15 July 2022

Stop Biting Your Nails: 4 Tips to Break the Habit

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If you’re one of those people who can’t stop biting your nails, you’re not alone – it’s one of the most common bad habits people struggle with. In fact, millions of people around the world engage in this bad habit!

nail biting

But if you’re looking to break free from your nail-biting, there are a few things you can do. Check out these four tips to stop biting your nails and start living a healthier life!

Why do I bite my nails, and how do I stop?

Nail biting is a common habit that many people struggle with, and many different reasons cause people to bite their nails. Some people bite their nails as a sort of coping mechanism, while others may bite their nails subconsciously and not even realize why they do it.

Some of the most common reasons that people bite their nails are:

  • Boredom
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Nervousness
  • A need to fidget
  • Habits that are learned from others

No matter the reason, nail biting can be detrimental to both your physical and mental health. It can cause your nails to become misshapen and damaged, and it can also lead to anxiety and low self-esteem. This habit can be hard to break, but it is possible!

5 consequences of nail-biting

Not only is it a bad habit, but nail biting can also lead to some serious consequences.

stop biting your nails

Here are just a few of the reasons why you shouldn’t bite your nails:

    1. You can damage your teeth: When you bite your nails, you put your teeth at risk of being chipped or cracked.
    2. You might make your skin sore: If you bite your cuticles (the skin around your nails), you can make them sore and even lead to an infection of the skin.
    3. You could end up with stomach problems: If you bite your nails and swallow the nail debris, you could end up with an upset stomach or other gastrointestinal issues. Not to mention the hundreds of bacteria that are on our hands and living under your nails coming into direct contact with your mouth – yuck!
    4. Your nails will never look good: Bitten-down nails are never going to look as good as healthy, well-manicured ones. Not only do they not look great, but bitten-down nails can be painful as well. The skin under the nails is extremely sensitive, and when you bite it, you are essentially putting that skin at risk of being cut or damaged.
    5. It’s an expensive habit: If you’re constantly having to buy new nail polish because you’ve ruined yours from biting, that can add up! Not to mention, the cost of getting your nails done professionally. Learning to stop biting your nails can not only save your skin, teeth, and nails, but it can also save you some money.

If you’re looking to break the habit of nail-biting, there are a few things that you can do to kick this nasty habit. Now that we know why we shouldn’t bite our nails, let’s move on to how we can stop.

Break the Habit: 4 Tips to Stop Biting Your Nails

Understand why you bite your nails

The first step in breaking the nail biting habit is to identify your triggers:

What makes you want to bite your nails?

Is it when you’re feeling stressed or anxious?

Or maybe when you’re bored or have nothing else to do with your hands?

For some people, nail biting is a way to relieve stress or anxiety. Others may do it because they’re bored or nervous. It can also be a habit that’s been picked up from other people. If you know what triggers your nail-biting, you can try to avoid those situations or find other ways to cope with them.

Identifying your triggers is the first step, but it’s not always easy to do on your own. If you’re having trouble figuring out what your triggers are, consider talking to a therapist or counselor. They can help you identify your triggers and find other ways to deal with them.

Related read: 15 Self-Care Ideas to Relax and Recharge

Use a bitter-tasting polish

There are many commercial products available that can help you break the habit of nail biting. These polishes have a bitter taste that helps deter you from putting your fingers in your mouth. After a while of using this polish, you should start to associate the taste with nail-biting and hopefully be less inclined to do it.

You can find these polishes at most drugstores or online. They’re usually not very expensive, so they’re worth a try if you’re struggling to break the habit on your own.

Get regular manicures

manicure

If your nails are regularly trimmed and looking good, you’ll be less likely to bite them. Manicures also help keep your nails strong, so they’re less likely to break. Acrylic nails or gel nail extensions are a good option for those who bite their nails frequently. It’s harder to bite your nails and the skin around them when you have these extensions.

If you don’t want to get acrylics or gel nails, you can also try getting your nails done professionally on a regular basis. This will help keep your nails looking nice and may make you less likely to bite them. If you can’t afford to get your nails done regularly, there are still things you can do at home to help keep them looking nice. Try using a nail file or cuticle oil to keep your nails and cuticles healthy!

Replace your nail-biting habit with a good habit

Try to find something else to do with your hands when you feel the urge to bite your nails. Some people find it helpful to keep their hands busy with a fidget toy or stress ball. Others find that chewing gum or sucking on hard candy helps take their mind off nail biting. By finding a productive habit to replace your nail-biting habit, you can help break the cycle and eventually kick the habit for good.

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