Nail biting is one of those hard to break habits that many adults still suffer with. What feels rewarding at the time, will leave you with ragged, damaged nails which are prone to infection.
Kicking this nasty habit and figuring out how to stop biting nails is a tricky one, but is well worthwhile, not just for good health and an improved appearance, but also for self-esteem and confidence.
Have the Motivation
To stop biting your nails, you are not only going to need a lot of patience and dedication but you are going to have to really want to stop. You can’t break it with a half-hearted mentality.
Imagine success. Imagine you have a pristine manicure and no longer have to hide your hands in your pockets. Think about those potential infections growing under your nails, transferring over to your mouth and gums. Desire to succeed is crucial.
Find Out Why You Bite Your Nails
Most nail biters start at childhood and is normally caused by anxiety, boredom, stress or has become habitual. If you’re not sure why you bite your nails, consider starting a nail biting log, writing down when and where you bite.
Understanding what triggers your habit is key to putting a stop to it.
Tell the World You’re Quitting
Telling friends and family that you’re about to embark on a no nail biting journey is a great way to stay motivated. If you keep it to yourself, no one is going to nag you if you start biting again!
Even better, find a fellow nail-biter to buddy up with and quit your habit together. It’ll be much easier if you’ve got someone in a similar position to compare notes to and share tips with.
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Have a Manicure
Whether you’re at home or heading down to the salon, a manicure can make you feel like a new person and the desire to ruin your fresh mani will soon fade.
Keep your nails short, preferably avoiding the square shape so there aren’t any tempting corners to bite, and use a base coat and top coat to ensure your new look lasts. Don’t file the surface of your nails, even if they are uneven and broken, as this can weaken your nails.
Stay on top of your new nail routine, taking an hour or so each week to redo and refresh. Learn to love your pampering sessions and you’ll soon love your pristine nails too and won’t want to bite them.
Use a Deterrent
Nail biting often occurs in those moments where we completely switch off, and don’t even realise that it is happening until the damage is done. These moments can be the most difficult to manage and make it such a tricky habit to break.
Considering using an anti-nail biting solution for a sour taste in the mouth whenever you unknowingly bite. You can buy these in your local pharmacy, as any homemade solutions will wash off too quickly.
Alternatively, cover your nails with band-aids or gloves to completely deter any nail biting. Or for a more subtle solution consider some fake nails to hide yours in a stylish way.
Replace the Habit
If your nail biting is a symptom of boredom or habit, you need to keep yourself distracted with a new, more hygienic activity. Keep your hands busy by carrying a stress ball or pen, and chew gum or drink water when you’re feeling like you need something to concentrate on.
What better time than now to take up a new hobby? Learning an instrument, playing a sport and knitting are all great hobbies for nail biters. The busier you are, the less time you have to bite your nails!
Strengthen Your Nails
Years of biting nails would have damaged and weakened the nail bed, making them brittle and prone to breakage. If you want healthy nails you will need to work on strengthening them once again. There are plenty of polishes and treatments which are enriched with vitamins to promote nail growth and cuticle oils to keep nails hydrated and healthy.
Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial if you want strong and healthy nails. Protein, B12, Vitamin D and Biotin are your key ingredients to look out for for strengthening nails, so focus on your lean meats, eggs, green vegetables and fish.
Breaking your nail biting habit is always going to be a challenge, but if you are prepared and dedicated, over time you will learn to love your new strengthened nails and nail biting will be a thing of the past.