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How can I stop having an urge to self harm ?

16 Answers
Last Updated: 11/23/2021 at 2:20am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Alex DS Ellis, MA, LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

Feeling depressed or anxious can be so overwhelming. I want to help you feel better and be able to enjoy life. You are not alone and you deserve emotional support.

Top Rated Answers
February 22nd, 2015 7:39am
When I was younger, I use to have a jar and everyday I didn't cut I would put a marble in the jar. It was simple but with everyday passing and a marble being put in the jar. I didn't want to cut anymore. I wanted the jar to be full.
April 16th, 2015 7:16pm
Try some other coping mechanisms. Do anything you're interested in or just something to keep your kind off things. The best way to stop self-harming is to ignore it, and pretend that you don't really want to do it. Tell yourself that those silly thoughts aren't yours. It's a difficult process, and there might be some relapses, but you can do it. I did it. So many people have over come self-harm, so can you. You have to believe in yourself. I know it's hard, trust me. But never give up. "You have many options in life. Never make giving up one of them," ~Austin Carlile. Some alternatives are- -drawing/painting/any form of art -watching TV -talking to friends (or someone on here(or, if you have a twitter, sign up for the Buddy Project )) -cook -clean -go on a walk -listen to music, sing -blog -paint your nails -shower -take a nap -memorize a poem/song -write down your feelings and organize them. try to find out why you are feeling the way you do -hug someone (even a pillow) -say beep boop boop (don't ask, just do) -think of all the people who care about you and don't want you hurting yourself (me included) -look up other alternatives or things to do but always remember. You. Are. Not. Alone. Stay strong, sunshine. P.S. -"We cut and kill flowers because we think they are beautiful. We cut and kill ourselves because we think we are not." ~(M.O.B.) "If I were you, I'd put that away. You're just wasted and thinking about the past again. Darling you'll be okay." ~Pierce the Veil
August 21st, 2015 9:57am
Ironically, allowing the urge to be there is one of the best ways to stop future urges. When you let the urge be with you, observe it in your mind, understand its effects on your body, and still choose not to act on it, you gain power over the urge. You show that urge that no matter how loudly it screams, you can choose to see it for what it is and act in healthier ways. Over time, with persistence, urges will arise less frequently and with less intensity.
April 12th, 2015 6:02pm
I am wondering if it is at all possible to stop urges, my thoughts would be that you might struggle with them until you learn to distract yourself and learn that your urges are not as powerful as they often feel. Once you learn to cope with them you will no doubt discover that they have no power at all
April 12th, 2015 9:51pm
find a hobby. Just keep yourself busy.Just find simple things like playing games(indoor,outdoor or video),reading books etc and start doing them.Keep yourself occupied and enjoy, this will surely help.
April 17th, 2015 3:40am
Focus on things you like to do. Things that make you happy. Self harm is an agressive way of feeling good. If you try to do some activity that brings you the same feeling, it's always the best option.
June 10th, 2015 4:14am
Close your eyes and breathe. Take a piece of paper and draw on it, color it, write on it, then tear it into pieces. You're strong, you're important, you're beautiful. You don't have to hurt yourself. You're not alone.
June 10th, 2015 11:28am
Do what makes you happy, even though you don't feel like doing it. Doing happy stuffs makes you happy. Trust me.
August 18th, 2015 6:55pm
Draw with pen or marker wherever you self harm at.❤ it helps lots and try the butterfly expierement if that doesn't work.
May 17th, 2016 5:34pm
Most people self harm because they see it as a way to be punished. But why would you need to be punished? If you have done something bad or something that you're ashamed of you need to take responsibility and own up to it and say hey I messed up. When you can admit you did something wrong the recovery becomes easier. When you feel the urge to self harm get up and go on a walk, to a friend or a parent, do something you enjoy to keep yourself busy. Or do things you've been procrastinating. Best wishes.
June 13th, 2016 12:46pm
Self-harming works like an addiction. Physically hurting yourself causes brain to release a bunch of "happy hormones" which help with the pain. So your urge to cut is due the fact, that your brain remembers the feeling of released endorphins and wants to feel like this again.
June 20th, 2016 8:02pm
That's a tough one, cause I don't think there's an absolute answer to that. You just need to find out what works best for you.
July 19th, 2016 3:43am
There are many ways to stop having urges to harm yourself. Some work for some people, some work for others, and some may not work at all. I recommend trying these ideas. One idea is to draw patterns all over the part of your body you want to harm, to make it beautiful and to calm yourself down. Another idea is to draw a butterfly where you want to injure yourself. Most people wouldn't want to hurt a butterfly and so if you cut it or burn it, the butterfly dies. There are many other methods to stop self-harming urges, but these are just two of them.
October 31st, 2016 6:04pm
The best thing I learned was to hold off. I know that self harming is addictive and you feel like you need it. When the urge arises just tell yourself "if I still want to do it in 15 minutes, I will." You will make it through those 15 minutes. When those minutes are up say to yourself "if I still want to do it in another 15 minutes, I'll do it." Just keep going and saying that until the urge is up. While it doesn't always work, it definitely does sometimes. A lot of times the urge just needs time to pass. As well, you could reach out and talk to someone, whether it is a listener or a friend, and talk about what is causing this urge, or if there is no reason, just talk to them. Distracting yourself is a good idea as well. Color, draw, write, read, anything that keeps both your hands and your mind distracted is a good idea! I've had people tell me they also like the paint their nails because then they won't do anything until they're dry, and it takes a good hour or so for them to fully dry without smudging! Stay strong, you can make it!
August 31st, 2020 2:02pm
the urge comes and goes, you can't really control it or stop it. what you can control is how you react to this urge. in my personal experience, this isn't something that just goes away. it could keep coming back, especially in your darkest times. the things is, all you can really do is learn to let it be. let the urge come and go, without reacting to it. let the pain fade without dwelling on it, and stay centred and grounded when the urges are strongest. self harm is at best a temporary fix. it might make the emotional pain go away for a moment, but unless we learn to let it be without letting it drive us to self harm, it will keep coming back. you can do this, don't give up, we are here for you
November 23rd, 2021 2:20am
Somethings I found helpful was snapping a rubber band against my wrist, or rubbing a cold ice cube on my skin. Having an app can keep you motivated and from relapsing. Those are some things that have helped for me, it's okay if they don't work for you. You can't expect these things to work immediately, and you might want to relapse again. But you have to remember what you're working for. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but it's true. Nothing feels better than being clean, and you will be incredibly proud of yourself in the end. It's so worth it