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Alternatives to si

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Here are some ways in which you can try not to SI when you feel


-Deep breathing

-Relaxation techniques

-Call a friend, your therapist or a crisis line

-Try not be be alone (visit a friend, go shopping, etc.)

-Take a hot bath

-Listen to music (soothing perhaps- Papa Roach or the Manics might not

be a good idea!)

-Go for a walk (Seems to be especially good for some when it's


-Write in a journal

-Write poetry- it'll be dark, but it'll be raw-emotional, and that's

good- it's a less harmful way of releasing things.

-Wear an elastic around wrist and snap it when you have the urge to harm


-Some people find it helpful to draw red lines on themselves with

washable markers instead of cutting themselves

-Hold ice cubes in your hands - the cold causes pain in your hands, but

it is not dangerous or harmful (some people find it relieves the urge to

harm themselves for that moment)

-Punching a bed or a pillow (when nothing but a physical outlet for your

anger and frustration will work), or any kind of sport- even if it's

just pressups and situps in your own room- burns away the energy to


-Meditation (AKA self hypnotism if you want to call it that)

Type One- Just sit down comfortably, eyes closed and teake long,


breaths- concentrating on the breath itself as it goes in and out and

nothing else. After even eight or nine breaths, as long as you keep them

slow, you can feel more relaxed. The more the better!

Type Two- sit down comfortably, eyes closed and repeat to

yourself a

word which indicates something you want to have that you don't (emotions

wise) or a state you want to be in- like 'happiness. happiness,

happiness' or 'confidence, confidence, confidence'. The idea is that in

time, you 'fool yourself' that you HAVE these things, and in doing so

you DO have them because it's YOU that gives them to you in the first


-Scratch draw a picture on a thick piece of wood or use a screw driver

and stab at the piece of wood. (can be another physical way to release


emotions without harming yourself.)

-Avoid temptation (i.e. avoiding the area in CVS where the razor blades

are kept, etc.)

-Try to find your own creative ways as outlets for emotions- writing,

drawing, painting, etc.

-Learn to confront others/making your own feelings known instead of

keeping them inside, but pick your trustees carefully!

-Go outside and scream and yell

-Take up a sport (a form of exercise can help you release tension, etc.-

doesn't have to be at a club or gym if you don't wanna; sport's sport

wheverer and whenever you do it)

-Work with paint, clay, play-doo, etc. (the person who suggested this

mentioned that they would make a big sculpture and do whatever they

wanted to it. They said it was helpful to calm the urge to self-injure,

plus it

gave them some idea of what might be underlying the pain.

-Draw a picture of what or who is making you angry

-Write a letter to the person who's making you feel this way (if there

is one)- you don't ever have to send it; it may be best to burn it

afterwards, but just writing it down helps work stuff out.

-Instead of harming yourself, try massaging the area you want to harm

with massage oils or creams, reminding yourself that you are special and


deserve to treat yourself and your body with love and respect

-Go to church or your place of worship- not necissarily an 'established'

place of worship- the natural world, for example, is pretty spiritual-

parks and stuff.

-Wear a pipe cleaner or something that will fit on the places that you

injure. One person did this as a way to remind herself that she could

call someone instead of hurting herself and that she had other ways to


-Break the object that you use to self-injure as a way to show that you

have control over it.

-Do some household chores (i.e. cleaning)

-Do some cooking

-Try some sewing, crossstitch, etc.

-Recite a poem, prayer or anything else familiar the comforts you

multiple times

-Write down all your positive points and why you do not deserve to be


-Write in your journal why you want to hurt yourself and if you have


yourself, write down what caused it to happen so in the future you can

prevent it from happenings - or find out what your triggers were

-Play some kind of musical instrument. Even if you don't really know how

to play, picking out tunes is a way to concentrate and help get rid of


urge to harm yourself.


-Allow yourself to cry. Getting the tears out can make you feel better.

It allows the inside to release, as opposed to self abuse. Picture your

"ickies" pouring out as you cry.

-Take a shower

-Write down a word best associated with what you are feeling (i.e.

horrible, sad, lonely, angry) and continue to write it down, over and


Sometimes when you do that, the words looks silly etc., and it puts

humor or a

smile in your life.

-Sing a song on what you are feeling. It's another way to get it


Shout if you feel, etc. Let the words just come to you.

-Scribble on paper. Clutch the pen in your fist. It's a way to diffuse


on to paper. (Get a few sheets so they don't tear.)

-Take item you are self injurying with and use it against something


For example, if you are using a razor blade, rip it across a towel.

Sometimes seeing what "can" be done to an object can make a person think

twice about using it on themselves. Can also give the feeling of "doing

it"...the tangible aspect.

-Make a list of reasons why you are going to stop cutting.

-Tell yourself that you can't cut for another 5 minutes. If you make it


minutes then I tell yourself to wait another 5 minutes. Sometimes you

might no longer feel like cutting after only 5 minutes.

-Every time you get the urge, read the list to remind yourself why you


-Also remember to put on that list that you do not deserve to hurt


You are important and special and you do not deserve to be hurt.

-Hit a punchbag- punchbags are goooood- or stree sponges.

-Keep dangerous things out of your house/apartment/

-Make a list of friends you can call.

I do not do this because I do not have local friends that I can call.

BUT, I know many people who find

this list of friends to contact extremely helpful even if they don't

actually call anyone.

-Focus on what is real and around you right then.

There is no such thing as the past or the future- only the now!

-Give yourself rewards, even if they're stupid, mundane little things

like watching a TV show you like or eating a food you like- and indulge

yourself in these things when you feel bad- makes you remember there are

good things in life, however small.

-Be aware of the world- say to yourself what you see. ie. The couch is

green. The

light is on. I can feel my shoe pinching my foot. This can sometimes be

enough to ground you.

-Make a contract with someone you care about and who cares about you.

Don't have to 'know' them in the real world- internet friends etc are

fine. Make sure you try to get in touch with them when you feel in mind

(but of course don't get extra depressed, with internet friends, if they

arn't around cos they arn't online- that's why having phone numbers is


-Create an internal safe place where you can go.

In a time when you feel safe and secure, create a room or a garden or

any safe area inside yourself where you can retreat to and get away from

external stresses. Add as many

details as you can to make it real for you.

-Get a warm drink and curl up in a warm place with a stuffie.

Buy yourself a special stuffie if you do not already have one. Make

yourself some tea or hot chocolate

(or even coffee if the caffeine doesn't bother you) and curl up under a

nice warm comforter or blanket

with lots of pillows.

-Put on a (happy) movie

-Post at a self injury bullitin board on the web.

(Be careful to avoid triggery posts, but talk to people- it's totally

anonamous, so just type how you feel- you might find some people who

know what you're going through.)

-Have a bath and finger paint with ketchup.

-Try not to be to hard on yourself for feeling this way.

Try not to beat yourself up inside by calling yourself names or

expecting yourself to just "not feel this

way" or to "snap out of it." This internal namecalling and self-verbal

abuse will only make you feel worse.

-Tell yourself how you feel now will not last forever. It is hard to

remember that

while you are in the midst of these

feelings, but EVERYTHING changes.

Just focus on you and what you need to do to get through these

feelings as safely as you can.

-Use a toothbrush instead of a razor.

-Try something physical and violent, something not directed at a living

thing, such as;

-Slash an empty plastic soda bottle or a piece of heavy cardboard or an

old shirt or sock.

-Make a soft cloth doll to represent the things you are angry at. Cut


tear it instead of yourself.

-Flatten aluminum cans for recycling, seeing how fast you can go.

-Use a pillow to hit a wall, pillow-fight style.

-Rip up an old newspaper or phone book.

-On a sketch or photo of yourself, mark in red ink what you want to do.

-Cut and tear the picture.

-Throw ice into the bathtub or against a brick wall hard enough to

shatter it.

-Break sticks.

-Crank up the music and dance.

-Stomp around in heavy shoes.

-Curl up under a comforter with hot cocoa and a good book, babying

yourself somehow. Do

whatever makes you feel taken care of and comforted.

-Use light sweet-smelling incense and listen to

soothing music.

-Make a tray of special treats and tuck yourself into bed with it and

watch TV or read. Visit a friend.

-Slap a tabletop hard.

-Clap hard.

-Take a cold bath.

-Play a difficult computer game.

-Choose an object in the room. Examine it carefully and then write as

detailed a description of it as you

can. Include everything: size, weight, texture, shape, color, possible

uses, feel, etc.

-Choose a random object, like a paper clip, and try to list 30 different

uses for it.

-Pick a subject and research it on the web.

-Take a small bottle of liquid red food coloring and warm it slightly by

dropping it into a cup of hot water

for a few minutes. Uncap the bottle and press its tip against the place

you want to cut. Draw the bottle in

a cutting motion while squeezing it slightly to let the food color

trickle out.

-Get a henna tattoo kit. You put the henna on as a paste and leave it

overnight; the next day you can pick

it off as you would a scab and it leaves an orange-red mark behind.

-Read an insanely long list of alternatives to cutting- by the time

you've finished, you probably won't have the energy to cut!!!

Hope they work!!

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Thank you so much for posting this - I'm going to print this out.



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(((((hugs))))) Thanks Sami...i think you just about covered it. *smile* Thankyou...=)

Donna =)

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i discovered this by mistake.....i was getting to the urge stage and about to start throwing cups etc in  my kitchen,and one had water in and i didnt know and the cold water splashing on me made me stop/releived my anger. i dont know how well 9it would work if it wasnt a surprise,but cold water is the only thing i have found so far which stops me in my tracks!!

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May I suggest that this be moved to the wonderful threads forum?

This post is pertinent to many people.

Thanks Sami.


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I havent had time to read it all so i may be just repeating you but:

Lie very still and empty your mind (can be hard for some people) as if you were playing sleeping lions!

When your are SAFE put all your "instruments" in a box and put tape all over it!  By the time you get it off you will hopefully be feeling better!

Thanx for posting this (((sami)))

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 thank you so much for posting this here!! i read it at just the right time...for me, throwing ice against the tile in the bathtub seems to work pretty well.

thanks again!

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 To my lovely lovely about what Amazon said?

    Love you loads honey

       Love JellyB  :)

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thanks for the list. I've been trying to find other ways to react to my SIV and this list seems like it will really help. Thank you so much....


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I know I am WAY late in posting here, but…

I tripped across an article in one of my mom's magazines (“When Henna Can Hurt”, Better Homes and Gardens February 2005, page 232) that says if you get a HENNA TATOO that you should be careful to make sure it is a BROWN tattoo and NOT BLACK as the black ones are made from p-phenylenediamine (PPD) hair coloring, and can be dangerous in the high concentrations of chemicals in the tattoo, but the brown ones are from a plant and are safer. The black henna tattoos can cause allergic reactions, and “can include permanent scarring and the development of allergies to hair dies, some sunscreens, and topical anesthetics.”

Just keeping an eye out for everyone’s health.


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thank you for the list sami.. i will use it and share it with others i know who are trying to overcome si..

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For me personally, I find:

-Swinging on Swings

-Hugging a close friend

-Beating a giant soft object (ie: I use a baseball bat to hit a giant stuffed banana)

-Hot Shower

-Going for a walk

It's not much, but I hope this helps.

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