly} Hug


A number of years ago, therapists working with children suffering from trauma due to an earthquake created the “butterfly hug.” It’s a wonderful technique for kids — and adults as well to — soothe fear, anxiety, and uncertainty.

To do the butterfly hug, cross your arms across your chest, with your right hand resting on your left upper arm and your left hand on your right upper arm. Then, tap alternately – left, right, left, right – at whatever speed feels comfortable.

The important thing is that you alternate the taps – one side, then the other. This creates bilateral stimulation of the brain, which helps to calm an anxious feeling state.

After tapping for a while, pause, take a breath, and notice how you’re feeling. You may be surprised to discover that you’re feeling somewhat calmer. If not, simply continue to tap again for a few minutes and check in again.

You can embrace yourself in a butterfly hug for as much or little time as you need, and as often as you need to ground and center yourself.


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