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How can you stop the urge to cut?

27 Answers
Last Updated: 03/12/2018 at 3:27am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Lisa Meighan, MSc Psychology


Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.

Top Rated Answers
December 4th, 2017 4:51am
Think about it. Think about how valuable you are. Think about your life. Think about your younger self- little kid. Imagine that kid, could you cut him/her/them? Could you do that to them? You are that kid, just bigger. Does that kid deserve it? No? Neither do you.
May 10th, 2015 4:47am
There are different ways to stop urges for cutting. Some may not work for everyone so it's important to try different ones. Distracting yourself with something you enjoy is a really effective one. You can draw, write, listen to music, play video games, or whatever you like. This engages your mind, and maybe it may even help you forget about your urges completely! Another trick is to set a timer for one minute, and if you can go through that one minute without cutting, keep encouraging yourself with positive thoughts and keep adding on minutes. Remember, you have the power to control your actions! Don't let your emotions control you! Keep trying and trying and research other ways to effectively stop urges, also check out the guide for Self Harm, it has other coping techniques that can help you out as well!
November 27th, 2014 3:38am
I love the way it feels in the moment, but I hate the scars in the long run and the way they affect how other people see me. I remind myself that I'm strong, and that the way I feel right now isn't how I'm always going to feel. Since I won't always feel the same way, I don't want marks on my body forever.
December 7th, 2014 9:47pm
That can be very difficult, as I've been addicted to cutting. There are some distractions you could use, such as getting ice and pressing it where you would normally cute. It actually really hurts, but it doesn't do any damage. Another way is to use a rubber band or hair tie and put it around your wrist, every time you want to cut, flick it as hard as you want, that also hurts a little. Other ways can be distractions, do something you love like listening to music, reading, going out, tv and anything else you like to do or to keep yourself calm. You can also try writing down your thoughts and feelings/emotions, so you get it all out by writing down, instead of cutting. Good luck :)
- Expert in Self-Harm
April 18th, 2015 6:03am
There are many things you can do to satisfy the urge without cutting, you could snap a rubber band against where you usually would cut or draw lines in red pen where you usually would to satisfy the visual need. I have found it helpful to write the names of loved ones where i wanted to cut to show me i am loved and deter me from making that decision, good luck!
June 12th, 2015 3:50pm
Remove all sharp objects from a room in your house and replace it with markers, paint, pens, paper, journals and things like that. When you feel the need to cut journal about your feelings or draw on your arm. Creating something beautiful can bring about positive feelings within you.
November 27th, 2014 12:36am
Everyone has their own way of trying to not succumb to it, so some ways don't always work for everyone. Here's a very helpful page on that subject! :)
December 24th, 2014 6:30pm
There are many healthy ways to stop the urge to cut. One way is to draw on the area that you want to cut. You can draw doodles, or you can write the names of people you love.
January 3rd, 2015 4:04am
You can stop the urge to cut by using distractions and goal setting methods such as SMART goals. SMART goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Relevant, and Time. S. During this step, you will write down the specific goal. You will write down the who, what, and whys. Example: I will do _____ as a distraction from self-harm. M. During this step you will figure out a way to measure your success. Examples: journal, list, etc. A. During this step, you will ask yourself if your goal is attainable. R. During this step, you will ask yourself how this is relevant to you and your current situation. T. During this step you will write down your specific time frame. I will complete this goal at 5pm January 2nd, 2015. You can also try using distractions to help you distract yourself. You could try meditation, yoga, listening to and playing music, reading, writing, sports, etc.
May 16th, 2015 7:38pm
It definitely varies from person to person. Some things that can work are figuring out what exact thoughts trigger the urge to cut and working from there, distracting yourself, talking to someone about the urge to cut when you feel it, drawing on yourself or rubbing an ice cube on your skin when you feel the need to cut, and getting the energy out in other ways that aren't as harmful.
June 14th, 2015 9:49pm
Find a distraction, or you can simply to to someone about it. Talking helps more than you think so dont be shy!
July 14th, 2015 8:50am
You need to find a way to let the pain out. not through the blood and the 'burning' sensation but through positive and constructive ways such as sport or it could be any particular hobby you enjoy.
- Expert in Self-Harm
November 28th, 2014 1:39am
Wait. That's the biggest tool you have. EVERY emotion will eventually pass. If you can wait long enough (which is so so hard) you can manage not to cut. In order to wait though, you will probably find these skills helpful: distractions, deep breathing, journaling, grounding exercises, a coping box, self-soothing, and mindfulness. Google can help you learn more about each of those skills. They are also explained here:!coping-skills/cm45
August 17th, 2015 11:55pm
I don't think you can stop the urge exactly but you can choose to Do something other than it. There are many many other things to do than to self harm!
November 15th, 2015 2:35am
Find different things to do, good things. Write something, maybe you can write about how you're feeling. Draw something, create anything you like. Talk to somebody who will listen and help you out. Listen to music, watch a TV show or movie. Go for a walk. Do anything that will help get your mind away from those bad thoughts and urges. Find something that makes you happy, whenever you're getting urges to self-harm or are upset about something go to that one thing, place or person that makes you happy. When you find those things that make you happy it can lift a lot off of your shoulders and release some of the negative things you might be feeling. Also, whenever you get the urge to cut try drawing on the area you want to cut or draw anywheres on your body. Create something beautiful. If you do self-harm don't beat yourself up for it. Everyone makes mistakes and slip ups. Recovery isn't easy and takes time. But I know you can do it.
March 12th, 2018 3:27am
There are some ways to stop the urge to cut. You can either snap a rubber band against your wrist or wherever you cut or you can apply some ice. If that doesn't works you can exercise until you feel extremely tired.
July 28th, 2015 11:58pm
Go to a quiet place and sit or lie down and just think calmly and maybe play some music and just release your emotions
January 4th, 2016 10:49am
Find something else that makes you feel better, try hobbies or something. Also, give yourself a consequence if you cut.
January 25th, 2016 1:18pm
Try drawing on your legs or where you would want to self harm or listen to music, do anything you enjoy as a hobby-which could be singing, playing video games drawing, or writing
May 30th, 2016 5:22pm
Throw away your blades or whatever you use. Then, do something you love; read your favourite book, listen to music or talk to a friend. I also reccomend that you speak to a professional.
June 13th, 2016 2:44am
Sometimes the urges can go away by doing something you like, or by distracting yourself. You could draw, cook, etc. Sometimes talking to others helps too.
June 13th, 2016 7:32am
take your mind off of it. find a way to distract yourself from whatever makes you want to cut. its not healthy to cut.
December 12th, 2016 1:54am
Try distracting yourself in other ways. One thing that can help is to get a pen and paper and write down everything you're feeling. Another great thing is to listen to comforting music. Talking to people is also very helpful. Remind yourself that it's not worth it, that you don't need to cut and there's other things that can help you much more. You never have to cut, so try other things to distract yourself until the urge goes away.
December 20th, 2014 10:48pm
Realizing that this was not a good thing for me, looking for help and always away from the thoughts that made me want to cut myself, I did not want to cause problems, then realized I needed to stop it, once a friend saw cut my arm and the experience was frustrating, I began to see that cuts only brought me bad things, the cuts could bring me some relief, but he always left everything and started again. I decided to stop by myself, looking at myself, caring about myself and my future
August 18th, 2015 4:49am
Find healthy and positive alternatives. Music, writing, funny shows...find what works for you and use it. 7 cups can be a great resource.
June 14th, 2016 3:03am
There are two main ways I've found that can help. The first is to find ways to keep putting it off. Putting razors in places that are hard to get to quickly, keep giving yourself tasks, etc. The second way is to find other things that give you the same relief. Some strategies that help people are: snapping your wrist with rubber bands, ice on your skin, exercise, etc. Not every way works for everyone, you often need to work to find your own.
August 2nd, 2016 1:33pm
By appreciating and valuing your body. When you do, you wouldn't feel the urge to cut yourself at all because you know scars are the end result. Cutting can lead to so many complications as you can cut a vein or any other delicate part. When you understand this, you can stop the urge to cut. Imagine what would happen when you cut and get hurt. People who care would be totally hurt and others would judge you without knowing what really happened.