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Instead of harming myself I now........(list three of four dot points)

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi lovely people

I just wanted to start this thread as "self harm" seems to be an increasing topic that I have noticed lately.

Firstly there is some wonderful information at this link:


Some of the discussion I have been involved in I am hearing that the "techniques" that are suggested to people to do or use instead of hurting themselves is "silly", "don't work", "well if it was that easy I wouldn't be here". So I want to reach out to anyone and everyone to perhaps put down three or four or as many as you feel comfortable to, tips that DO WORK for you.

I have suggested smashing plates, in a controlled space of course and not your mum's best plates either! Do you think this would work?

I think knowledge is power and the more we share knowledge we can use it to help others and to make a difference, a real difference in someone else's healing.

I also understand this is a sensitive topic but if you feel comfortable to share what works for you or what you need in that time that stops you from hurting yourself that would be so helpful.

Please be mindful this is a sensitive topic so just dot point the things you do instead of hurting yourself.

Huge hugs to you all.

Sarah xxx

89 Replies 89

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Jay24, I want to extend a HUGE warm welcome to the forums and we're delighted that you could join us.

Thankyou for sharing.
I join Sarah in her appreciation of how difficult things can be for a person going through things and having the courage and perseverance to persist with the steps of joining the forums and I'm so glad you did.

I'm also proud of you!

I look forward to getting to know you, welcome again.


Community Member


I have just discovered this thread. It is really helpful. I have SH for awhile and I really want to stop or reduce it at least. One thing I have found that helps for me is hitting a pillow and also squeezing an ice cube in my hand. I also smash kinetic sand which is therapeutic.

Although I haven't managed to use these all the time I do try and turn to them first at least.

Hi Tryingtomoveon,

Thanks so much for joining the conversation and sharing your own experiences. We are glad to hear that some techniques have been useful for you in avoiding SH when you feel things are coming on. You mentioned in your post that you are still having difficulties with it so we will be reaching out to you privately just to check on your wellbeing.
In the meantime, have you been able to access any services that help when things get tough? Have you been able to speak to a GP about your situation?
If you feel like the urges are increasing, we recommend reaching out to our friends at Lifeline on 13 11 14 to help talk things through or if it’s an emergency to call 000.

Hi Tryingtomoveon

I wanted to thank you for sharing in our conversation and also sharing some very personal accounts of what works for you. I am so pleased to hear that hitting the pillow and the ice cubes do work for you. I am grateful that you have found some things that you can rely on to take you through this time and perhaps even prevent harming yourself.

It is great that you have come to chat and I hope to chat to you some more.

Thank you for sharing and being apart of some conversations that could help another in this area.

Thank you Tryingtomoveon


Sarah xx

Hi tryingtomoveon,

I have just found these forums too. Hope that you are finding strategies to curb your SH. I have tried using ice cubes and drawing on my skin. I've read a fair few comments here and it might have been mentioned already but I think what really worked for me was having massages. The problem I used to face was to do with feeling my body and the massages made my body feel so good. I really noticed I had stopped wanting to self harm very quickly after the first few massages. I also like to play music that made me feel good when I was younger and dance to that. Really go to town with it. But obviously the best advice is to reach out to someone. I like probably everyone felt ashamed and scared to talk about it for years, but i found taking a deep breath and talking to my doctor felt so good afterward. That I had finally opened up and gotten all that weight off my chest and the feeling is definitely better than the shame and self hatred that came with harming.

I really hope that you can find the way through this. I haven't SH'd for quite some time and although I still have my mental health challenges I am so much better off for it.

Good luck with everything. Reach out to these forums they really do help.

Hello Ploughman

Thank you for sharing your story here with us and also some things that have made a difference to you wanting to hurt yourself. It is such a personal topic but something that we should talk about openly so that we can make it easier to talk about and also to be able to understand and to be able to help.

Dancing sounds like the best medicine for so many bad feelings and I know it has helped me in the past too, while I have not ever been in a position where I wanted to harm myself I have felt pretty bad at times. I also agree in that a massage really talks to the soul as well as making your body feel great, a really awesome tip there..thank you.

Hope to see you around the forum some more and thank you for sharing and being so supportive.


Sarah xx

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello all,

Thank you so much for sharing your coping strategies. It's so positive to hear the self-soothing strategies you are all taking. For those who are struggling, I am sending you a virtual hug and encourage you to use these forums as a tool to test out ideas or just to put words to paper (screen). You also have the lovely Beyond Blue team available on 1300 22 4636 if you need to speak to anyone.

For me, I have found the following helps redirect my thoughts:

  • Going for a drive on a freeway and singing at the top of my lungs (my current song of choice is Lana Del Rey's "White Dress" - great song). The freeway is good because you're not pulling up at lights or getting stuck in traffic with people watching you have your own personal concert.
  • Snuggling with my dog (or a friend's dog).
  • Knitting - I had my mum teach me how to knit and because I have to concentrate on it, it turns my brain off and helps relax me (I know a few people who use this as tool for stress and/or insomnia too).
  • Don't hate me for saying this.... but writing down my thoughts. My lovely, long-suffering psychologist has been encouraging me to journal for years. I refused to, until I had a major panic attack one night then woke up first thing one morning and just word vomited into my laptop. It was just so refreshing getting everything out of my brain - just that weight of not carrying all those thoughts just in my head. I found it so beneficial that I started a blog (to which my psychologist now laughs at and says "I told you so".
  • A bath with a bath bomb - I can sit in a bath for hours and read or just listen to music. Or just lay there. My longest is three hours (you have to keep letting out the cold water and topping up the hot water). I just find the smell of the bath bomb oils and the hot water enveloping my body just feels like a big, soothing hug.
  • A puzzle - the satisfaction of getting it done, but also similar to the knitting, the concentration turn my brain off. And you get that moment of pride when it's complete! I frame all my puzzles and hang them on a wall in our house. It's a little reminder to myself on how far I have come.
  • There is also a mindfulness tool that I picked up where you sit outside, close your eyes, and listen for 5 different sounds and try to smell five different scents. It's amazing how grounding and sensory it is. It kind of jolts you to being present in the moment.

Community Member

Hi all,

I've been dealing with self-harm and self-harm ideation for many many years and still deal with it sometimes. I think I always will. Maybe this will help someone...

Instead of hurting myself, I now,

-watch a familiar/comforting show or movie (lots of tv/movie bingeing...no need to feel too guilty about it these days, we are taking care of ourselves and allowing out bodies and minds to get the rest that they desperately need)

-take a warm shower. Relax the muscles, slow down and try to be mindful of what the water feels like

-lay in bed under a blanket and allow myself to fully decompress...give myself permission to cry, sleep, stare into space, whatever...as long as I'm not hurting myself I consider that a "win".

-Listen to music. Generally music that sounds angry or sad as a way to get the feelings out. Eventually I need to stop myself from listening because it can be easy to feel "stuck" in those feelings but ultimately I think it helps.

-Draw...sometimes on my body in pen, sometimes an intricate design on paper, sometimes random scribbles. Whatever feels most appropriate.

-Exercise...I've injured myself recently and am not the most athletic person anyways. But I found that basic home workouts (sit-ups, push-ups, etc.) and cardio (jogging, etc.) have been a surprisingly nice way to channel my s-h feelings. Especially while listening to some punk/metal/etc. music. All of the tension and angry/stressed/sad feelings can get channeled into that. It sounds a bit cliche and is something that I've doubted for a while...but it is possible for other things besides self-harm to bring relief.

Always open to hearing your thoughts/feedback/etc.

Take care, stay safe. You are not alone.

Community Member

Hi ,

I clean, I walk the dogs , I do anything till the self critic is too loud then I give in . Distraction till you can’t be distracted anymore !

Community Member

Hi guys

I found this thread interesting and I struggle to bring myself back to feeling ok from time to time. I might try some of the suggestions so I just thought I could mention what I’ve found.

*I did try the intense exercise a little while ago. But I actually was already developing an Ed at this time and so it was really unhelpful.

* I paint with acrylics, so I’ve tried the drawing on yourself where you wish to... The paint was easy to wash of and it did make me feel better.

take care