Steps To Recovering From Self-Harming Behavior

We all have our self-harming behavior problems, our failings, and our bad habits. However, if yours are harmful to the extent that they could become a real danger to you the longer that you continue them, then you might need to stop and address them before it becomes too late. From physical self-harm to addiction to anger issues or otherwise, here are some of the steps that you might need to take on the road to recovery. The road isn’t the same for everyone, but these tips may be able to help you.

smoking is a type of self-harming behavior

Recognizing the signs of a self-harming behavior problem

Often, admitting we have a problem is one of the most difficult steps, but there is no denying that it’s the most important. If you have any doubts in your mind as to whether or not things are all that bad, then you should look at the signs and symptoms, such as the symptoms of addiction. Of course, you don’t need a checklist. If you have identified some behavior of your own that is impacting your life in ways you wish it did not, then it is a problem that needs to be addressed. Once you can admit your self-harming behavior problems, you can start looking at the steps to solve them.

Admitting the problem

As mentioned, admitting the problem is the most important step, and admitting it to yourself that your self-harming behavior is the biggest part of that. However, your loved ones may be able to help you and, as such, being able to admit to them can be important, as well. Talking about your mental health is a difficult step and it’s one that takes courage. There is a chance that your loved ones will not be fully ignorant of the issues you have been dealing with, but it’s a good idea to let them know ahead of time you have something important that you want to talk about. Take the time to think about what you want to say ahead of time so that it becomes a little easier to not get lost during the talk.

Asking for help

It’s one thing to talk to your loved ones about your mental health struggles and some of your self-harming behaviors, but it’s an entirely different step to ask for their help. Often, asking for help may first require you to ask for forgiveness, especially if you recognize that your actions have harmed them in the past. There is always the chance that your plea for help may get rejected and you should mentally prepare for that. It’s also important to not diminish the scale or effects of the problems that you are dealing with. Be honest about your concerns, about what you want to do about it, and be genuine and humble in asking for help.

Becoming aware of your triggers

Almost everyone who relies on some kind of self-harmful behavior or coping mechanism will have triggers that compel them to indulge in that behavior. Your psychological triggers can be environmental, interpersonal, or internal. Some people get a trigger that encourages them to drink when they’re in social situations or at bars. Some people react with anger to interpersonal conflicts. Some people self-harm when they are feeling low self-esteem due to interacting with certain people in particular. As such, becoming aware of your psychological triggers and learning to avoid them or adapt to them can help you avoid indulging in your self-harmful behavior.

Looking at treatments

Of course, while there are steps you can take to better understand your own mental health and techniques you can practice to avoid your self-harming behavior urges, you should not expect that you can get through things entirely alone. Support from your loved ones can be vital, but there are few things more important than getting help from a professional when you need it. Whether it’s a psychiatrist to help with anger issues or inpatient drug rehab to help with addiction, the mixture of clinical treatments alongside experience in helping patients finds relief from the mental causes of their self-harming behavior can be very effective at improving your long-term prospects of recovery. No one should try to get better entirely on their own, not when the chances are much better with some help to recover from self-harmful behavior.

Improving your self-image

Humility and honesty about your own faults and weaknesses is crucial for making an honest recovery from all kinds of bad habits and mental health issues. However, this does not mean that you are constantly self-deprecating. In fact, learning to value yourself is often a vital part of recovery. Improving your self-esteem can make you less likely to harm yourself as you have in the past. As such, you should focus on feeling and thinking better about yourself, forgiving yourself, and taking steps such as writing affirmation letters to yourself to remind you that you are worth fighting for.

Build for the long-term

Once you’re done with your treatment and back in your regular life, that doesn’t mean that the struggle is over. The part of your personality or trauma that led to your self-harmful behavior is always going to be in there with you, and you need to learn to live with it. As such, you should be focusing on your long-term health. Making lifestyle improvements when it comes to your physical health, social health, and other aspects of your emotional health are all going to help you build a healthier future life. The healthier your life, the less likely that you are to have to rely on the same dangerous coping mechanisms as before. There’s no such thing as “cured” from addiction, self-harm or anger issues, but you can successfully treat it for the rest of your life with the right energy and care.

It’s important to be honest with yourself, to be proactive, and to acknowledge that the parts of yourself that lead to self-harming behavior are always going to be a part of you. That way, you can stay aware, stay vigilant, and lead a much healthier life with a better chance of avoiding relapse.

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