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How can I distract myself from wanting to self-harm?

19 Answers
Last Updated: 08/20/2018 at 4:58pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Paola Giordani, Psychoanalyst

Licensed Psychoanalyst

I have helped and am helping people cope with loss, divorce, anguish and parenting. Depression is also a major issue that comes up.

Top Rated Answers
March 7th, 2015 6:55am
self harm is a way which release emotional stress in a person but self harm is additive too if self harm grows and grows the person is addicted to it for example today a person cuts once the next day he has the urge to cut twice again and it goes on there are several methods to stop self harm one of the best methods is Music therapy it releases tension your stress n makes you feel good again . Another method is the deep breathing technique in this technique take deep breath and during each inhalation think you are taking in positivity and each exhale think all negativity going out . This gives relief to the most of the emotional stress.
March 7th, 2015 9:43am
Try The Butterfly Project-The Butterfly Project has been created for self-harmers who feel they are ready to stop and need the motivation or support to do so. A member’s hypnotherapist, who found this idea on an online blog and felt that it was a good idea that should be promoted as a distraction, has recommended it.The idea is simple. The self-harmer simply draws a butterfly on their place(s) of self-harm and, if the butterfly fades without them self-harming, it means it has lived and flown away, giving them a sense of achievement. Whereas if they do self-harm with the butterfly there; they will have to wash it off. If that does happen, they can start again by drawing a new one.
April 2nd, 2015 12:44pm
What I did, was I did a whole bunch of busy work (Like hobbies- gaming, reading, sewing, studying, whatever interests you)that distracted me from anything that could harm myself. If I ever felt the urge to cut, I'd call someone on the phone immediately and just talk- about anything at all so that way I'd be doing something and not hurt myself.
August 25th, 2015 5:17pm
Draw a beautiful butterfly on the area you want to hurt. It doesn't matter how it looks, good or bad. Then remember, if you cut the butterfly dies.
June 1st, 2015 11:27pm
Watch your favorite television show on netflix, drink cold water, take a shower, take a nap, pet some animals, read some books, write emo poetry, paint, write in a journal, eat some icecream, talk to someone, and watch videos of Ashton Irwin laughing I swear it will turn your life around.
November 20th, 2017 8:38pm
Focus on the positives. Whenever you think to self-harm, use something else you really love as a substitute. For example, if you love basketball, as soon as you think to self-harm, think basketball and then go and play some. Use something you really love to distract you from the present feeling.
May 19th, 2015 4:52pm
There are a lot of alternatives to self-harm and a lot of them include distraction. Do something you like doing is the best one. Also drawing, writing, and ripping up paper. Drawing on myself with a red pen and talking to people works best for me. There are lots of alternatives though, that's just to name a few.
June 22nd, 2015 10:52am
One way to distract yourself is to do something productive, so you know you're working towards something. You could start a puzzle, knit, write, paint, draw, or anything you like doing in your free time normally. You can also self care, and listen to music, stay in blankets, make a hot drink, or be around the people you love.
June 23rd, 2015 3:28pm
Check out this link --> It has everything you'll ever need to distract yourself, it's the best one out there.
July 6th, 2015 3:06pm
Find a new activity that gets your mind off of it. Go out with friends, go for a run, or try something artsy! Over time you may find that you have replaced to urge to self-harm with the urge to do something productive whenever you feel like you need a release or escape.
September 14th, 2015 7:38pm
Find other coping methods. Paint, draw, or scribble on a big piece of paper with red ink or paint. Express your feelings in a journal, listen to music, take a bath or hot shower, rub ice across your skin where you might usually cut, exercise, talk to someone, write down negative feelings...
December 22nd, 2015 1:01pm
write poetry, listen to music, watch tv shows or anime or anything, read books manga or anything basically. do whatever you enjoy
January 25th, 2016 6:56pm
Music helps, also from personal knowledge, writing down what you are feeling,thinking, and what you want to say can help a lot. Hope this helps
February 16th, 2016 2:01am
Put the blades away. Don't be tempted. Avoid triggering things, and try talking to a friend. It really helps.
May 23rd, 2016 8:25pm
Find something you like to do walking,running,going to parks,hanging out with friends etc etc. keep your mind busy
July 5th, 2016 8:04pm
You gotta focus on things you really like, like drawing. I'm used to do some drawings when I feel bad, and also you have us the listeners if you need to talk to someone :D
May 9th, 2017 11:22pm
There are a variety of ways to do this. Sometimes putting your attention fully onto something else can help, especially if it is something you enjoy. Sometimes talking to someone and letting them know that there is a problem can help. For some people, creating art that expresses the harmful desire helps them avoid harming themselves.
May 23rd, 2017 7:20pm
The urge to self harm can be incredibly hard to stop, it's like a wave that comes over you - trust me, I've been there. However one way to distract yourself from this could be to download an app called 'Calmharm' - this is an app designed for people who struggle with self harm. They have many different techniques on there help to reduce the risk of people self harming. If you're reading this and you struggle with self harm, feel free to drop me a message any time.
August 20th, 2018 4:58pm
I personally grab my tennis shoes and go on a run. Music is an amazing tool for releasing emotion, as is reading and writing. If that doesn't help, you can grab a marker (marker, not pen) and draw lines on your skin. Or, you can join in with project butterfly. Simply draw a butterfly in marker wherever you self harm, and a long as it's there you are not allowed to self harm. Name the butterfly after someone you love or care about if you think it'll help. As long as that butterfly is there, you cannot hurt it. If none of that helps, holding an ice cube on your skin is pretty damn painful, but doesn't harm your body. Stay strong, and I'm proud you're on the path to recovery.