An Adventure May Help Ease Self-Harm Urges

May 9, 2014 Jennifer Aline Graham

A group of us at work recently held an event focusing on ways to help de-stress the frazzled minds of mothers. Even though I may not yet be a parent, I know that parents carry a lot of anxiety on their shoulders. They must be happy and confident for their children while also focusing on their own needs.

Sometimes, we too act a certain way to look happy on the outside when we are really struggling on the inside.

When asking the mothers what they did to help release stress, one of the mothers told an interesting story. She said that on some Saturdays, if she has a babysitter, she would take a bus to a nearby casino and spend a few hours there. She would not go there to gamble, she simply went there because no one knew who she was and she knew no one. She would watch everyone around her and realized that they were all carrying some kind of baggage.

The short, Saturday afternoon adventure helped clear her mind and rearrange her cluttered thoughts and for those struggling with self-harm, the best escape may mean getting to your feet and going somewhere.

A Change of Place May Equal a Change of Pace

There are places we all like going to because the environment makes us feel more at ease. As a child, I would escape into the woods in my back yard and climb a willow tree to read a book or write. Even during the years I struggled with self-harm, I’d go for a walk in my backyard, even though the willow tree had been cut down by then.By finding a place of comfort to go to when urges to self-harm strike, you may be able to clear your mind of unsafe thoughts and ease self-harm urges.

It’s important to have a place to go that will not trigger you to cut or harm your body. Make this place somewhere you must physically travel to – somewhere outside of your house and school. It can be a library, a café, a mall or even a childhood playground. Make it somewhere that once you’re there, you can clear your mind and rethink the negative thoughts that are dancing in your brain, telling you to make a mark.

Ease Self-Harm Urges in Your Safe Spot

Once you’re there, you can listen to music or write in a journal to keep your mind away from unsafe thoughts. Like the mother we talked to at our work event, you can even watch the people around you do their day-to-day activities. The mother did this and while people watching, she realized that even though she did not know these people, she knew she could relate to them in some way. Maybe they’re having financial issues or are going through a divorce. Perhaps they’re struggling with a disease or are trying to escape a domestic violence situation.

Maybe they too are trying to overcome self-harm.

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Tags: urges

APA Reference
Aline, J. (2014, May 9). An Adventure May Help Ease Self-Harm Urges, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Author: Jennifer Aline Graham

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