What are some alternatives to self-harm?
Last Updated: 08/31/2020 at 4:44pm
Amelia Winsby, PsyD
I often work with clients who experience a wide range of emotions and difficulties. I am non-judgmental and enjoy working with individuals from all walks of life.
Top Rated Answers
Writing positive words on your skin, drinking warm flavorful liquids like tea or coffees, drinking cool flavorful liquids, popping balloons, playing with clay or playdough, listening to good music, dancing around your house, buying plates on ebay/at garage sales and breaking them, silly string fights, popping bubble wrap, tearing up paper, writing
If you're feeling angry, do something very physical and violent that's not directed at a living thing. Ex, hit a punching bag, sketch a photo of yourself and mark what you wanna do then rip it, break sticks, throw ice at a brick, etc. If you're feeling sad, or depressed, do something slow and soothing. Ex, taking a hot bath If you're feeling numb, or just want to feel a sensation from self harm, do something that creates a physical sensation that doesn't harm you! Ex, bite into a hot pepper, slap your wrist with a rubber band, etc. I'd also recommend taking a look at the self help guide on self harm that 7 cups provides, it might help! https://www.7cups.com/self-harm/
Doing something else with your hands, like playing with silly putty or a tangle...there are lots of great options. Exercise will give you that adrenaline rush you are looking for that is released with pain. Other ways to get that adrenaline rush are horror movies, amusement parks, etc.
The best way to avoid self-harm is to replace it with a healthy habit. These can include arts and crafts, physical activity, or spending time with friends.
You could draw on your arms, legs, stomach or any other place that you would self harm. Maybe draw an animal, a good one can be a butterfly. Then when you think about self harming, you could look at that picture, if you harm yourself, you are harming the thing portrayed in the image, if you purposely wash off the image you are also harming it. If the image washes off naturally for example in showers or baths, you have succeeded. Continue using this method until you no longer have the desire to harm yourself.
You can draw on yourself with a red pen to simulate blood, snap rubber bands, rub an ice cube where you want to harm, rip up paper, punch a punching bag, watch a really good movie, talk to someone you love, eat an ice cream sundae, the possibilities are endless.
listening to music will help you trough a lot of things you just have to find the right music for your self
There are lots of alternatives that you can try. The first step is to figure out what part of self harm helps you, then you can find alternatives for that. For example, if seeing blood helps you, you can try warming up some red food colouring and using that on your skin. If it is the pain then you can replace that with sensation, such as biting into a lemon or holding an ice cube. If it is a distraction then there a lots of things you can try instead, such as expressing your feelings creatively. The best known alternative is snapping a rubber band, I'd say to use this as a last resort only to ween yourself away from breaking skin, because you are still using pain to deal with your problems and it can leave bruises.
Drawing on your skin, screaming in a pillow, crying, singing, writing, talking ... Keep your mind busy. Try, you'll be surprised.
I used to self-harm to feel like I was in control of my life and as a way to express all the emotions I was feeling. The best alternative is to go to a therapist in order to express everything you are feeling in a different way. I also found that putting my energy into my hobbies and exercising made me feel better.
When I engaged in self-harm, it was an effort to change the way I felt. And of course there are much healthier ways to do this! I could do some challenging exercises, escape into the world of a great book or show, talk to another person, or get out of my own head by helping someone else.
Journaling, Exercise, reading, any activities that make you feel happy about yourself. Everyone is different. Find as many alternatives as you can.
Get an ice cube and run it over the place you're wanting to cut. It will give you the feeling of coolness and pain without really hurting you. You can also get a soft tip pen and draw on the place you want to cut. Scribble on it until the feeling subsides.
Snapping a rubber band around your list. Drawing a butterfly and if you self harm before the butterfly is washed away it dies.
A good place to start is journalism, writing down how you feel and what happened. If you feel like you cant control the urge, grab a marker to replace the object of harm. A hard workout can help, you still might feel pain, but this time it will be for the best.
Holding an ice cube on your skin, wearing an elastic band around your wrist and ping it at your wrist, taking either a hot shower or a cold bath, chewing on a piece of chilli/ginger root. That's all I could think of for now but I hope it's of some help!
Go on a walk, Read a book, Rearange your room. going on walks is peaceful reading is calming thanks.
i follow a lot of depressed accounts on social media because sometimes, looking at the pictures or posts i can somehow relate and it calms me down and most of the accounts are in recovery so they post sad pictures but then they say how much better they feel not cutting and are really supportive.
Taking a walk, drawing, painting, poetry, finding the root of the feelings that make you want to self harm, playing video games
Some alternatives are holding a bag of crushed ice because it is actually quite uncomfortable like most self-harming methods. You can also meditate, do yoga, do things that make you happy, but tell someone
tearing paper or scribbling it allows you to vent maybe painting as well or writing in a journal yeah
The best thing to do is keep yourself occupied and lean on friends and family. You can draw or exercise? I suggest going in a Skype call with your friends so you don't feel tempted or alone.
you can try a number of different things if you self harm because the pain makes you feel better then you can hold ice in your hand till it goes numb, if seeing the blood helps you then try scribbling where you would usually harm in red marker. You could also try writing down your thoughts and feelings
Keeping a happy box with a journal, crayons, crafts, or snuggling a pet, and talking with a friend .
If you're in a moment when the urges feel unbearable, you can squeeze ice in your hand really hard, or do some sort of strenuous exercise i.e. running. These let out the energy physically. When the urge isn't as intense, try doing something positive, talking to a friend, write out exactly how you're feeling and the reasons why - putting it directly into words can make it feel more manageable.
Some alternatives I found to be helpful are: listening to music that makes you feel good (so nothing that triggers bad memories in you), working out, going for a walk, taking a hot shower, drawing (if you like doing that, of course) and writing (poems, stories, whatever you like.) Whatever you do, keep in mind that it should not be something harmful to you and that it should be distracting and give you a positive feeling.
Oh my gosh there's a never-ending list! I won't tell what exactly to do but I will tell you to do something you love. Run, draw, listen to music, go see a movie, play your favorite video game, dance, ect. Whatever makes you happy, that's what you need to do. By doing this, you will essentially be keeping your mind off whatever it is that is making you want to cut.
Some common alternatives are exercising, art, writing, or yoga/relaxing techniques. The best solution I have found is holding an icecube in your hand whenever you feel the need to self-harm. By the time the ice melts, the urge probably has went away.
I like to draw. Drawing expresses your feelings and does not have to be perfect. Sometimes I'll do something as simple as drawing an arm with red marks across it. I also like to write because I find it easier to express my feelings through written word than saying them out loud. I like to listen to music, because it feels like there is someone out there feeling the same way I do. And sometimes I like to watch a cathartic movie.
If you can, try messing with inanimate objects like punching bags, pillows, maybe evan walls. Do something that still makes you feel in control of the situation.
Related Questions: What are some alternatives to self-harm?
why does cutting make me feel better but then bad afterwards?I harm myself on purpose. I never do it because I need to cope, I do it because I like the pain and like to have something on my body. I know I should stop, but I don't want to. Why is that?Does cutting for only a few months and stopping make me any less of a self-harmer?How do I explain scars when a young child asks about them?What do I say to people that ask about my scars without making them uncomfortable?How to deal with self-harm alone?Why do some wounds turn purple?Is scratching yourself with a paper clip on purpose considered self harm when you don’t bleed?Whenever I bandage myself with rolled gauze I can never get it tight enough, so it always ends up slipping off. I want to be able to bandage myself properly. Any tips?If I don't have a bandage big enough to cover a cut what else can I use?