Nail biting is a nervous, unattractive habit and can cause several health problems, such as nail infections or the transfer of bacteria from the hands to the mouth. The habit is usually performed unconsciously, what makes it very difficult to stop. Nail biters often feel like they have little control over their actions and only realize that they are gnawing the nails when the damage has been done. Besides, many of the most commonly used methods such as bitter tasting products, acrylic nails or wearing gloves contain many drawbacks that make them only temporary solutions. In the following paragraphs, you will find techniques which have worked for countless nail biters and when used correctly, they will do the same for you.
Identify When You Bite Your Nails
Do you bite your nails when bored? Do you bite when you are nervous or stressed? These are common reasons for chewing fingernails. Understanding when and why you are biting, will provide you with valuable insights which will then help you get a better grasp on the habit and eventually stop. The behavior has occurred so long for many, that they aren’t aware of the circumstances and emotion that frequently lead to a nail biting session – as a consequence they can’t reflect on it. When you realize that you often chomp the nails when watching television, try to replace your need for entertainment by something new. Becoming more aware of your actions is crucial to kicking nail biting long term.
Moisturize Your Hands
Take care of your hands by moisturizing them throughout the day. This will not only reduce hangnails, but will repair the damaged skin after a long time of nail biting. It is recommended to moisturize your fingers a minimum of three times a day, especially after extensive hand washing, showering or other exposure to water. When the cuticles and skin around the nails become dry, tiny imperfections can come about which often lead to a biting session. It’s best to make sure the oil or cream includes a lot of natural ingredients, in some instances you can even home remedies, such as dipping your nails in olive oil.
Identify Why Exactly You Want To Stop
Another great tip on how to stop biting nails is to identify the reasons. Why would you want to stop biting your nails? Whatever the reason, this is your motivation to stop. If it’s to impress your date, remind yourself of the reason to stop. If it’s to reduce the embarrassment, daily reminders will help you. Maybe you are jealous of those with long, beautiful nails. It’s possible to have them too. Remind yourself of the reason daily. Write down the reasons and bring it up each time you find yourself in a tempting situation. Also, picture healthy, well-manicured nails every day, as this will provide you with the positive motivation to keep you moving toward the goal you set out to reach.
Keep Your Hands Busy
Hands with nothing to do encourage nail biting. Keep something in your hands throughout the day. Many people hold a paperclip or a pen. This gives your hands something to do. Organize items in a drawer if bored just to keep your hands busy. The busier your hands, the less likely you will put your hands in your mouth. Another possibility is to take up a new hobby such as knitting or Sudoku. Anything that will distract you from the biting action will do the trick. Just make sure that you are sticking to healthy alternatives, unlike eating candy or sweets instead of your nails.
Use a Nail File Daily
Make it a habit to carry a decent nail file with you throughout the day. Use it to file the nail whenever you sense the desire to bite off that rough edge or irregular bit of skin. You should also clear under the nail to help it look better. Smoothing out the edges and breaks will reduce the temptation of biting. It only takes a few minutes to file the nail that you want to bite and to assist you in changing your mind to nibble. Sharp edges are tempting. Keep them smooth, and you will no longer want to bite the nail. Make sure that you invest in a quality nail file so that the a broken plastic handle or other damages will not come in the way of your resolution to stop.
When applied correctly and consistently, the tips and strategies described in the lines above will help you break free from the clutches of biting your nails. Rest assured that you can break the habit. Thousands of nail biters have broken the habit in the past, hundreds quit every day, so you can.