On the topic of self harm there are different ways we use to cope with emotional trauma. Struggling to cope with emotional trauma can lead to self harm.
Physical self harm is a who that many people use to deal with emotional trauma that they are going through or may have experienced. The pain caused by cutting for example can be a means to feel a pain that one can see and deal with.
You can clean up your wound and put a plaster over it. It will start to heal in a day or so. Or the doctor can easily take care of it if it gets a little out of hand. Emotional pain is not as simple to do identify and deal with.
At times you cannot tell what you are even feeling. Or you experience more than one emotion at the same time and it is all too overwhelming. Like drowning inside your own body except there is no water. Just you inside your mind where you can never escape.
So focusing on that physical pain helps. Unfortunately it is also a temporary fix. The wounds will heal, yes but the ones that you cannot reach with physical touch? Those stay paining and waiting for you to deal with.
Sometimes a little conversation can do the trick. Cliche as it sounds, talking to someone does go a long way. Some of us are blessed with loved one who is willing to listen, even if they may not completely understand.
To let some form of your suffering out through words is a great beginning even though it may seem futile at first.
Talk to yourself in the mirror if you want to. Write it down into your diary, journals can be really amazing ears! Even if you are reading this and do not believe this. Do it for the heck of it. To spite the self-righteous sounding tone I am using right now.
Be more aware of your emotions and what triggers these emotions? What memories do these emotions evoke? This is where a journal comes in handy too, to write down what answers come to you at this point.
Again, if you are brave enough, saying these out loudly to your reflection in the mirror or to a loved one.
What about talking to a stranger? Someone whose opinion of you won’t matter as much as a loved ones? Whose own experiences may even surprise you? If you are willing to take that plunge you should try it.
It is a lot easier to share your story anonymously in the day and age of social media. Do what feels right to you, even if it means ignoring this advise for another time.
There are also creative way to avoid self harm without going completely cold turkey. For example:
- Snapping a rubber band on your wrist is better than cutting because there’s less of a risk of infected wounds. Or bleeding through your clothes.
- Ice blocks against your skin may also do the trick.
- If you are a vocal person, maybe screaming into a pillow may get the load off a little.
- Exercising is also great for your mental health. Focusing on nothing but running or pumping a certain number of squats can be a surprisingly good distraction.
The most important part of healing is to feel pain. Letting go of pain is one of the most difficult feats we can achieve as human beings. Everyone’s journey is different, be kind to yourself.