While it might never be an easy habit to stop, biting your nails is probably one of the first —or most important — habits to put an end to. Think about it: Nothing positive comes out of it. For a lot of people, it's a psychological way to put your nervous energy into something else. Its "fidgety" action can express itself in a lot of other ways, too — playing with your hair, messing with your clothes, biting your lip. While it might comfort you at first, it's really doing more harm than good.
This article, for me, might be a therapeutic way to stop biting my own nails. I have had this problem for God knows how long, and I, myself, truly need to stop. I used to do it when I would take a test in high school, and I do it now when I am at work and my stress level is going through the roof. The results? Chewed up nails with cuticles that are crying for help. Seriously, my nails need help to say the very least. It's not pretty over here. OK, maybe it's not that bad, but essentially, I need to stop. Fast. So, if you are like me and can't say no to biting your nails for whatever reason, let's take a few of steps to head in the right direction, before it's too late.
1. Paint Your Nails
This is probably the most common way to help stop yourself from biting your nails. Once you start doing a weekly manicure (whether it's at the salon or at home) you will feel less inclined to take nibble on your nails. When it comes to my nails, I go through phases of them looking nice for months on end, and then one day, everything goes out the door. Try to paint really intricate nail art, so when you are even thinking of biting your nails, you will stop because you don't want to ruin all the effort you just put in.
2. Eat Healthy Snacks Instead
Instead of focusing your anxiety energy on your nails, have a few healthy snacks by your desk. By doing this, you will be more inclined to eat something delicious and good for you instead of destroying your nails with your teeth. I was inspired to do this from a colleague of mine. She has plenty of snacks around her desk, and whenever she is feeling stressed out with work, she starts snacking on vegetables, fruits, and healthy crackers. It's kind of awesome, good for you, and you will never feel hungry.
3. Maintain Your Nails
Sometimes people just bite their nails because they see a hangnail or their nails are uneven. The best thing you can do in this situation, is if you just cut your cuticles or file them down when they feel rough. Because I know I have a bad nail-biting habit, I always try to cut and maintain my nails by using the proper tools. It helps prolong the life of my nails, and it makes them look a lot nicer.
4. Use Anti-Nail Biting Polish
You have probably heard of this little nail polish of magic before. Apparently when you use a coat of this on your nails and you try to bite them, the taste is so bad, that you don't want to do it again. One of the reasons why you want to use this thing is because when you bite your nails you are inviting all that lovely bacteria into your mouth and you are more prone to getting a cold, according to the Huffington Post. You don't remember everything you have touched throughout the day. It's gross just thinking about it.
5. Try To Figure Out Why You Are Biting Your Nails
Maybe there is a psychological reason why you are biting your nails. Are you nervous? Do you always do it when you are working on a project or you are bored? The minute you start to bite your nails, try to think in the moment of why you are committing the act. According to a Psychology Today article, if you can stop the things that are making you want to bite your nails, then that can help to stop. It also mentions that some people use mindfulness as a way to increase your self-awarenes of exactly what you are doing.
6. Ask A Friend Or Significant Other To Help You To Stop
Sometimes when you act on a habit that you have been doing for a while, you sometimes don't even realize that you are doing in the mist of the act. It might sound weird, but tell your friends and your SO what you are trying to accomplish by not biting your nails anymore. And if they see you do it, ask them to tell you not to. This little "support group" will help you quit the habit. It might be frustrating at first, but in the long run, it will help. I have asked my boyfriend in the past to stop me when he sees me biting my nails (actually he does it without me even asking him). Because I do it without even realizing it, it really helps me acknowledge what I am doing.
Take a moment and realize that this habit can be conquered. With a little bit of help from your friends, a positive mindset, and some damn good nail polish, this nail biting habit will be relinquish before you know it.
Images: Giphy (6); Pexels