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What are some ideas for dealing with triggers that lead to self harm,such as stress which cannot seem to be avoided, in one's daily life?

15 Answers
Last Updated: 12/30/2019 at 8:42pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Susana Diaz, lpc

Licensed Professional Counselor

I believed that to be a successful therapist is to be able to empathize and connect with all clients. My work with clients is to help them identify resources to cope.

Top Rated Answers
September 7th, 2015 7:34pm
You can remove yourself from the situation. You go to a quiet place and just have time to escape those thoughts that are triggering to you. You can put on soft relaxing music to help ease your mind from the stress of the world around you.
September 1st, 2015 11:49pm
Honestly, the way I deal with stress is not the best way at all, but it's a temporary fix just to stop me from causing any harm. I find that it's easier to distract myself and wait for the feelings to dissolve, before I do anything about my stress. What I simply do is find something that can make me laugh - at least for a second. Laughter is the best medicine for sadness, after all... Some activities that I enjoy are watching YouTube videos, listening to upbeat music (or rock - whichever suits my mood), or playing a video game. These are things that get my mind off of my problems, and allows me to focus on the things I am seeing or hearing. It may seem hard to get your mind off of harming yourself, but never impossible. It just takes some time to get used to. After a while, you'll no longer have that urge to feel pain, because your brain doesn't recognize that feeling. What the distractions and the activities do is provide you with some fun and entertainment, and that is something everyone naturally needs in order to be "happy." Your brain will eventually prefer that happiness over physical pain. I know it's hard, truly, but it can be done. Some things in life have to be figured out on your own - coping strategies being one of them. Certain strategies only work for certain people, and that's just how it is. As soon as you find the one that works for you, I would like you to stick with that and work towards overcoming your problems. You can do this.
May 7th, 2015 10:56pm
That's a really difficult situation to be in, and I'm sorry this is something you're facing! The best thing to do is be prepared. Have ideas of what you can do to combat these triggers already planned out before you enter situations where you might encounter them. Having a playlist of music that helps you resist the urge to self harm on your phone might be a good idea, or downloading apps that work as a distraction for you. There are lots of different ways to combat the urge to self harm!
May 30th, 2015 3:32am
I find that making a plan for dealing with those types of triggers can really help. For example, I have to sit next to someone who gets on my nerves. To prepare, I can bring a stone that I can hold, I can make sure to have candy to bring my attention to one of my senses and I can have a pen to doodle on paper. These things allow me to put space between my trigger and myself which can help reduce self harm urges.
June 12th, 2015 12:50pm
I, personally, work to remove the negative thought associated with the trigger. If I face a trigger I try to think of something more positive and focus on my progress so far instead of allowing the negative emotions to consume me. Allowing the negative to consume you often leads to more negative thoughts as well as destructive behaviors.
June 17th, 2015 8:31pm
As a college student with a very demanding schedule,I often find myself being pulled so many ways I feel my numbness seeping back inside myself. On days like this, when triggers are everywhere, I take a day and cancel everything. I sit in my room and cry ( there's nothing wrong with crying a little), I eat cupcakes, take a shower, and I force myself to do something nice for myself. Like painting my toes or going out for a walk. Even reading a little bit of buddahs work helps me. Do something for yourself that makes you feel like you wouldn't want to harm yourself. Something good. If you like animals, go to an animal shelter. If you dislike people, don't put yourself in a crowded place. Get away from it all. And breathe.
February 2nd, 2016 9:11pm
Identify the cause. If treated with medicine and therapy that will get rid of the need to self-harm.
April 12th, 2015 7:07am
Start doing new things day by day. Switch immediately to an happy environment or place where you overcome and forget stress. Live others life for a while. You are not the only struggle r in this world.
October 9th, 2015 7:42am
I personally cut in a moment of spontaneity and disarray. So, when I feel the urge, I consciously say to myself, "I feel like cutting, but I am not going to." Then, I immediately stop what I am doing and, instead, do something positive and comforting. Mentioning how you feel to someone also provides a good sense of relief, because you don't feel so alone, and that person can hold you a bit responsible for not self-harming.
November 10th, 2015 10:25am
For me, it's my love and faith in myself. No matter what is the subject of my negative and painful feelings, I should understand that it isn't my fault, it isn't the thing I deserve to feel. I treat myself as well as I would treat anyone out there, again - no matter what actually caused it. I don't think that hiding and bottling up emotions will help - and it won't. Anyone's feelings matter. Crying, tearing things up, drawing, screaming - my feelings deserve to be expressed. And, if I can't persuade myself not to make harm for myself, I should be as loving and caring as I would be for anyone else. Understanding and being kind are the keys to everything.
February 23rd, 2016 6:35am
When a friend or loved one self-injures: If you have a friend or loved one who is self-injuring, you may be shocked and scared. Take all talk of self-injury seriously. Although you might feel that you'd be betraying a confidence, self-injury is too big a problem to ignore or to deal with alone. Here are some ways to help: Your child: You can start by consulting your pediatrician or other health care professional who can provide an initial evaluation or a referral to a mental health specialist. Don't yell at your child or make threats or accusations, but do express concern. Teenage friend: Suggest that your friend talk to parents, a teacher, a school counselor or another trusted adult. Adult: Gently encourage the person to seek medical and mental health treatment.
April 5th, 2016 7:55pm
Drink a glass of fountain-fresh, chilled water. Feel every sip going down your throat and enjoy the feeling comparing it to the unwelcome pain of self harm.
April 18th, 2016 12:51pm
Breath slowly and think about why you feel this way think about what makes you feel this way as self harm is such a heavy thing to do
June 7th, 2016 7:20am
I've found that relaxation, doing things I enjoy such as puzzles, reading, coloring or music. helps when stressed. Even if only time for 10-15 minutes. Deep breathing and shoulder stretches helped as well. Oh 1 more thing - reminding myself it would pass and having a small piece of hard candy or a stick of gum for something of distraction o even comfort.
December 30th, 2019 8:42pm
First of all, you must realize that your body doesn't need this, you don't need this. When you get triggered you need to take a deep breath, inhale, exhale, your going to be fine. The next thing you can do is to come up with a better solution rather than self harm. For an example, try talking to someone, which will ease you. Yes, stress is apart of our daily lives and cannot be avoided. The best you can do is take a step at a time, and conquer. You need to have patience and faith in yourself, that your going to make it through these tough times, they will make you stronger: you will succeed.