How to stop biting your nails forever: 5 effective life hacks
Since childhood, parents have forbidden nail biting, but they don't explain why. First of all, a lot of bacteria collects under them, which can be unpleasant and dangerous for the body. Secondly, such nails do not look very neat.
In particular, this habit mostly manifests itself in nervous situations, and we notice the lack of manicure after a while. Real Simple told us why we have the urge to bite our nails and collected life hacks to overcome it.
Why people bite their nails
Hong Yin, MD and clinical psychiatrist, believes that nail biting behavior is often a response to stress and anxiety. In particular, this habit is also characterized by twisting or pulling out hair on the finger, bouncing the foot, and picking the skin. These behaviors may distract from stress or suffering, but they are not the healthiest or most effective way to cope with stress.
"These actions can be justified because at a particular moment they reduce the suffering that a person is experiencing," explains Hong Yin.
How to get rid of this unpleasant habit, read in the OBOZ.UA article.
Be aware of your actions
To get rid of an unpleasant habit, you need to pay more attention to it. After all, most people do not notice their actions and perform them "on automatic". Often, such behavior is so habitual that its results are noticed only after realization. Therefore, the first thing you should do is control your actions and body and understand what consequences will follow.
Identify your triggers
To get rid of a bad habit, you first need to understand in what situations it manifests itself. After all, with the previous advice, you can stop biting your nails and not notice how, for example, skin picking appears. In this case, you should first change the circumstances in which this behavior appears.
Create an incentive for yourself
You should add some kind of stimulating factor to the desire to stop biting your nails. Christine Gibson, MD, recommends getting a manicure and adding other deterrents, such as unpleasant nail polish or even wearing gloves.
Find a better action to replace it
People who bite their nails do so as a response to something. This trigger won't go away the moment you decide to stop. It is worth finding some better behavior to replace it. When your hands are the focus of the action, you should occupy them with something more useful and productive. For example, spinning a spinner or squeezing an anti-stress ball.
How to calm your stress
Dr. Gibson recommends trying one of the self-soothing techniques she uses with her patients and describes in her book The Modern Trauma Toolkit.
- The Havening method is gentle stroking of the palms, shoulders, and face. This creates waves in the brain responsible for relaxation.
- The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is performed by pressing on sensitive points on the face and body, using a specific sequence to reduce emotionality. Since this exercise involves hands, it can replace the habit of biting nails.
Earlier, ODOZ.UA talked about 5 unhealthy habits that greatly harm our mental health. Among them are overthinking your behavior and criticism.