Clinically reviewed by Dr. Chris Mosunic, PhD, RD, CDCES, MBA

What is emotional safety? 6 affirmations that help get you there

You can add these to your mental health toolkit

by Vivian Nunez

Emotional safety is that cozy feeling you get when you can be yourself in an environment without the risk of feeling criticized or harmed. It’s a feeling that can take on a million definitions because one person may experience it differently than another.

But regardless of how you define emotional safety, the truth is that anxiety and other mental health conditions can make it a difficult thing to come across. Spiraling thoughts can make anyone’s mind feel like a foreign land. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving emotional safety. Instead, it’s about finding the right steps, practices, or environments to add to your mental health toolkit.

Below are some phrases you can copy + paste into a note on your phone to help pave the way for emotional safety on a harder day.

“I am allowed to seek physical safety first.”

Feeling emotionally safe may be easier to come across if you feel physically safe first. Don’t hesitate to change your physical environment if you feel emotionally overwhelmed.


“I can ask for help if I feel unsafe.”

Often, feeling emotionally unsafe is hard to explain to others, which may stop some from trying to explain it at all. Remember that even if it’s hard to explain, you can still ask for help. Even texting someone you love with something like, “My mind is an alphabet soup right now, and I’m not feeling great. Can you….” can do the trick.

“I trust my judgment.”

In certain situations, focus on what you can control, and this may be simply remembering that you trust yourself enough to make one good decision after another in your search for emotional safety.

“I practice self-compassion.”

Self-criticism is common when navigating anxious thoughts; practicing self-compassion can make things easier. In this article, we pulled some of our go-to phrases for you to borrow, like “I’m not a bad person just because I think bad thoughts about myself.”

“I make choices that prioritize my safety.”

Or our favorite addition to this mantra: “I am good at making choices that prioritize my safety.” Consider this phrase a gentle nudge of encouragement that you make good choices and you’re doing your best to find emotional safety again.

“I remind myself that it’s human to feel fear.”

Fear is a common human emotion, the same way that joy and loneliness are. Try not to punish yourself for feeling afraid or navigating a time when you don’t feel emotionally safe. You didn’t do anything wrong; you are just experiencing a natural response to your circumstances.

As you learn more about how anxiety manifests in your daily life, use whichever of these phrases work best for you. With time and self-compassion, you’ll create a greater sense of emotional safety. For more insights on how to navigate anxiety, refer to the Anxiety Survival Guide.

Calm Health is not intended to diagnose or treat depression, anxiety, or any other mental or physical health condition. The use of Calm Health is not a substitute for care by a physician or other health care provider. Any questions that you may have regarding the diagnosis, care, or treatment of a health condition should be directed to your physician or health care provider. Calm Health is a mental wellness product.

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Our programs are created by licensed psychologists, and you can explore them at your own pace, in any order you like.

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