May 31st, 2010 by Rae Coleman
Forums and blogs that are about wellness and mental health are often asked the question: “How to stop biting my nails?” This comes as no surprise to health professionals, because many people are compulsive nail biters. The clinical name for the condition is “onychophagia.”
If knowing that nail biting has a name makes you worry and start biting your nails, that’s a key towards knowing why you started biting your nails in the first place. People often start biting their nails when they’re nervous or anxious.
Some psychologists call nail biting an “oral fixation.” Just as some infants need a pacifier to help them sleep, some adults feel they need something in their mouths to feel secure.
Not all psychologists agree with that diagnosis, but they all agree that chewing on your nails, especially when it’s habitual and excessive, is a problem. You don’t necessarily have to go into years of therapy to stop your nail biting habit, though. There are many ways you can deal with it yourself.
Nail biting is an unconscious habit. The first thing you need to do is become conscious of the urge to bite your nails. You can buy foul tasting nail applications that are impossible to ignore. When, every time you put your nail in your mouth, you instantly want to take it out again, eventually you will break the habit. This method is only effective if you stick with it for awhile.
If your nail biting habit is not too extreme, try regular nail grooming. If you get your nails done, that may be all the incentive you need to stop biting them. Get them painted a vivid, noticeable color to give you a visual reminder every time you start to bite your nails. If you’re a man, try filing your nails instead of biting them. You might even want to apply a clear nail polish or go to a professional manicurist.
Another way to tackle nail-biting is to learn how to relax. People who practice different kinds of meditation often find that they just naturally stop biting their nails as they learn what it feels like to feel peaceful and centered. Meditation, if practiced regularly over time, has helped many people overcome entrenched habits and even addictions.
Don’t give up. You can stop biting your nails. Try these techniques and see if they help. If not, ask an expert, “How to stop biting my nails?’ Keep trying until you succeed!
Get the Keys to Stop Biting Nails in 30 days.
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