Dreaming of pretty fingers but can’t stop biting your nails? Like any bad habit, nail-biting can be a tough to kick. So, let us help you with our 10 top tips on how to stop biting nails!
1. Discover what triggers your nail biting
There are many reasons why people bite their nails, but people aren’t always conscious about why they do it. One of the most important steps in overcoming this habit is to identify what triggers you to bite your nails. Is it when you’re feeling anxious? When you’re bored? Or maybe you start nibbling when you want to forget a certain feeling e.g. anger?
A good way to do this is to keep a journal – a notes app on your phone is ok too! Just try to jot down when you bite your nails and how you’re feeling / what you’re doing. This will help you to identify any patterns so that you can try and change your reaction to any nail-biting triggers, e.g. filing your nails into a nice shape when you’re worried instead of biting them all off.
2. Think of all those germs…
You put what in where!? When you think about it, nail biting is pretty unhygienic. It’s highly unlikely that you will wash your hands every time before you start nibbling your nails, meaning you’re transferring germs from everything you’ve touched into your mouth. This can expose you to illnesses.
So next time you’re tempted to bite your nails, take a second to think about all those potential germs lurking on your fingers and maybe just go and wash your hands instead!
3. Ask your friends and family to help
You may not notice you’re biting your nails as often as you are, and once you do the damage is often already done. One thing you can do is ask the people around you to remind you not to bite your nails – you choose how cruel or kind you want them to be. This not only gives you accountability and a better visibility of your nail-biting habit, but it also gives you the support to help you stop.
4. Take your teeth into consideration
You may have your dental hygiene routine down but biting your nails could be setting your mouth health back, bigtime. Biting your nails can cause major problems down the line like cracked and chipped teeth. Use this as motivation to stop biting your nails – unless you really do want to go and sit in that dentist chair….
5. Get your nails done
When you spend your hard-earned money on a fresh manicure or paint your nails with a nice new nail varnish, you are less likely to bit them. Why? It’s money down the drain isn’t it. Not only that, but you took time out of your day to go get them done, so that’s a double-whammy of waste if you go and ruin it by biting your nails. Go on, treat yourself and see if it can help you kick nail-biting to the curb!
6. Make your nails taste bad
If something tastes bad, you’re not going to want to put it in your mouth, right? Try applying this to your fingernails. Not only can it help you associate the habit with something negative, it can also put a stop to absent-minded nail biting – because sometimes you won’t even realise you’re biting your nails until it’s too late. There are many nasty-tasting forumulas on the market already that you can paint onto your nails, but here’s some natural ways to help make those nails un-bitable.
7. Reward every little victory
Whether you’ve managed to get through a whole day without biting your nails or made it through your first month of no-nail biting make sure you celebrate! Plan some rewards for these milestones, like treating yourself to a nice manicure or a buying yourself a nice piece of clothing you’ve had your eye on for a while. This positive reinforcement should help you kick the habit for good. And remember if you find yourself biting your nails, don’t be too hard on yourself, simply acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes and start again – you’ve got this!
Last updated: 29 April 2020