Mental health issues are not discussed enough – but often when they are it’s after a devastating event such as suicide. Cutting or “non-suicidal self-injury,” is an issue that can fly below the radar, because people might not even notice it’s happening. It’s defined as the deliberate, self-inflicted destruction of body tissue and affects almost one in five people worldwide.

Unlike people who commit suicide, cutters aren’t trying to kill themselves. By contrast, they often self-harm to feel alive, rather than numb because the act releases endorphins. Self-harm is very dangerous and you can easily end up in the hospital, which is why someone took to the internet to share their coping strategy – art.

Someone who used to self-harm took to the internet to share how she overcame the habit with art

Someone else saw the post and added that the easy-to-draw pattern method of Zentangle could be particularly helpful

“Zentangle art is non-representational and unplanned so you can focus on each stroke and not worry about the result. There is no up or down to Zentangle art. If fact, you can most easily create Zentangle art by rotating your tile as you tangle — always keeping your hand in a relaxed position. You don’t need to know what a tangle is going to look like to draw it. You just need to know the steps. The result is a delightful surprise,” writes their website.

Image credits: unknown

Image credits: flori.art

Image credits: suejacobs.blogspot

Image credits: tasozenart

Image credits: unknown

Image credits: aa.zenart

Image credits: zentangle_tutorials

Image credits: jr.movements

Image credits: drawinglife1989

Image credits: lettherebeartt

Image credits: zentangula

Image credits: plainpilgrim

Image credits: flori.art

Watch these videos to see Zentangle in action:

Image credits: charvi ashtekar

People who had experiences with self-harm praised the method