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How can I stop the urge to harm myself?

22 Answers
Last Updated: 04/13/2021 at 1:07am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Stacy Overton, PhD.


I am an enthusiastic life-long learner and also a professor of counseling. I have a passion for peoples stories and helping to guide and empower the human spirit.

Top Rated Answers
February 22nd, 2015 6:46pm
I used to have problems with self-harming. It took me a good 6 months to stop after 2-3 years of doing it, i found things like drawing on myself with ink pens where i would usually self-harm very helpful, i'd use marker pens to make the drawings last longer. Another thing i liked to do was draw butterflys on myself, if i harmed myself i'd "kill" a butterfly, i would draw on a certain amount at the start of every week and see how many were left at the end. Finally as soon as i felt a urge coming on i would distract myself with my favorite things- listening to music, watching DVDs, baking, jogging, ect.
November 2nd, 2015 8:19am
It can be very difficult to control yourself when you want to self harm. lot of people say that it makes them feel better , it numbs the pain they are going through within, and is a distraction, but that lasts only a short while. to stop yourself, you can find another way to vent out our frustration and pain such as screaming into a pillow, punching a pillow squeezing a squeezy ball, scribbling on paper and tearing it up, writing down whatever negative thoughts you have and then tearing the paper, all these can be quite helpful. Self-harm only gives a temporary relief whereas these methods can really help. I personally feel , writing a journal helps too, Please try any of these
February 22nd, 2015 9:03pm
I stopped with the butterfly project after a great friend of mine recommended. Maybe you should give it a try, and see if it helps you too.
April 9th, 2015 2:59pm
Maybe you should start thinking that there are a lot of things you must do, like instead of harming yourself you should start planning what you must do for you to solve your problem.
May 26th, 2015 11:01pm
Distraction is always the key. Take your mind off the urges. Or, when the urgues come, lay in your bed close your eyes and imagine a world that brings you happiness like never before. Hopefully the feeling passes if not find distraction's such as cleaning your room, reading a book or even writing your feelings down always helps.
August 30th, 2015 5:55am
you can stop the urge to self harm by doing something you like, such as lesson to music, go for a walk, take a hot bath, or draw
October 18th, 2015 4:44pm
Think of the people you are here for, the people that you love and love you fight for them and it my sound selfish but so is self harm,
October 25th, 2015 7:10am
When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold on for just one more day, hour, minute—whatever you can manage.
October 27th, 2015 7:45pm
to stop the urge to harm one self is a long process. assuming that the cause of the desire for self harm is caused by guilt or personal disappointments, this is how to stop the urges step by step. First step, Accept the past and bad feelings. Second step, Feel the bad feelings. Step three, Forgive yourself. Step four, Accept forgiveness from yourself. Step five, Let go of the bad feelings Repeat every time the urge surfaces, and view these as a opportunities to let go what is hurting you.
November 3rd, 2015 3:52pm
Well I think it depends on person to person. For some playing sports or an instrument or any of their favourite hobbies help instead. For others talking about their feels to their friends and family or just knowing people are there for you helps. Personally I don't harm myself because I don't want my loved ones to be worried about me and also i really like music and dance. When i'm upset and think of self harm i usually take my dog for a walk. She really calms me down. and fresh air helps too! So it all depends on what you like you do. just try to stay positive :)
December 7th, 2015 3:01am
take a couple of deep breaths, think things through. you will find that you have so many things to live for that trump the things that are bringing you down. focus on these things and shed all your light on them and let them guide you to your safe haven
March 22nd, 2016 2:18am
Think priory of our creator, God. Seek for your parents' help and family members. Seek for friends help and learn how to communicate with the words of God.
June 7th, 2016 11:34pm
By finding alternates. If you have the urge, draw, snap a rubber band on your wrist, it gives you pain without causing true harm, etc.
July 4th, 2016 3:15am
try distracting yourself. that always helps me. you can go to a family member or a friend or go out in public so that you can't self harm.
July 18th, 2016 2:41pm
Learning a new hobby, a new language, writing and drawing can help. Exercise helps to reduce frustrations too.
October 10th, 2016 4:39pm
Sometimes if you can find someone to speak to right away, is usually crutual and having the support and listener to accept what your going through is not easy.
March 20th, 2017 7:39am
Replace the urge with a healthier stimulus. Go for a walk. Pet an animal. Talk to a friend. Clean/cook a meal if applicable.
November 14th, 2017 3:21pm
Self harm can be a very long, and hard battle for many. And, as everyone is different, everyone has different ways to battle that urge. the easiest way that i have found, is finding what triggers you, and learning how to cope with that in itself. The urge wont go away over night, even after you have handled your trigger, so many people find it helpful to pick up a pen, and draw where they would normally harm. This way, they still feel something, without harming, and they force distraction.
February 20th, 2018 10:49pm
Urges will come and go, sometimes long after you’ve stopped self harming. The best thing you can do is recognize that urge for what it is, why it’s there, and how you can address that urge with a different behavior.
April 3rd, 2018 6:22am
You can use objects like stress balls, pillows, that you can just attack rather than harming yourself. Also, don't be afraid to let the hurt out by screaming or crying. Writing down how you feel can also help.
April 16th, 2019 1:33am
Self-harm is a temporary relief. Harming yourself will not make what you feel go away for good. When you feel like doing that, think about how you want to do it again and again and why do you feel the urge of doing it again and again if harming yourself was working for you? Best way is to always distract yourself by doing something that makes you happy, even if it makes you happy by 1%. Once you get into that, you'll realise why self-harming is never the solution. It never was, it never is, and it never will be.
April 13th, 2021 1:07am
To stop the urge to harm yourself, I think keeping your mind and hands busy is very important. Keeping your mind busy can work as a distraction and keep you focused on something other than the urge to harm yourself. Harming yourself will only be effective short-term, so remember that harming yourself is not a healthy way to cope with unbearable emotions. Keeping your hands busy is also important if you want to keep from harming yourself. Also, knowing that people are here for you and care about you may help with the urges as well. Remember to stay strong and push through!!