Nail biting is one of the most common habits nowadays and for many it seems nearly impossible to break. The condition often has a negative impact on many aspects of a person’s life, such as health, work and social interactions. What makes it so hard to break is the fact that it’s often performed on an unconscious level; the biter simply isn’t aware of the action. According to studies, around 30% of the world’s population bite their fingernails at one point or another in their lives. The following steps outlined in this article will help to quit the habit permanently.
1. Carry a Nail File With You
File instead of bite. This will help you remember the importance of growing out the fingernails so they will look more natural. Filing the nail to make it smooth will give you something to admire while reminding you of the goal to grow out the fingernails. Before you know it, all the nails will need to be filed and smoothed to help them look natural and attractive.
2. Determine the Reason for Biting
Why, when and where do you bite? Notice when your hands go to your mouth, and note it down. Later, you can analyze the common reasons for biting. Is it because you are bored? Maybe you’ve been stressed about the boss calling you into a meeting. Did you get pulled over for driving too fast? Whatever the reason, you now figure out something else to do with your hands during that situation. If bored, consider holding a fidget ball in your hands or take up knitting. If stressed about the boss, consider making notes about what to say when in the meeting. There are solutions that will help you keep your hands busy instead of allowing you time to bite the nails.
3. Focus on the End Result
One great piece of advice on how to stop biting nails is to picture yourself with perfect fingernails. Obtain a picture of the nails you want to have after you’ve stopped biting. Keep the picture with you at all times. When tempted to bite, pull out the picture and admire what will soon be your nails. As your nails start to grow out, you can compare them with the picture. This will help you stay focused on what you want to achieve, rather than what you want to move away from.
4. Get Help From The Outside
It’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes, a reminder from a loved one will keep you determined to stop biting your nails. Get someone who cares about you to help you. You can put a quarter in a jar every time someone catches you biting your nails. You may offer to do a chore for that person if he catches you biting. Giving them a reason to help you will remind them too. Within a short time, the habit will slow down and even stop. You will become more aware of what you are doing with your hands
5. Don’t Stop When You Relapse
Every so often, your hands may go back to your mouth. It happens to everyone once in a while. Just go back to what helped you in the first place. Re-write the motivating factor, get a new picture of the fingernails you want, or even better, take a picture of your own hands when they looked great! This reminds you of the way your nails can look again.
By sticking to these tips and guidelines, you will dramatically increase the chance of being a non-biter for life. Within a few weeks or months, you will be able can have long, beautiful nails you long desired. With reminders of what you want, you can do it. Others have stopped, and so can you.
About The Author: After years of struggling with the habit, Phil Isenmann has created a comprehensive resource to help others to stop nail biting.