Self-Help Advice


If you feel like you want to self-harm there are some tried and tested ways of dispelling the urge:

1) Distraction

Distracting yourself from the feelings and/or triggers can help quell the powerful urge to self-harm. Distraction techniques may include:

  • getting out of your immediate surroundings
  • doing a physically demanding activity, such as aerobics, boxing or running
  • doing a mentally demanding activity such as puzzles, writing or reading
  • seeing a friend or family member.

2) Expression

Expressing your feelings in an alternative way can help channel these powerful emotions more constructively. Some ideas you might like to try:

  • art
  • poetry
  • keeping a diary (this also helps track triggers and episodes)
  • going to a quiet place and screaming very loudly
  • punching pillows or a punch-bag
  • doing a sport such as kick-boxing which deals with releasing emotion.

3) Alternatives

If you feel the urge to self-harm, a trick which has worked for some is to take an ice cube in your hand and squeeze it very hard. The cold sensation can produce similar feelings to that of self-harm without being damaging or dangerous. 

Again releasing anger by punching pillows or a punch-bag can help these feelings dissipate. These are short-term solutions and the underlying emotions should still be addressed.

Other tips to deal with self-harming behaviour

  • Build self-esteem – via positive affirmations, writing down things you like about yourself (or what others say are your positives), taking up a meaningful hobby or volunteering, educate yourself on self-harm and learn this is not your fault and can be beaten.
  • Talk – either to friends and family or support groups/forums
  • Call a helpline and keep the number handy – SANELine 0845 767 8000
  • Breathe and relax – learn techniques to help yourself keep calm
  • Keep your life as trigger free as possible
  • Join a group or forum with other people who can help and share advice

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The Have I Got A Problem website is a free online resource to help people better understand any issues or concerns they may have about mental health or addiction. The website includes resources specifically focused to; general Mental Health, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities, Self-harm Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Anger Management, Eating Disorders, Coping, general Addiction, Alcohol, Smoking, Gambling, Drugs, Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana (Cannabis) Ecstasy, PCP, Mephedrone, Ketamine & Crystal Meth.

The site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices. was created and is run by 'Advising Communities’, which is a UK registered charity (Charity No. 1061055)


"The tension from the continual family arguments was unbearable. I felt I was going to explode until I cut myself and experienced feelings of relief."


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