Top 15 Self-harm Alternatives To Stop Hurting Yourself

The urge to self-injury can be all-consuming and devastatingly strong. The road to recovery is a long one but not impossible. If you are reading this, then you want to recover. You want to leave the history of cutting behind and move on, so here to help you are the top 15 self-harm alternatives you can do to subdue the urge to harm yourself. Have trust in yourself, you can and will recover.

Top 15 Self-harm Alternatives To Stop Hurting Yourself

1. Make A Playlist

Top 15 Self Harm Alternatives - Make a playlist

Make a playlist with loud songs and fast music or the type of music that helps you to think clearly, then every time the urge returns, put your headphones on and blast the music loud. Music can seriously help you take control of the urge. There are already many playlists you can go through or just make one yourself.

2. Draw On Your Arms

Draw on your arms
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There is one part of your body that you cut on the most, whether it be your thighs, arms, or legs, take a red marker and start drawing there when you get the urge to cut. Just the pressure of the marker nib and the red color can bring you into clarity and satisfy the urge without actually cutting. This helps tremendously and is a good first step on the recovering path.

3. Ice Cubes

 Ice cubes

Putting ice cubes in your mouth and shutting it tightly or clenching ice cubes between your thighs every time the urge strikes is a great way to ground yourself and control your impulse to injure yourself. The freezing feeling takes the focus of your mind and thus helps subdue the cutting urge.

4. Paint Your Nails

Paint your nails
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Take that nail paint and get to work! Busing yourself in some work that will take your concentration and which is also something you love will help you lessen the hold of the urge on your mind. It will help you relax and conquer the urge.

And for those of you, my friends, who don’t want to paint their nails, you can wash the dishes, play video games or even clean your room.

5. Hug Someone

Hug someone

Being close to the people that you love and who love you can be really helpful, even if you don’t want to tell anyone about your cutting you can still hug them. Hug someone you love tightly next time the urge threatens to take over and don’t let go until you feel like smiling. This will help you ground yourself and come to realize that you are loved and people will be there for you.

6. Exercise


Moving your body and putting your energy into something physically difficult can also help you. Take a run, or simply start jumping in your room when you crave cutting. It transfers your focus and also helps you release the anger you have bottled up inside of you.

7. Cry, Yell, And Scream

Cry and yell and scream

If you are in a place where you can scream and yell and cry, DO IT! Scream into your pillow, cry your eyes out, and yell because why not! It will help you clear your mind and relieve the frustration of your head. Plus the sleep you get after crying and screaming is a higher lever of paradise.

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8. Write What You Feel

Write what you feel

Write about what triggers your urge. How does it feel to have thoughts like that and what you feel after you cut can direct your mind into searching for those feelings in your memory. And to some extent you can make yourself believe that you are feeling all that while you are writing, so you can feel the euphoric feeling of cutting without actually cutting. It is also helpful in keeping track of your progress in words.

9. Call A Friend

Call a friend

Calling a friend and chatting about ordinary things or even indulging in gossip can help you ease out of the sudden urge and completely cutting it off for the time being. Remember it is okay to not tell the said friend about anything and just listen to them chatter away.

10. Wait 15 Minutes

Wait 15 minutes

Every time you want to harm yourself in any way, tell yourself to wait for 15 minutes before you do it. In the meantime, watch Tv or listen to music. After 15 minutes, you will see that the fleeting feeling has passed away and you no longer want to cause yourself pain. Every time this happens, you tell your mind to shut up and wait for 15 minutes.

11. Friendly Games

Friendly games

Challenge your siblings or friends to a wrestling match, a friendly one you don’t want to end up with a black eye. Fight and laugh and have fun with the match and you will find yourself no longer wanting the injury. If you don’t have anyone who will accept your challenge (because you are a pro wrestler, let us be real, and everyone fears you), throw your pillow at walls, and punch into them. This may sound ridiculous but it helps trust me.

12. Dance


Dancing can help lighten your mood and relieve the stress you are holding up there in your head. Now, remember, your mind will hate the idea of dancing when it is overpowered by the urge but you stand up and you put the music on and you spin and you tell it who is actually in charge. Dancing will help release endorphins that are said to make a person happy.

13. Talk To Someone With The Same Problems

Talk to someone with the same problems

If you know someone who has had the same problem, it can also help you very much. If you don’t know anyone, then there are dozens of people on the online groups with the same problems as you and who will help you in any way they can. You can talk to them and this will help you.

14. Stop Wanting To Control Everything

Stop wanting to control everything

One big step towards recovery is that you have to understand that there are many things that you have no power over. You cannot control them; so sooner or later, you have to let go of the control for better. You can not control everything, no one can, you have to understand it. You have to stop punishing yourself for things that are totally out of your control. This is a big step and you will get there eventually, but you have to start right?

15. Meditate


Meditating in the morning can help you set a powerful mindset and thus help you not let the urge take control. It will help and strengthen your mind.

Make a little promise to take care of yourself each morning and take one day at a time. You are strong and you can conquer it, you are so much more than your self-harm.

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