This discussion thread is all about helping others overcome the urge to self harm by sharing tips that you know or that have worked for you. Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Wait for 15 minutes. See if you can extend it for another 15 minutes, and then another 15. Continue until the feelings pass.
- Write in a journal. You might try to use an online journal that is password protected.
- Draw or write in marker over your body instead of cutting. Expressing difficult feelings through actions can be helpful.
- Go for a walk. Use up excess energy. If you can, be in nature.
- Text or call a friend or helpline like Your Life Your Voice on 1800 448 3000
- Play a video game. This might be a good way to distract yourself and help until the anxiety passes
- Yell or sing at the top of your lungs on your own or to music. You might do this into a pillow if you don’t want other people in the house to hear
- Cry. Crying is a healthy and normal way to express your sadness or frustrations
- Notice the environment around you. If you are feeling an “out of body” experience, numb, or panicky, it can help to simply empty your mind of the worry thoughts and pay attention to the ground beneath your feet, the color of the walls (or whatever is in front of you like the trees) the temperature in the air, the feeling of your belly moving up and down as you breath.
- Create a box. See this video about self harm on ReachOut's Youtube channel.
*Note: If you are self-harming right now we strongly encourage you to talk about with a trained counselor at youth helpline Your Life Your Voice on 1800 448 3000. We want you to stay safe and you deserve to feel better.
**Note: Using a balance of distractions and emotional releases
Sometimes when you try and stop self harming you may notice you feel worse at times. If you haven’t worked through the triggers and developed other coping behaviors you might feel worse without the habit. This is one reason why it's important to not just distract yourself from harming (eg. flicking your skin with an elastic band), but to also address the actual trigger that causes you to self harm. Achieving emotional release through things like journaling, talking with friend or exercising will also help. Think of using distractions for short term solutions and dealing with the triggers & emotional releases as longer term solutions. Along with the tips, it will also help to lean on your support network or a mental health professional, if you can, to get the support you deserve.
What are some other things you've tried, or know, that help?