Butterfly Hug Method: 6 Remarkable Benefits of Hugging Yourself for Anxiety Relief


The Butterfly Hug Method: Benefits Of Hugging Yourself

If you’re someone who deals with anxiety on a daily basis, you will agree that anxiety often seems like an unwanted guest. It burdens you and makes it difficult to be at peace with yourself. But what if I told you that there was a really nice and effective method to deal with such tumultuous moments? I’m talking about the butterfly hug method.

The butterfly hug technique is considered to be a gentle and effective means of calming anxiety. With its roots in trauma therapy, this method has earned recognition for its capacity to offer solace and alleviate distress.

In this article, we are going to explore the butterfly hug method in detail, discover its benefits and learn how it can be practiced as well as identify the caring spirit behind its invention.

Related: 15 Effective Reminders For Anxiety That Will Help Comfort You

What Is The Butterfly Hug Method?

Imagine a simple gesture that calms you down by providing some assurance like a small butterfly landing on your shoulder gently.

That is exactly what the Butterfly Hug Method is. It is a self-soothing approach designed to reduce anxiety and enhance emotional well-being. It draws from bilateral stimulation that is widely used in the healing process of trauma patients.

This method calls for the rhythmic tapping or patting between shoulders using both hands alternately. Basically, you hug yourself. This movement stimulates both sides of the brain so as to enable you to process challenging emotions better.

The butterfly hug method for anxiety is one of the best things to exist for people regularly dealing with distressing emotions and overwhelming feelings.

Butterfly hug method is one of the many things that can help you deal with anxiety

Butterfly Hug Method Psychology

The butterfly hug method is a gentle and effective psychological tool for coping with anxiety. Imagine being overwhelmed by stress at work. Instead of succumbing to anxiety, go somewhere quiet, fold your arms over your chest and start tapping gently on your shoulders.

The repetitive motion of the taps sends signals to both parts of your brain so that it can process thoughts and emotions which trigger anxiety better. This helps you find peace within yourself making it possible for you to address the situation with clarity and confidence.

Another example of butterfly hug method psychology would be when you feel nervous about delivering a presentation. Use the butterfly hug method as part of your routine when you become anxious. By synchronizing your arms while thumping your shoulders, there is physical contact taking place within yourself which assures and comforts you.

This action provides self-relaxation that is helpful in affecting emotional regulation whereby anxiety diminishes in intensity; therefore, increasing composure as well as confidence during presentations.

By embracing this technique in your day-to-day activities, you’ll gradually become more resilient, mentally and emotionally. You will find it easier to overcome your fears and deal with the negative emotions trying to cause chaos in your mind.

Who Came Up With It?

The butterfly hug method was developed by EMDR therapists and psychologists, Dr. Lucina Artigas and Ignacio Jarero in 1997. They initially implemented the method on the survivors of Tropical Cyclone Paulina in southern Mexico, and observed that it really worked in alleviating anxious feelings in them, especially children.

By drawing on her extensive experience in trauma therapy, Dr. Artigas understood how powerful bilateral stimulation could be for mending emotional wounds. Hence, she wanted to empower people with practical tools that would help them cope more efficiently with their anxious thoughts and feelings.

Related: How To Deal With Anxiety: 3 Simple Steps To Cope

How To Perform The Butterfly Hug?

Now that we have talked about how good the butterfly hug method for anxiety is, let’s learn how to perform this technique.

  • First, find a comfortable position. Whether you are sitting or standing, ensure that you maintain a relaxed posture while feeling secure and comfortable at the same time.
  • Cross your hands gently across your chest like you are giving yourself a warm and soothing hug.
  • Using both your hands, tap or pat your shoulders alternatively. They should be soft, even, and comforting in their rhythm.
  • While you tap, take long, deep breaths. Feel the rhythm as well. Concentrate on the touch sensation produced by tapping and its calming effect.
  • Perform the butterfly hug method for two or three minutes until you feel your anxiety going down noticeably.

Keep in mind that this method must be gentle and you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself for it to work.

6 Benefits Of The Butterfly Hug Method For Anxiety

1. You feel relaxed instantly.

The rhythmic tapping motion activates the body’s relaxation response, which makes you feel calm and relaxed, by reducing the intensity of your anxious thoughts.

Therefore, you feel soothed instantly, and find it easier to deal with stressful situations, and gradually re-establish inner peace within yourself.

2. You feel more grounded and centered.

When you practice the butterfly hug method for anxiety, you help yourself feel more rooted in the present moment. It grounds you against unwanted thoughts and worries and enables you to reconnect with your body.

It also centers you, and serves as an important tool for overcoming your anxiety by helping you achieve emotional stability and internal balance.

3. You feel more mindful with time.

It emphasizes being fully present in the moment through concentrating on the gentle tapping, and the rhythmic movement, till you’re completely aware of everything without being too hard on yourself.

This helps you being more self-aware in the long run, which trains you to be less reactive to your anxiety triggers.

Related: The 4 R’s of Managing Anxiety

4. You develop better emotional regulation skills.

By practicing the butterfly hug method, your emotional regulation skills get intensified due to bilateral stimulation of both your brain hemispheres. This helps you to understand and process your feelings more efficiently.

It also empowers you to manage your own emotional responses thereby making you more emotionally and mentally resilient in the long run.

5. You learn to be kind and compassionate towards yourself.

Self-criticism and negative self-talk are often associated with anxiety. One of the biggest benefits of the butterfly hug method for anxiety is that you start treating yourself with a lot of compassion, which you didn’t really do before.

This method of self-soothing allows you to develop a sense of compassion and self-care. Looking at things from this angle helps you be more understanding and supportive towards yourself.

6. You start to sleep better.

Not being able to sleep properly or having an erratic sleep schedule must have become very common for you. But the good news is, trying this gentle technique can help you relax before bedtime; you will feel calmer and notice that you are sleeping more peacefully.


In a world full of stressors and emotional triggers, the butterfly hug method reminds us that inner peace and tranquility is indeed within our reach. As you embrace this simple yet transformative technique, remember to be kind to yourself and nurture your emotional well-being.

Related: How to Reclaim Your Power Absorbed by Anxiety: 5 Ways

By tapping into the power of the butterfly hug method, you will be able to navigate the challenges of anxiety with grace, compassion, and a renewed sense of peace.

butterfly hug method for anxiety

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

6 Best Teas To Drink For Anxiety: Calm In A Cup

Best Teas To Drink For Anxiety: Calm In A Cup

Are you feeling a bit wound up, tensed and on edge lately? Anxiety can be a real buzzkill, however, there is a very simple thing you can do to deal with it. Have some tea! Yes, that soothing elixir has been sipped for centuries to calm the jitters and ease the mind. Today we are going to explore some of the best teas to drink for anxiety.

The benefits of tea are enormous and widely-known, however there are some teas which can be a huge help for you, if you deal with anxiety often. In this article, we’ll spill the tea on the six best teas to drink for anxiety.

So, grab your favorite mug, get cozy, and let’s explore the world of herbal remedies that’ll have you saying, “Anxiety, who?”


Up Next

How To Control Obsessive Thoughts: 7 Tips To Embrace Mental Clarity And Find Serenity

Obsess No More: How to Control Obsessive Thoughts Like a Pro

Do you ever feel disturbed by never-ending intrusive and distressing thoughts? Do you feel trapped in a loop of obsessive thoughts that invade your mind? Thoughts that affect your mental peace and keep you from enjoying the present moment? If yes, then it’s time you find out how to control obsessive thoughts.

Obsessive thoughts can be persistent, overwhelming, and exhausting. So let’s explore what are obsessive thoughts, their signs, their causes, and most importantly, effective strategies to gain control over them. 

So, let’s embark on a journey of self-discovery and learn how to tame the wild horses of our minds.

What are Obsessive Thoughts?

Up Next

Waking Up Feeling Anxious In The Morning? How To Deal With Morning Anxiety

Morning Anxiety: How To Deal With Anxiety After Waking Up

Do you experience anxiety after waking up in the morning? A terrible anxiety in the morning you just don’t know how to deal with it? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This article is going to talk about morning anxiety and how to deal with morning anxiety, so that your mornings feel more relaxed, calm and peaceful.

If you commonly wake up in the morning filled with anxiety, you are not alone. Many people wake up with fight-or-flight sensations and feel baffled as to how they can already feel anxious when their feet haven’t even touched the floor yet.

A variety of factors can play a part in morning anxiety: excess stress,

Up Next

13 Ways To Quiet A Worried Mind

Ways To Quiet A Worried Mind

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s easy for our minds to be overloaded with worrisome thoughts. So, how to deal with anxious thoughts? Here are 13 effective ways to quiet a worried mind, offering you the serenity and clarity you need to navigate life’s challenges with ease.

Our minds are basically recorders that play (and replay) their soundtracks all day long, sometimes all night long too. Some people have recordings that tend to be more pleasant and present. Some people’s thinking patterns lean towards the optimistic or realistic side.

Others, not so much. Many people are plagued with worrisome thoughts that lead them to feel chronically stressed, anxious, dep

Up Next

Is Your Child Anxious? 3 Anxiety Symptoms In Children You Shouldn’t Ignore and How To Help

Anxiety Symptoms In Children You Shouldn't Ignore

Does your child struggle with irrational fears and worries? While these could be a normal part of growing up, they could also be signs of something more serious. Let’s take a look at anxiety symptoms in children.

As parents, we often strive to create a safe and nurturing environment for our children, but sometimes, we may overlook the subtle signs of mental health issues that they exhibit. Today, we are going to shed light on what causes anxiety in children, its signs, and how to treat anxiety in children.

By understanding these crucial aspects, we can provide the support and care our children need to navigate their anxiety and flourish.

What is Anxiety in Children?

Up Next

6 Hallmarks Of A High Strung Personality: Navigating The Taut Wire

Signs Of A High Strung Personality

Do you ever feel like you’re wound up like a tight spring? If your answer is yes, then chances are you have a high strung personality. You feel like you are on the edge all the time and only a little flick will throw you off.

Stress and anxiety are your best friends, and no matter how much you may try to relax and let go of your uptight nature, it just doesn’t seem to work. However, don’t think that there’s something wrong with you. You are a perfectly normal human being, who just feels a bit more anxious than other people (stop being too hard on yourself!)

Today, we are going to talk about what does being high strung really means, what causes high strung personality, and how to stop being high strung. Let’s first talk about what is a high strung personality.

Up Next

Debunking Anxiety Myths: 9 False Beliefs About Anxiety That You Shouldn’t Fall For

Anxiety Myths: Lies You've Been Told About Anxiety

Do you often feel anxious or have worries that seem to consume your thoughts? If so, you may be suffering from anxiety. Unfortunately, anxiety is often misunderstood, leading to the perpetuation of various anxiety myths and misconceptions.

Anxiety is a common experience that affects millions of people worldwide. Today, let us delve into the realm of anxiety myths, debunking them one by one to shed light on the truth behind these widely held misconceptions. 

So, let’s embark on this journey together and challenge our preconceived notions about anxiety.

9 Anxiety Myths You Must Know About

Ready to debunk common