As a reformed nail biter, I kicked the habit in my teens and never looked back. If you’re a chronic nail biter you know that it’s not a conscious decision, it just sort of happens and you often don’t realize you’re doing it. You can stop, but then relapse during a particularly stressful time. Here is how I finally kicked my habit -and you can too!
Keep Your Nails Manicured
First and foremost, the most important step is to keep your nails manicured. Once you start investing time and/or money in your nails, you won’t want to bite them to shreds! You can give yourself a manicure at home with polish or you can opt for nail wraps, which create an instant manicure without the hassle of painting! And with all the adorable nail art that’s out there right now, there’s no better time to stop biting! Whatever you do, keep your nails manicured and painted.
Become Aware of All the Disgusting Germs Under Your Nails
I always say, “Awareness is the greatest deterrent,” and finger nail biting is no exception.
“Let’s just say you had an itch and you scratched a little bit too hard and you abraded your skin, germs living under your fingernail would get under your skin barrier and cause infection to yourself and, obviously, we have the same potential to transmit germs to other people,” Dr David Katz of Yale University explained to MSN.
Ew. The most common bacterias found under nails are staphylococcus (the bacteria which causes potentially deadly staph infections) and e. Coli (yep, feces!). The worst part is that these bacterias are easily contracted from typical activities like touching door handles, changing diapers, and handling raw meat.
Relax & De-stress
Without a doubt, nail biting happens most during stressful times, so the best thing you can do is reduce your stress and relax. Take up yoga, try deep breathing exercises, or go for a vigorous run. Try calming chamomile tea or relaxing herbs such as kava kava, valerian root or passion flower. Whatever you do, find a way to calm your nerves.
Use a Deterrent
Swipe acetone nail polish remover over your nails, scratch your nails across a bar of soap, use a bitter tasting lotion, or use a anti-nail biting top coat to discourage biting. Getting a bitter taste in your mouth is a wonderful (albeit unpleasant) deterrent!
None of us want to look nervous. Nail biting makes us appear anxious, scared, and less self-assured. As for adults, biting your nails can make you appear less professional. The professional world can be sadly unforgiving and it’s important to always put your best foot forward. Nail biting and chewed nails can lead some to make unfair assumptions about you. Don’t let that happen!
Giving up biting your nails can be a frustrating process but with time, persistence, and mental awareness, you can do it! Just think of how amazing it will feel to be able to place your hands on the table with confidence.