Do you have a tendency to abuse yourself? Your gut reaction might be, No! I would never hurt myself! But, if you are picking your nails, hands, or face, then that is exactly what you are doing!
It’s often so habitual that we don’t even realize it’s happening. You might not even label it as self-harm or self-abuse.
Yet, these harmful behavior patterns should clue us into something deeper that is causing an internal struggle. Self-harm isn’t natural! We should fight to preserve our health and well-being. It is a clear sign of illness on some level when we actively try to hurt or sabotage ourselves.
- It causes shame and self-consciousness.
- Picking is often mimicked by our children.
- It hurts, doesn’t feel good, and creates visible damage.
- Picking causes our body to stay in a constant struggle for healing.
- It does nothing to resolve the deeper, underlying issue.
I want to help you clear your picking issue. Keep reading to understand why you are caught in this self-abuse cycle and how to stop picking your skin.
What is Skin Picking?
Biting your nails, biting your cuticles, picking at dead skin, and tearing off old skin—these are all forms of skin picking. If you have a picking habit, you will continue to pick until the area is raw and irritated. It leaves skin lesions where you tend to pick—most often the fingers, face, or mouth (biting the lip or check).
You might pick with your fingernails or with your teeth. It can include picking at healthy skin or small skin issues, like scabs, pimples, peeling cuticles, etc.
Most people with a skin picking disorder will go into remission, only to return to their habit full force after a time. It’s a very frustrating cycle to be in and can really impact your life. There are estimates that some people spend several hours a day on picking behavior.
Why Do I Feel the Need to Pick?
Chronic skin picking is considered a kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It stems from mental illness that makes it very hard to stop or control. There isn’t a clear cause for it, though it can certainly be caused by anxiety and stress. Oftentimes, the behavior is also passed down from close family members.
It can really help slow your picking if you understand your triggers. You might find more prone to pick if you are impacted by:
- Stressful situations
- Feeling powerless
- Frustration and irritation
- Relationship tensions
- Uncertainty or anxiety
- Fear or traumatic experiences
When you stop, you may be able to hold off for weeks or months at a time. But, many find that they suddenly return to the behavior when they are triggered—falling back into picking behaviors before they even realize what they are doing. You might be watching a movie, driving or reading your Facebook feed when you suddenly realize you have returned to that dreaded habit and you’ve opened up old wounds.
My Picking History
For me, the picking started at a VERY young age. Typically, picking habits will manifest up around puberty, but I was only about 2 or 3. I had a very difficult childhood with a lot of trauma. This caused me to look for a distraction and, so, I started biting my nails and picking at my face. It gave me something else to focus on when I was under stress or unable to get away from the situation.
I’ve been able to stop my nail biting with acrylic nails and gel tips. But, there wasn’t such a simple solution for stopping the face picking habit! So, this is where the EFT clearing comes in.
EFT Clearing on How to Stop Picking
This session is helpful for stopping your skin picking or biting. It can also help if you are pulling out hair or eyelashes, this will work too. You can just change the language to fit the kind of self-harm you are trying to end.
Define Your Intentions
Start with your hand on your chest at heart center. Taking a deep breath in, set your intention:
“Even though I have been picking and biting, I completely love and accept myself.
Even though I have done this for years and have not been able to stop it, I am ready to change my pattern.
Even though it’s embarrassing and I have to find ways to hide it, I now choose to let myself heal.”
Clear the Negative Energy Causing a Block
Next, begin tapping your forehead, then move to tap on the side of your head, then at the top of the cheekbones, under the nose, on the chin, and then on the center of the chest.
As you tap, make yourself express the frustrating excuses and problems you are having. You will start the clearing process by stating things like:
- “Why do I do this? It hurts. It’s embarrassing.”
- “I say I’m going to stop and I don’t.”
- “I can’t stop. I try to stop and I do it again.”
- “I’m so angry that I can’t control this.”
- “I’m too sad/angry/stressed and need to release.”
- “I’m part of a generational loop and I’m continuing learned behavior.”
Get it ALL out as you tap.
Your brain NEEDS to release these feelings! After you’ve said all the excuses and related frustrations you can think of (and, I’d recommend writing down a list so you hit them all!), then you are quite literally going to wipe it all off, brushing off your arms and pushing away that negative energy.
Take a DEEP breath to start the renewal process.
With your hand on your heart, state the simple fact that you will forgive yourself. Then list out what you are forgiving yourself for.
“I forgive myself! For picking on myself, for feeling [past trauma or current stressor].
I forgive myself for biting myself. For tearing away at myself.
I deserve better.
I am releasing the stress.
I am stopping the self-abuse and self-hate behavior.
I forgive myself. I am whole and healed.”
Reset the Energy
Following the same tapping motion as before, you are now going to repeat the positive thoughts that will replace the old frustrations and hurts.
Begin tapping your forehead, then move to tapping on the side of your head, then at the top of the cheekbones, under the nose, on the chin, and then on the center of the chest.
As you tap, repeat the new thoughts that will bring a healthy vibration and new energy:
“I am dealing with stress in healthy, mindful ways.
I am free of all trauma energy.
I am free of all abuse energy.
There is no need to disconnect or disassociate.
I am present in my body. I am present and balanced.
I am expressing myself in healthy, kind ways that HONOR my true self.
I am kind to myself. I only exhibit loving behaviors towards my body.
I make loving choices in support of my body.
I honor and respect my body.
I am free of all habits that have not been serving me. I am free.
I am in a new, healthy energy pattern and I share that with ALL generations.
I am a changemaker.
I love and accept my truth. My inner child is now safe.”
Breath that in!
Tap all over your body to activate your centers. If you know what an energy circle is, I highly recommend you throw that in and really get things going!
Give Yourself Grace and Time to Heal
THIS IS NOT A ONE-AND-DONE PROCESS!
I will repeat that again—this is not a one-time spell that magically resets your energy! You’ve formed deep habits that are going to take time to change. But, it is absolutely possible to change those habits starting today and you are going to feel incredible as you do.
It is CRUCIAL that you do this clearing session regularly at first—don’t wait until you start picking because you will probably start before you even realize it! Of course, if you do notice the desire for picking return or you catch yourself picking, do this clearing session again right away!
Give yourself the space and grace needed to heal. This is a process—a journey towards health. We are in a marathon, not a sprint! I know that you can stop picking today and keep it up for the long-term, but I also know that it requires staying dedicated to true healing.
If you are dealing with deep hurts, past traumas or seemingly small things that just keep building up, I hope you will join my Healing Center. I offer a lot of resources there to help people like you heal the deep hurt that is causing blocks in their lives.
Sign up today for your FREE trial and check out all the courses and healing sessions that are available to my community. I have helped thousands of people find peace, strength, self-love, and joy by addressing those underlying hurts. You can join us for the same kind of healing experience.