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How can a person who self-injures stop this self-harm behavior? Here are some good self-injury coping skills.
Most people who self-harm want to stop hurting themselves and they can do this by trying to develop new ways of coping and communicating. However, some people feel a need not only to change their behavior but also to understand why they have resorted to harming themselves.
There are a number of techniques that can reduce the risk of serious injury or minimize the harm caused by self-inflicted injury. This list is not exhaustive - different people find different things useful in various situations. So if one doesn't work, try another.
stop and try to work out what would have to change to make you no longer feel like hurting yourself
count down from ten (nine, eight, seven)
point out five things, one for each sense, in your surroundings to bring your attention on to the present
breathe slowly - in through the nose and out through the mouth.
If you still feel like cutting, try:
marking yourself with a red water-soluble felt-tip pen instead of cutting
a punch bag to vent the anger and frustration
plunging your hands into a bowl of ice cubes (not for too long, though)
rubbing ice where you'd otherwise cut yourself
There are several other things you can do to help yourself better cope with self-injury:
Acknowledge that this IS a problem, that you are hurting on the inside, and that you need professional assistance to stop injuring yourself.
Realize that this is not about being bad or stupid – this is about recognizing that a behavior that somehow was helping you handle your feelings has become as big a problem as the one it was trying to solve in the first place.
Find one person you trust – maybe a friend, teacher, minister, counselor, or relative – and say that you need to talk about something serious that is bothering you.
Get help in identifying what "triggers” your self-harming behaviors and ask for help in developing ways to either avoid or address those triggers.
Recognize that self-injury is an attempt to self-sooth, and that you need to develop other, better ways to calm and sooth yourself.
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