It is thought that around 20 – 30% of people bite their nails, with as many as 45% of teenagers having the habit. There can be many reasons that people can’t help but put their digits in their mouth, but could there finally be some ways to kick the habit and bring our nails back from the brink?
Finding the problem
If you identify what causes you to bite your nails in the first place, then you may be more likely to stop yourself. It could be a variety of things including stress, boredom, or that you get distracted. Next time you find your nails heading towards your teeth then just take a moment to stop and think about why you’re doing it. By seeking out the problem, you could instantly kick your nail-biting habit.
Go easy on yourself
If every time you find yourself accidentally biting your nails you put yourself down then you may never be able to break the habit. It’s important to remember that these things don’t change overnight and it will take a lot of practice before you’re there. Psychologist Ellen Hendriksen advices people to ditch the “I will stop now” thoughts and switch to an “I will start practicing” attitude instead.
Find another habit
Although it may not be the best idea to replace one habit with another, this can sometimes be the best option. As long as that habit is a healthy one! It could be time to invest in a stress ball, or chewing gum to keep your hands (or mouth) busy. This way you will still have something to do without having to risk your precious nails.
Cut them down
If there is nothing there to bite then how are you going to chew your nails? By cutting them back, you will take away the temptation to have them in between your teeth. Hopefully, after a few weeks of keeping them short, you will no longer feel the need to be a nail-biter. Plus, after giving them time to recover from years of biting it would be a shame to see them end up in the same state and have to start all over again.
Get some polish
Having neatly painted nails can be a benefit for multiple reasons. Having neatly polished nails can take away the temptation of putting them in your mouth, especially if you have painted them yourself. Sometimes it can take hours to get the polish perfect, and you wouldn’t want to ruin it, right? Plus, having a coating on the nails can leave a foul taste in the mouth, and that’s never a pleasant experience.
Bitter polish time
If all else fails, it may be time to invest in some bitter-tasting nail polish. These can be found at reasonably low prices and can come in clear options meaning it won’t even look as though you have any on in the first place. As soon as your urge to bite comes back and you don’t realize where your hand is heading then you’ll soon be in for a nasty surprise. Hopefully, the taste will override your desire to get chomping!
Hopefully at least one of these options will do wonders for both you and your nails. Choosing to break the habit finally is the perfect place to start, and now it’s just a case of finding what works for you. Just think of how healthy and strong they will be at the end of it all!