I tend to self-harm when my emotions fly out of check. What should I do??
Last Updated: 01/14/2020 at 6:00pm
Amy Justice, BS, MA, LCMHC
Licensed Professional Counselor
My passion is to help people overcome feeling "stuck" in unhealthy patterns by facilitating real, healthy changes through self-discovery and practical applications.
Top Rated Answers
I too used to have this problem, and looking back, that is the wrong solution. Here are some things that helped me through those times: writing in a journal, writing a lot of emo poetry, painting, taking hot showers, drinking obscene amounts of ice water, and petting animals. Just simple self-care makes the whole world change.
First, try to identify when those times are. If you can identify the triggers for self-harm or the times that you tend to do it, then you can find other coping skills. It may help you to try some meditation or mindfulness exercises - these can calm you down, calm the mind and body. 7 Cups has some, even! If you go to "My Path" and click on "Mood Boosts" then you will find them. Additional coping skills include: breathing exercises, drawing, going for a walk, exercising, listening to music, napping, making art, journaling.
When you feel your emotions starting to get into that "danger zone" where you feel like you need to hurt yourself, try distracting yourself with another activity and you might find that after you are done with that activity your urges might have subsided. It is also important to address why your emotions are unstable as this might eliminate your urges completely! I hope all goes well for you
For me I try to escape reality and just do something that makes me happy like play video games or watch shows anything really or just cry if you have to.
I usually just lock myself in a empty room. Sometimes going somewhere and just crying helps. Or sometimes I pray.
Attempt to put your focus on something else if possible. For example, writing in a journal or a Word document about what you're feeling and thinking at this moment your urge is there or go for a long walk and listen to music or watch a movie or call a friend or someone else you can confide in.
Try to find some alternatives. Some good ones include listening to music, watching TV shows, randomly compliment people; going outside, breathing instead of acting on something you could regret. Also, talking with someone on 7 Cups of Tea is also good; there are people who want to be there for you.
Try a rubber band and pull it when you get the urge. You can also try music or some hobby that calms you. Look for any way to get you calm, whether its writing about how you feel, playing sports, anything.
Find something that you enjoy that has helped you stay calm in the past (i.e. talking to someone, drawing, exercising, etc.) and when you feel your emotions begin to rise, turn to that thing. This can hopefully give you the opportunity to evaluate your emotions and what is causing them to rise, and will allow you to find alternatives to self-harming that will have a more positive affect on you and your life.
Try finding other ways to cope. Painting on yourself with red nail polish then snapping a rubber band on your arm tends to help me
I used to self-harm and my psychologist told me to try to draw something with a marker on the part I wanted to self-harm. It helped me a lot and I think this could help you too.
Seek guidance from one of the many therapists 7cups offer. Learning alternative methods on how to cope with emotional pressure will help you get through this
Find something to distract yourself. When I had to face those emotions, I would draw designs in places where I would otherwise self harm with a marker. That way it was similar enough and allowed me time to calm down, but I stayed safe.
When you feel like you're going to lose it or grab a blade, etc. Go and take a nap or breathe and think about what made you feel that way. Personally, I tend to take a nap or lay in bed and relax even if my body feels like it's going to collapse.
Try to concentrate to something else, there are different methods to use for when your emotions fly out. Although I have no clue but Google is your best friend.
Hurt yourself in a relatively harmless way, like holding ice, or rubbing ice on the spot you would normally cut or burn. Chew up a hot pepper or rub liniment under your nose. Snap your wrist with a rubber band. Focus on something, like breathing or your heart beat. Notice the way your body feels and moves. Attentively eat a raisin, or any other snack. Weigh it in your hand, feel it, look at the little details of it, including the texture. Describe it to yourself. How does it feel? How does it smell? Is it sweet or tart? Choose any object in the room and examine it. Then write a detailed description of it, including size, weight, texture, shape, color, uses, feel, etc. Include all of your senses. Choose a random object and try to list 30 different uses for it.
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