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    Thread: Alternatives to Self Harming

    1. #1
      Senior Member Lozzi_1004's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 2008
      Yorkshire, UK

      Lightbulb Alternatives to Self Harming

      My boyfriend has been researching self harming on the internet and came across a site which has loads of alternative to self harming and the reasons behind why you would. I thought they had some pretty good ideas! I've tried a couple off of here needless to say not all of them will work for everyone as everyone is different.

      Give it a look over and see what you think

      Harming yourself is not the only way to cope with your feelings. Here are some of the ideas other young people have come up with to find different ways of coping. Some may work for you! A lot depends on thinking about why you are self harming. People often harm themselves because they can find no other way to relieve a feeling of being overwhelmed by intense emotions.
      These emotions commonly fall into five groups:
      Anger and frustration : Feeling so wound up and annoyed that you want to scream and shout. (in this case animals would claw at themselves).
      Low self esteem (punishment): Feeling so undervalued and low that you want to harm and feel you may even deserve it.
      Dissociation : Feeling so overwhelmed by everything going on around, you want to escape or distract yourself by making a louder metaphorical noise.
      Control and focus : Feeling that so much is out of your control that the only thing that you can control is the harm you inflict on yourself.
      Self nurture : Feeling unreal and needing to harm to know you exist, or to help yourself heal.
      Here are some of the alternatives young people have suggested, put in the same five groups as above.

      Anger/ frustration
      Trying screaming/ crying/ hugging someone.
      Try having a cold shower.
      Try biting on something like a lemon to give you a sharp sensation.
      Try exercising, going for a walk/ run.
      Try hitting something not alive, for example a pillow or punch bag. Perhaps talking to the object you are hitting, explaining what's wrong.
      Try making a soft cloth doll, rip/cut it up to represent how you feel instead of doing it to yourself.
      Try listening to loud/ angry music, dance/ sing along.
      Try dropping ice into a bath or throwing it against a wall so it shatters, or hit a tree with a stick. You could also slash up a plastic bottle, flatten cans for recycling.
      Try making clay models to smash.
      Try squeezing silly putty then stretching it until it snaps.
      Try talking to someone.

      Low self esteem
      Try pampering yourself - whatever makes you feel taken care of/comforted. For example having a bath, listening to soothing music, burning incense, making a tray of 'treats' then watching t.v. or reading, getting a haircut or buying a happy meal.
      Try phoning or visiting a friend, talk, hug or do something together.
      Try crying.
      Try soothing body lotion on the areas you want to harm.
      Try being creative, making play dough models or a collage, writing or painting.
      Try thinking of not harming as punishment if you feel you need to be punished.
      Try listing the good things about yourself.

      Try squeezing ice or putting a hand in a mixture of water, salt and ice for a few seconds.
      Try putting a rubber band around a wrist then pinging it when you need to.
      Try taking a cold/hot shower.
      Try biting into something like a lemon or a hot pepper.
      Try doing something creative like making a collage, write poetry, bake or paint.
      Try to focus on breathing.
      Try to play taxing games like tetris, minesweeper or snake.
      Try choosing an object in the room and describing it as you would to a blind person - its size, weight, colour etc.
      Try scribbling on paper.
      Try being around people, perhaps playing games with a younger sibling, hugging someone or helping someone else.
      Try opening the dictionary in random places and learning new words, also try thinking in another language as you may have to simplify your thoughts.
      Try creating a mental 'safe place'.

      Control and focus
      Try squeezing ice.
      Try putting a rubber band around a wrist then pinging it when you need to.
      Try taking a cold/hot shower.
      Try biting into something like a lemon.
      Try to focus energy into something positive like exercise, sport or noticing how you breathe.
      Try ripping or crumpling paper, could collage the ripped pieces or scribble on them.
      Try doing something creative like making play dough models.
      Try screaming, breaking sticks, punching pillows.
      Try getting out of the house, going to talk to a friend or getting a haircut.
      Try solving a puzzle, playing solitare, tetris, minesweeper or snake.
      Try setting a target time, for example saying you can harm in 15 minutes, then if you can last, going another 15 minutes.
      Try cleaning.
      Try thinking in another language.
      Try learning something new.

      Self nurture
      Try taking a hot shower.
      Try exercising or going for a walk.
      Try drawing on yourself with red pen or paint or dropping red food colouring on the areas you would normally harm.
      Try using henna tattoo paste to draw on yourself.
      Try creating a mental 'safe place'.""

    2. #2


      I think there's a lot of valuable ideas here, lots of which people will have heard of but there's new ones to me. Though biting a lemon seems just like self harm to me!

    3. #3
      Founding Member intelgal's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 2008


      I ve had the Lemon suggested to me... I was also given the idea of biting into a chilli! OUCH lol

    4. #4
      Senior Member Lozzi_1004's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 2008
      Yorkshire, UK


      I suppose the lemon (and chilli, I've had that suggested to me too) are still forms of SH but I think they're trying to suggest ways to stop the self harming.
      The thinking in a different language is helping me a little at the minute, I'm learning Spanish and I've really got to simplify things and writing my short stories.
      Did get a little too stressed last night and I self harmed.
      Last edited by Helena1; 13-03-15 at 14:28. Reason: self harm specifics removed

    5. #5
      Senior Member
      Join Date
      Mar 2010


      I apologize if this has already been posted, but I found this on another site;

      What can I do instead of harming when I have urges?

      When you have urges, try and do something that will not only distract you, but also ease the urges through a physical or emotional outlet.

      Depending on why you want to self harm, you may find these ideas useful.

      Physical Release/Sensation:

      • Running / Jogging / Walking
      • Playing a sport
      • Dancing
      • Cool shower
      • Scribbling with a pen
      • Punching a pillow
      • Running hand under cool water
      • Holding ice
      • Jumping up & down
      • Singing loudly to music

      Emotional Expression:
      • Writing about how you're feeling
      • -Journal
      • -Ranting
      • -Chat/MSN
      • -Threads
      • Listening/singing to music
      • Talking to someone
      • Calling a helpline
      • Creating something through art/poetry


      Looking to keep yourself distracted?
      There's a huge list of things here that you can do, give them a shot!

      Or pick a number between 1-200 & have a surprise!

      = Immediate Distraction

      5.write? to pets? with pets? with pets?
      9.poke pets? a pet? to plants?
      12. dance with plants? other people and make up life stories for them?
      14.sing into your hairbrush?
      15.experiment with makeup (even the guys)? a fashion show for yourself or someone else?
      17.stay around other ppl? the net?
      19.look for stupid pics on google?
      20.go onto
      21.make a cd?
      22.listen to music?
      23.make a video?
      25.sit infront of the mirror and pull faces?
      26.change hair style/colour?
      27.draw over pretty people in magazines?
      28.make a collage of photos?
      29.make a collage that represents you (all positive pics plz)?
      30.make someone a present?
      32.write a letter to someone?
      32.reorganise ur cds or videos?
      33.make a happy box (put all the things that make you smile into it)?
      34.change your room?
      35.clean your room?
      36.clean the house?
      37.go to the gym? the dictionary? the bible?
      43.learn another language? to a friend? someone?
      46.prank call somone? the washing up? around naked?
      49.put all the clothes in your wardrobe on and try to walk?
      50.jump up and down and see how long you can go for?
      51.count upto a million?
      52.try out new/different signatures?
      53.try writing with your toes? games on the computer? games on PS2, X BOX, PS etc? cards with someone?
      57.learn new card tricks?
      58.Play solitare?
      59.take a bath?
      60.take a shower?
      61.recreate a scene from a book?
      62.pretend to be someone stupid on eastenders?
      63.write your own dictionary?
      64.write a book? a book?
      66.see how much gum you can chew at once?
      67.make your own board game?
      68.say the alphabet backwards three times in a row without mistakes!?
      69.Laugh at the number "69" haha! a wordsearch?
      71.make ur own wordsearch?
      72.make a little flip book of stick men?
      73.go out with friends?
      74.go out with family?
      75.make a cake?
      76.melt kitkats (ummm but be careful)? an instrument?
      78.learn how to play an instrument?
      79.Paper aeroplanes?
      80.Redecorate some of ur clothes (ask for permission first!)
      81.Hug one of ur teddy bears as tightly as poss. until the urges go away? the film you hate the most twice?
      83.Watch the complete trilogy of Lord Of The Rings? or read the books?
      84.Use a red felt tip pen instead?
      85.Go shopping?
      86.Prepare for the marathon?
      87.Go see a show/opera?
      88.Throw a party?
      89.If you had to organise a party for 100 celebrities what would it be like?
      90.Which 100 celebs would you invite?
      91.Count how many leaves there are on a tree? (myfav lol)
      92.Play footy?
      93.Make up your own songs?
      94.Pretend to perform them for ur sweetie?
      96.Read a thesaurus?
      97.Try and find the longest word in the dictionary?
      98.Paint your toes different colours?
      99.Try and keep smiling for 10 minutes? (it's so hard)
      100.Play dares with your friends?

      Continued on in the next post...
      Got a problem with me? Solve it.
      Think I'm trippin'? Tie my shoes.
      Can't stand me? Sit the fuck down.
      Think I'm jealous of you? Get a fucking grip.
      Think I'm a bitch? Maybe I am.
      Love me? Good.
      Hate me? Even better.
      Don't like my style? I don't like yours.
      Can't say it to my face? Don't say fuck all.

      Judge me, & I'll prove you wrong.
      Call me a bitch, & I'll show you one.
      Fuck me over, & I'll do it to you twice as bad.
      Call me crazy, but you really have no idea.
      Thanks Bogomil gave thanks for this post.
      Likes waitingforsummer, Bogomil liked this post.

    6. #6
      Senior Member
      Join Date
      Mar 2010


      101.Pretend it's april fools today!?
      102.Write a love letter telling the one you care about most how much they mean to you?
      104.Make your own wacky outfit?
      105.Go out with ur mates n dare each other to try on whatever you pick out for em?
      106.Try and make pictures or faces out of clouds?
      107.Try join up all the stars with your finger?
      108.Learn what all the stars mean?
      109.Make your own quiz on here?
      110.Look at photos?
      111.See how much u can hole punch a piece of A4 paper?
      112.Try and see how many words u can type in 5 minutes?
      113.See if u can make a short story with the emoticons on msn?
      114.On RYL post to every thread in one section, then do another?
      115.Watch everything on one channel on the tele without fallin asleep or gettin up?
      116.How long can u go without blinking?
      117.Give your guinea pig/hamster/pet rat or mouse a HAIR CUT? (plz be careful....for ur pets sake!)
      118.Scan your bum?
      119.Scan your bum then print loads of copies and give them to all ur mates or post em thru ppls doors?
      120.Write in your diary/journal?
      121.Create one online?

      122.See how many channels u can go through on the Tele without ur thumb gettin tired?
      123.Miss call everyone u have saved in ur mobile? see how many respond
      124.Research 'Okapi' on how many words you can write in a minute, about anything!?
      126.Peel all the white bits off an orange?
      127.How much gum can u chew?
      128.Sit on the toilet?
      129.See how many times you can spin around without being sick?
      130.Teach your pet a new trick? long can u keep ur hands together? bout counting how many distractions there are on this page then tellin me how many? lol long can you keep ur eyes closed and not go to sleep?!
      134.PM everyone who has helped u sayin thank u?
      135.Have a nice bath, listen to some relaxing music?
      136. E mail me...or a friend?
      137.Kiss everyone around ya?
      138.put ur phone on charge?
      139.Buy a phone?!
      140.Practise dancing? some cheerleading?
      142.practise cheerleading? pompoms? with pompoms?
      145.make ur own pompoms?
      147.Plan your dream wedding?
      148.Plan your dream holiday?
      149.Go to a concert?
      150.Take photos of anything n see if they coudl mean anything to u?
      151.Joy rid a bus?
      152.Fall asleep on a bus and see where u end up?
      153.Play bop it? thats well cool!
      154.Organise a sleep over?
      155.Play spin-the-bottle?
      156.Learn to play chess?
      157.Play chess?
      158.Play all the board games you have in the house?
      159.Buy the newest type of monolpoly? I believe it's Lord Of The Rings
      160.Listen to every CD you own?
      161.See how long you can go without sayin anything?
      162.What is the wierdest sandwich you can make? AND eat it!
      163.Name all the seven dwarfs?
      164.Watch every disney film you have?
      165.Make up a friendship test, see how well your mates know you?
      166.Dress up as the opposite sex? (then take a pic n post it here lol)
      167.Do a puzzle?
      168.Make your own puzzle?
      169.Clean the hover? well the hover normally cleans everything else n 170.doesn't get cleaned itself!
      171.Learn to ski?
      172.Read your old letters?
      173.Design newflip flops?
      174.Organise your wadrobe by colour?
      175.Go to your nearest farm?
      176.See how far you can walk?
      177.How many times can you run up and down the stairs?
      178.Do your own word association page on paper?
      179.Search for stupid stuff on e bay?
      180.Blow up big lemonade bottles?
      181.How many insects can u count in your garden?
      182.How long can you hold a spider for?
      183.See how long you can keep jus one eye open for?
      184.Eat cheerys from a jar with a toothpick! Try finish them all!
      185.Get a mate, one of u dress up as an angel and the other a devil then go round shops telling ppl to buy n not buy certain clothes!
      186.See how many songs u can download in 30 minutes?
      187.Record urself on a tape n make copies and give them to friends...tell them to listen while they sleep. u can stay stuff like "I'm ur bestest friend in the whole world i deserve lots n lots of presents!"
      188.See how many words you can write in a minute?
      189.See how many of those words you could write in a minute?
      190.make pancakes? pancakes?
      192.pretend you're a ghost who would you haunt first?
      193.make three wishes?
      194.make more wishes?
      195.cook all types of egg , try them all and see which one you prefer? i bet you tried them all?
      196.Write a list of cool places to go on different peices of paper, screw them up and pick one?
      197.Paint your fingernails different colours?
      198.Send people messages on the net in white font (with white background)?
      199.Change your myspace layout!
      200. See if I made any number errors :P

      Add your own distractions! And..

      Keep safe...
      Got a problem with me? Solve it.
      Think I'm trippin'? Tie my shoes.
      Can't stand me? Sit the fuck down.
      Think I'm jealous of you? Get a fucking grip.
      Think I'm a bitch? Maybe I am.
      Love me? Good.
      Hate me? Even better.
      Don't like my style? I don't like yours.
      Can't say it to my face? Don't say fuck all.

      Judge me, & I'll prove you wrong.
      Call me a bitch, & I'll show you one.
      Fuck me over, & I'll do it to you twice as bad.
      Call me crazy, but you really have no idea.

    7. #7
      Active Member OoopsADaisy's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 2011


      There seems to be a lot of great ideas here. I will definetly try some of them the next time I feel the urge. I also find cross-stitch helps me battle the self-harm urge, as it helps keep my hands pre-occupied, as one of the signs that I'm going to self-harm, is clenching my hands, and feeling the need to do something with my hands.

    8. #8
      Senior Member Rowan's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 2011
      My Mood


      Fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes and stick my face in. It can hurt a bit but it is effective, more effective than holding an ice cube IMO.

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Nov 2011
      My Mood


      I often go for the chilli peppers, helps me feel something on the really bad days when I feel totally empty and numb, plus its supposed to be good for you.

    10. #10
      Active Member
      Join Date
      Aug 2012


      Hi, I'm new, so hello to all.

      This is the first thread I have read and want to thank you all for posting. No doubt I will be on here for hours reading.

      I will be printing out these suggestions which will be good to try.

      I had a 'breakdown' Jubille weekend. Self harmed (not badly), got doctor out. Since then I have had urges but only SH twice more since then.

      It is hard to explain, and I read here how to explain it to your partner. The only way I can explain how i felt is that I get an overwhelming emotional bubble inside of me, and I need to burst it to feel ok again. Although I do feel worse for a while after, it was the only release I got.

      I find wrapping myself in a blanket really tightly helps, and cuddling a soft teddy or cushion.
      my blanket in fleecey and a have really really soft teddies. Sometimes I just need to hold something soft.

      Other things I find helpfull is playing on my android phone. There are so many free games to download.

      And using a punch bag. My sister and her bloke put it up for me in our shed, and find that really helps.
      I try and workout everyday even if I feel ok, it is a good release to get any kind of exsercise.

      Gardening, weeding is another good thing, I hate gardening but started to really enjoy it.

      Thanks again for being here. And no doubt I will be posting again.

      Vic x

      Sorry, forgot to put music, relaxation cds and classical are good especially at night when I want to sleep.
      Last edited by vicky2012; 18-08-12 at 23:08.

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