How to stop nail biting

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The bad habit of nail biting is common to many people

A large part of people, children and adults, have the habit of doing something while sitting, chatting or watching TV. Nail biting is one of those things that should not be done. And it is possible to avoid…

The bad habit of nail biting is common to many people. Some researchers have found that one in four children bites their nails constantly, others say that up to 45 percent of teenagers do this. Surprisingly, the prevalence among adults is about 50 percent.

Nail biting is, of course, something that has come to the attention of psychologists, so they advise eight steps on how to stop biting your nails.

1- It seems simple, but it takes courage

For every change we undertake, there are certain elements that must exist to achieve the right result. One of these elements is to really want the change. The bad habit of nail biting may seem like a simple behavior, but experience has shown that it is very difficult to give up. This may come as a result of the underestimation we give to the situation. It is a big problem trying to change someone else’s nail biting habit.

One way to approach the problem is to think positively about the positive effects that changing this habit would have, for example how attractive you would look with long, beautiful nails and how accomplished you would feel for the achievement. Also, think about the negative effects of nail biting, try to dramatize the situation, to really appreciate it as a major problem.

2- Don’t feel embarrassed

It doesn’t matter if it’s you or your child who is trying to change, putting pressure on yourself at this point is not a good thing. The punishment you can give the child for this bad habit is not a good idea. They know that through this action they will attract your attention, so they will use it against you. The same goes if you’re trying to kick your habit. Trying to tell yourself to stop doing the action is like telling your child. Your conscience will react like a child by doing the opposite.

3- Replace this bad habit with something else

The key to changing habits is starting a new habit in response to the old one. The best types are those that are incompatible with the old. You can try:

– Chew a gum.

– Put your hands in your pockets.

– To move the fingers without any specific purpose.

– Playing with a rubber ball.

– Shake hands with each other.

– Eating or chopping a carrot.

4- Use visual memory

If the length of your nails is short, there is less chance of biting them. Many people recommend using a nail polish because the money you spent on it, along with the beautiful appearance of your nails, will stop you from eating them.

You can also use different nail polish colors to remind yourself not to carry on your bad habit of nail biting. Another way is to wear something around your wrist to remind you of your goal.

Given that habits live in our consciousness and that nail biting is an unconscious habit, using visual memory is helpful. Studies have shown that a bracelet that is difficult to remove brings good results.

5- Give importance to the situation

Habits are related to the events of the day. Unfortunately, it is difficult to notice habits, or as they are called reflexes, because they are very much related to the subconscious. However, you can encounter them during the day, when the habit appears, for example, while you are watching TV. If you don’t notice it, ask the people next to you to point it out to you while you are doing it. Lubricating your fingers with liquids that taste unpleasant can help, as your tongue will reject the action you are performing. The method of painting nails with an unpleasant taste does not always work, since the habit happens to be stronger and tolerate the taste.

6- Observe thoughts related to feelings

Just as situations, our thoughts and feelings affect everyone’s behavior. If you can notice the kind of thoughts you have while biting your nails, it can help you a lot. Some people are careful to raise personal awareness. When you notice which thoughts cause you to bite your nails, try to overcome feelings such as anxiety, stress and others with other actions.

7- Repeat the response

Repeating the action you chose to take as a countermeasure to your bad habit goes a long way toward replacing it. Try to accept the difficult situations during the day, so that you do not react to them with actions that can harm you.

8- Keep improving

Keep up the morale and desire to use the new habit. A good way to celebrate your progress is to take pictures of your uneaten nails every day. By seeing the rate of development, you’ll be motivated to keep improving.

You have to remember that old habits don’t die. They are always in our consciousness, waiting to be activated from moment to moment. Be tolerant of yourself if you make mistakes at certain moments, thinking that battles against bad habits are won by keeping the conscience awake.

Many people wonder if nail biting is a symptom of a deeper problem. That may be true, but the best way to tackle this simple habit seems to be to start with the steps above. Nothing is impossible where there is desire and effort. Trust yourself.

It is difficult to notice habits, or as they are called reflexes, because they are very much related to the subconscious. However, you can encounter them during the day, when the habit appears, for example, while you are watching TV. If you don’t notice it, ask the people next to you to point it out to you.

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