There are some habits we pick up while growing up that are hard to give up. These habits could include eating fingernails, and not too many people have the zeal to quit before it starts affecting them physically, mentally, and socially.
This article is focused on giving you 10 easy tips to help you stop eating your fingernails once and for all. Eating one’s fingernail is a very bad habit that is not only socially demeaning but also unhealthy.
Our hands are most likely to pick up germs and pathogens than any other parts of the body. This is because we greet with our hands by a simple handshake, fist bump, a hug, a loving gesture of holding hands, showing your friend that you care by giving them a warming hand-squeeze.
All these are just simple gestures that people have adopted to show love and affection and also to strengthen friendship and bonds. Unfortunately, these can be used against us by ourselves as weapons that can make us sick, especially when we let it.
Aside from this, we also use our hands to pick up things, to work (no matter your profession) to write and type, do the garden, cook, dress, wave, and so many things, including the dirty jobs.
Literally, we hardly remember what we touched last and where last our hands have been. Can you remember at all times? No? More reasons why you should trash the bad habit of eating our fingernails.
Did you know that your fingernails can store dirt and be home to many pathogens that are detrimental to your health? Therefore, eating your fingernails gives the pathogens direct and easy access to your system.
These are 10 easy tips to help you stop eating your fingernails once and for all:
1. Understand how bad the habit is
The first step to quitting a bad habit is understanding why you need to quit in the first place. The same thing is applicable here.
When you understand why you need to stop the bad habit, you will wholeheartedly apply practical moves to stop yourself from engaging in it.
2. Cut them as much as you can
Always keep your fingernails short and neat at all times. This gives little room for specks of dirt to be stored in your fingernails, and it makes you look neat as well.
It’s best you keep your nail clipper close by at all times and you use them at all times instead of using your teeth. Whenever the nails seem so outgrown, then it deserves a nice trim.
Now, when your fingernails are short, they would seem so unsatisfying to bite. Do not use the excuse that they need to be bitten to get that little chip away. It is a trap, don’t do it.
3. Wear gloves or bandage up the fingers
If this habit is done subconsciously, that is, you only catch yourself doing when you must have gone halfway with the deed, which could be when you are bored, angry, or afraid.
Boredom, anger, and fear can happen to anyone, anytime. Everybody wakes up with the hope of being happy, but life can’t seem to stop hitting us with these feelings, and if you are a nail-bitter, you would always find yourself eating your nails.
Sometimes, the triggers of these feelings are what we can not control, we even find it difficult to control our feelings, but at least we can control what will do whenever we get triggered.
Thus the solution to this is to wear gloves or bandage up your nails so that when you subconsciously put your fingers in your mouth, and you bite on the gloves or bandage, you will remember immediately and refrain from eating them.
In a case, you would not want to have anyone know that you are protecting your fingernails from yourself that is wearing gloves or bandage will attract people’s attention to them, and you don’t want people asking about them.
The solution to this is to use a clear sellotape and tape on your fingers. This will at least give you the least attention than you wanted.
4. Find activities to keep your fingers busy
This can be done according to your hobby. Some individuals love to write, draw, or read as their favorite hobbies. When the urge comes, they simply grab their notebook and start writing. This will keep their fingers busy and being busy keeps them occupied.
This will also divert their attention away from the bad habit of something productive that they love doing.
They may not even need to actually engage in their hobbies; they may just pick up a pen and disassemble it, reassemble it back. They might as well grab some clothes and start folding them. They can do anything, all they need is to keep their hands busy and the hands away from your mouth.
5. Keep your mouth busy as well
We have talked about how to keep your hands busy, now let us talk about how to keep your mouth busy as well. This method can go a long way to help you stop biting your nails.
Chewing gum, eating mint, crunching on some snacks, and eating candy or some of your favorite fruits are great ways of keeping your mouth busy and also keeping you from eating your fingernails as well.
Again you can have a can or bottle of water with you at all times so that when the urge comes, you just take a sip from the bottle.
This will help you a great deal as you won’t have an excuse as you why you would want to eat your fingernails when you have other edible things to eat with your mouth.
And also, adopting the bottle water method is excellent for your health as you take sips of water from time to time, keeping hydrated and okay.
6. Use bitter-flavored nail polish
For a chronic nail biter, biting through the average nail polish is not a problem to them but using the type of nail polish that has a bitter and pungent flavor.
The kind that is made of a chemical that would not have any effects on our system when swallowed with a quite strong, long-lasting bitter and pungent flavor that a normal person would find repulsive.
When applying on your fingernails, be sure you also apply on the whole nail, including the skin that surrounds the fingernails.
When you subconsciously bite on your fingernails or when the urge made you overcome your reminder and hard work to avoid this, and you bite on your fingernails, the unpleasant and repulsive smell and taste would make you put your hands down and focus on something else.
This method will be very effective if you apply this kind of nail polish every day.
7. Moisturize your hands when the urge starts
Using this method is like killing two birds with one stone. Always have your hand moisturizer with you at all times so that whenever the urge to bite your nails comes, you grab your hand moisturizer and moisturize your hands, thereby averting your attention you from biting your nails to actually moisturizing your hands.
With this method, you can successfully stop the bad habit and also have your hands moisturized at all times. By the time you are through using this actualize your goal, you will be impressed by how soft and moisturized your hands are.
8. Keep a nail file close to you
Always keep your nail file close to you. You can get a couple of nail files and keep them in places you will remember all-around your home. You can put one in your pocket, and/or another in your purse.
This can help you fight the urge to bite them because you won’t have an excuse to bite them in order to keep them short. You would use the nail files instead. When the urge comes, you get one of the nail files and keep yourself busy with filing your nails in the shape that you want.
9. Get an irresistible distraction
We have many distractions lying all around us. You just have to find the one that poses as the best distraction that will totally distract you from biting your nails.
It is advisable to find something relaxing and/or productive.Something like your phone. Social media, to me, is one of the biggest distractions that comes with our phones. Using our phones can make us learn every day. You can have fun as well as make friends, keeps friendships, and sustain relationships.
You can download games to keep your hands busy, download tutorial videos, and type in somethings; poetry, essays, articles, homework, and so on. What other things do you find distracting? Just find the one that works for you.
10. Use visual reminders
Sometimes you forget that you have agreed to stop the harmful habit or that you’re in the journey of quitting this habit and so you need constant reminders to always keep on your toes and stop you from falling out.
Constant reminders can be stored on the phone. If you are the type of person that is always with your phone, you can have your wallpaper to be something to remind you that you are not supposed to eat your fingernails.
Also, you can change your lock screen to serve as a motivation not to bite your nails, and also, a beep from your phone can avert your attention away from your fingernails and also remind you that you are not supposed to eat them.
Notes neatly pasted around your home can as well serve as a reminder if you are the type of person that is hardly with your phone.
On the journey to conquer the bad habit of nail-biting. Like they always say when you do something once, it is an action. When you do that thing several times, it becomes a habit, and an uncontrolled habit becomes your character.
The same way habits are formed is the same way they are stopped. You start by one action, followed by another, then another, and before you know it, it becomes a habit, and when it’s bad, it is a bad habit. Therefore, these tips are needed to be applied practically.
Are there habits you wish you could stop? What methods have you applied so far? Are there tips or suggestions you would like to share with us? kindly do so in the comments below.