Hello and welcome to this especially important topic because if you are self harming what you’re really saying is that you hate yourself, so much so that you’re needing to turn all your pain and frustration and anguish onto yourself as punishment - and that can never lead to happiness.
Whatever has lead you to this - and just because friends are doing it doesn’t mean you have to - whatever has lead you to this, the solution lies in first understanding what’s going on in your mind, so let’s start there:
In your brain you have the part - that’s right there now on that left hand side - which is phenomenal - the most complex thing in the known universe and that we still have so much to learn about. This part is an intellect and can think for itself, it’s positive, makes sensible assessments and is rational. It has a vast resource of answers and solutions and when you live from this part of the brain you naturally live well, perform well and achieve - and produce brain chemicals that make you feel good. I call this part your Palace mind because it is a splendid place to live.
However you also have another part - your primitive caveman brain which although is there for your survival, has no intellect so can’t work out what really serves you or is actually detrimental or life threatening long term. If you’ve done something before and survived it will just encourage you to keep doing what you’ve done before - even though it is harmful to you.
This part is very negative - always looking for the worst case scenarios - and keeps you on the alert for danger, which gives rise to anxiety. I call it your Rats’ Den mind because it feels like living in a Big Dark Den full of Rats and Spiders and from which there seems no way out.
And because it’s a miserable part of the brain to live in, you long for escape - which may be through cigarettes, or alcohol, or drugs, or eating, or over spending or OCD or self harming or any number of other things that mean you feel some relief - but the question is, for how long?
It’s not long before your Rats’ Den mind drive you to do it again, that pattern getting deeper and deeper until it’s ‘normal’ for you, wreaking havoc with your health and your life. You pay a very high price to live in your primitive caveman Rats’ Den brain! And that fabulous part is just next door in your own head!
I teach my clients how to take back their power over those primitive mind Rats Den negatives and how to live in their positive Palace mind, but the key to do this so you can live in that Palace mind automatically is to improve your self worth, so that you value yourself enough to stop abusing yourself and actually make positive choices to enjoy life .
If you look around at your school fellows - who are the ones that self harm? Those who are positive and self-assured - or those who are insecure and unhappy? I guarantee it’s not those who are genuinely positive, confident or feeling good about themselves!
The higher your self worth the more you can automatically live in your brilliant Palace mind and feel good. You can see the topic of Building Self Worth but whist you’re here let’s do a clearing exercise to help shift these feelings of self hatred . . . (you can be guided through this on my audio if you click here).
Get yourself comfortable - close your eyes and allow yourself to relax - let go of those little muscles on top of your head - let go of the back of your head, your forehead and cheeks and jaw - feel them relaxing - down your neck - across your shoulders - letting them go, all the way down your arms and into your hands and fingers - letting go of your spine, down your back, relaxing your chest - slowing down your breathing , a little bit deeper - down through your solar plexus into your hips . . .
and down your legs . . . and into your feet - letting everything go - feeling calm and relaxed . . .
And I want you to imagine a baby - a beautiful baby that has just been born, anywhere in the world . . . isn’t it a miracle that everything works - the tiny lungs and stomach and all the other internal organs . . . those tiny ears and eyes and fingers. Tell me is there a baby anywhere who isn’t born whole and perfect? Even if there are limbs missing or whatever, isn’t there still an innate perfection? Is there a baby anywhere who isn’t worthy or deserving of positive experiences in life? Or perfectly good enough as they are? Is there any baby born who is not lovable exactly as they are? Of course not, Every baby is born whole and perfect, worthy and deserving, perfectly good enough and lovable. You were a baby too!
So whatever you’ve learnt or experienced to be hating yourself so much, isn’t true - it’s just what you’ve learnt from your circumstances and influences around you. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can choose to unlearn those things and come back to that truth of who you are.
Just imagine yourself as that little baby and say to that baby “I am willing to realise you are whole and perfect, worthy and deserving, perfectly good enough exactly as you are, and lovable” .
However silly you feel or however difficult, just do it. Focus.
And then see yourself as a little toddler, learning to walk, and say “I am willing to realise that regardless of everything around you, you are whole and perfect, worthy and deserving, perfectly good enough and lovable”
And now see yourself as that little child just starting school and say the same thing to that younger you “I am willing to realise you are whole and perfect, worthy and deserving, perfectly good enough exactly as you are, and lovable”
And then see yourself a few years older - perhaps when you were going through some really tough times - and say to that younger you the same thing.
And then again to your 10 year old self “I am willing to realise you are whole and perfect, worthy and deserving, perfectly good enough exactly as you are, and lovable”. Because what ever you learnt different, that is the truth.
And keep going, slowly and gently, taking all the time you need, saying the same to each younger you that needs to hear it, until you see yourself as you are now . . . . . . and say “I am willing to realise I am whole and perfect, worthy and deserving, perfectly good enough exactly as I am, and lovable”.
And instead of looking for the ways to prove that wrong - look for the ways that prove that right about you - and realise that the more you come home to this truth, the more you will value yourself.
The more people value themselves the less harm they will do to themselves - be it smoking, drinking, doing drugs, becoming anorexic or obese, or self harming or whatever else damages them.
The more you value yourself, the better relationships you will allow yourself to attract and have, the better you will handle situations, the better experiences you will allow yourself to have.
So just say to yourself once more - “I am wiling to realise I am whole and perfect, worthy and deserving, perfectly good enough exactly as I am, and lovable” and then very gently come back to the room and open your eyes.
Well done. And however difficult that might have been, I promise the more you do this, the easier and more familiar it will become. In time you will notice that you feel different! So do practise this as much as you can - as many times as you need - and choose now, anytime you are tempted to self harm, to say to that primitive Rats’ Den part of your brain “Enough!!” - and see yourself blowing up the temptation, or hurling it into space or throwing it out to sea . . . and say “I choose to value myself instead. My true self is whole and perfect, worthy and deserving, perfectly good enough and lovable” and then go listen to some music, play on your Xbox or read or do something that’s positive and nice for you! You deserve it!
You have a whole life ahead of you - and whatever your problems are, we can sort them out.