We’ve all had a time in our life where we’ve been nervous, anxious or frightened of something, unfortunately some people immediately put their hands to the mouth and start chewing. Here are some hints and tips to help you stop biting your nails.
The most important thing to do is to look at other people that bite their nails, Think to yourself about where that persons nails have been all day and what they’ve done, what they have touched, whether or not they’ve washed their hands after the toilet.
Then imagine that’s how other people feel about you and your hands. Start to imagine that every time you put your finger in your mouth that there is a piece of sick on the end of your finger, in fact close your eyes and make that image more stronger and smell the sick feel it in your mouth, now every time you bite your nails a taste of sick will immediately appear in your mouth and this will help you stop.
Tackle your problem head on; take some pictures of your bitten fingernails. Examine your nails, and list their problems.
Make a date to stop biting your nails, so that you’re prepared. Try saying that you’ll quit on a day of the week such as Monday rather than a specific date. That way you have a clear day to try again if your first attempt is unsuccessful.
Imagine yourself with healthy, strong nails, and how great they will look.
Pick one nail that you can let grow, so that if you have an urge to bite your nails you have several others to choose from, this way you can see how one nail will grow and how wonderful it will look and feel when it’s grown and looks healthy.
Chewing gum helps focus your mouth on something other than your nails.
Once you have grown your non-bitten nail for a while, start protecting another one, until every single nail is protected. Do not un-protect nails after they have grown well.
Push your cuticles back. Many nail-biters do not have “moons” on the base of their fingernails because their cuticles have not been pushed back. To do this, gently push your cuticles towards your finger to reveal more of your nail. This is easier to do after a shower when your hands and nails are wet. This makes the nail appear longer, and it gives a more attractive shape, which might also be a motivation to stop biting.
Ensure you keep your hands busy, if you are someone that bites their nails because of boredom, start to tap your fingers, clasp your hands together or go and do something constructive to ensure you’re not putting them into your mouth.
Distract your mouth. Eat some fruit or other healthy food options to keep you busy. Keep chewing gum handy for those weak moments.
Go over the exercise at the top of this article again and again until it’s so real that it makes you stop.
© Paul Alland 2012