Nail biting is a familiar reaction to stress and is a habit that often begins when you are very young.
By the time you are old enough to want to stop making an unsightly mess of your fingertips, and grow beautiful nails, it has become an unconscious habit that can be difficult to break.
As with many learned habits, wanting to stop is the key to success, but there are some steps you can take to make the process easier.
Handle stress differently
It’s not realistic to suggest removing all stress from your daily life so you have to find different ways of dealing with it and keep your hands occupied in another way. Make a cup of coffee, doodle on the back of an envelope, or rub on some hand cream.
Carry worry beads
Fingering worry beads is an easy way to keep your fingers busy and one that can be used anywhere. Another trick is to practice manipulating playing cards or learn coin tricks. Not only will you soon have beautiful nails but you can keep the kids entertained too.
At times you may find yourself biting your nails without even realizing that you are doing it. A clear nail paint that tastes terrible is readily available from drugstores. Try this and you will immediately be reminded of what you are doing and deterred at the same time.
Trim your nails
You might like the idea of having longer nails, and that may be a part of your motivation for stopping the biting habit, but well kept short nails are easier to manage and less of a temptation to bite. Keep a nail file handy so that you can repair any damage to your nails as a ragged edge can be very hard to resist.
One step at a time
Some people find it easier to break the habit if they start with one hand. Others begin with having a single un-chewed finger. If you set yourself targets that you can manage then you are more likely to achieve your goal.
Reward works better than punishment so encourage yourself to break the habit and don’t be dismayed by minor setbacks. When you meet one of the goals you have set, treat yourself.
With motivation, persistence and following these tips, your nail biting habit will soon be a distant memory.