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How do I stop urges to hurt myself?

20 Answers
Last Updated: 07/30/2018 at 10:35am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
March 5th, 2015 1:44pm
There's no single answer to solve this, but there are many different ways that one can make an effort, often depending on the motivation for cutting. Some possible outlets might include Writing, Exercise, listening to music, talking to a friend, playing videogames, and so on. If the reason for cutting is to stop racing thoughts, find an activity that takes a lot of mental effort and concentration. If the reason is to express feelings, choose something expressive, such as music or poetry. If the motivation is to punish ones self, consider exercising. This is only a small number of possible fixes - there are many outlets to help prevent self harm!
April 1st, 2015 3:10pm
Distraction. I know everyone says this, and distraction "doesn't work". But really, it does, once you're so focused on something else, the urge to harm yourself will fade into the background, even if it's temporary. Always try distraction first. I promise it may just work for you.
July 21st, 2015 12:32am
There are many different ways to stop self harm urges and some only work for certain people. One of my personal favorites is squeezing ice. It hurts still but doesn't leave a scar and is safe. You could also distract yourself with a book, music, writing, squeezing something soft, excersize, anything really. Do anything that makes you happy or calm.
November 9th, 2015 3:10pm
Self help guides, cats, drawing, reading, writing, singing, dancing, coloring, painting, listening to music, going on walks, taking pictures of nature, talking to people that support you, talking on the phone, texting your best friend, talking to a psych doctor, talking to anyone of 7 Cups, eating ice cream, painting your nails, petting puppies and kittens, watching anime, catching up on missed episodes of your favorite shows, buying new things (jewelry, make up, clothes, etc.) travelling to new places, meeting new people. There are tons of things to stop the urges, you just have to have the want and drive to quit and be better than that.
November 7th, 2016 7:33am
There are technics to help. The butterfly project is a good one to start. Pop a rubeer band when you have an urge. You just need to get your mind away from it. Yes, it may be hard but it's better in the long run.
March 7th, 2018 5:51pm
I started writing in a journal.
April 4th, 2017 5:12pm
Hurting yourself and cutting is a form of coping. This most likely developed because of a need to cope with some sort of pain, anxiety, stress, or trauma (among other things). If you want to stop hurting yourself, you may want to explore other forms of coping.
July 30th, 2018 10:35am
Firstly, remove the objects that you can hurt yourself with. You will be much less likely to hurt yourself if objects that can are not readily available! Throw things away, lock up necessary household items, leave them with someone else. Secondly, try alternative methods to help the overwhelming urge to hurt yourself, things like holding ice, scribbling on paper, ripping things up / destroying things you don't need, screaming into a pillow, vigorous exercise can all help redirect the energy which is fuelling your urge to hurt yourself!
March 4th, 2015 8:37am
When I had a lot of urges to harm myself, I had a hard time keeping myself from doing so. I tried a lot of things music, tv, singing, etc. In the end th eonly thinh that really haelped me was talking to someone about my urges,
June 4th, 2015 11:43pm
There are other ways to cope with stress/pain/other besides self harm. I've read that holding ice where you would harm yourself helps, and I'm sure it works. I know that writing helps me, I write poems telling about how I feel at the time. Everyone has different interests, but I enjoy writing. Thanks to my interest in writing, I've been clean for a month or so.
August 18th, 2015 2:18pm
Try and find other things to occupy your mind so you don't have that urge and find alternative methods. Then after a while you will not have that urge anymore. Self harm is an addiction, once you start an addiction it's hard to end it. You just need to try and work through it and try and find other ways of coping.
September 22nd, 2015 1:46am
First you need to figure out why you want to hurt yourself. Some may feel the urge due to insecurity, family problems, etc. Some tips I have for controlling the urge are as follows: Drawing: Just draw how you feel. If you don't know how you feel, draw what you think of in your happy place. Draw in pen where you want to harm yourself: Just don't jab yourself with the pen. This worked in the past for me. Snap a rubber band: This is not really recommended, I've done this before. It does work most of the time. Talk to a trusted friend: Usually they can help clear your mind. Listen to music: Just get lost in the sound. There's plenty of tips. Tumblr has alot of tips aswell.
December 29th, 2015 5:49pm
Try to listen to happen music. Go out get some fresh air. Close your eyes think of a good moment you had or something nice you want to do. Drink lots of water. Write down your thoughts/things that bother you.
May 9th, 2016 2:22am
Listen to music, read, watch T.V., hangout with friends, play with your pets, play games, sit outside!!!!!!!
April 4th, 2015 12:15am
That depends on you and what your hobbies are - sometimes when I feel like I want to harm myself, I call someone up and talk to them ( about anything besides hurting yourself) or play with an animal, start chatting with someone (like typing) or even just playing Video Games. Some people like to put their negative energy into something positive, like study even.
June 30th, 2015 1:34am
Distract yourself. One way to do this is to get a piece of paper and two different colored pencils/pens. Draw small shapes in one color. Don't stop until you cover up the whole page. Then color in all the shapes with the other color. This is called stress drawing. If this doesn't help, keep finding ways to distract yourself and express your feelings until the urge goes away.
July 13th, 2015 10:48am
I remembered my mom. She said me if you die everyone will bi sad but then everybody will forget it. And I remembered my goals.
February 16th, 2016 9:37pm
You start having the urge to want to live your life. You surround yourself with people that care for you, support you and confront you
February 17th, 2016 11:54am
try and do something instead for example ... listen to music , draw , color in , write down how you feel
June 21st, 2016 6:21pm
Hurting yourself is simply a coping mechanism, and that's okay - but, if you want to stop, then you need to find alternative ways in which to cope with any difficult emotions you might be experiencing, the urges themselves probably wont go away until you make a habit of using a different technique to tackle your emotions.