How to stop biting your nails can be easy, even for a nail-biting addict. Even if you have tried everything and think you can’t stop!
Jackie Earle Haley, who played Freddy Krueger in the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, was once quoted saying:
“I bite the hell out of my fingernails. I can’t stop. I should stop. It would be nice to grow my fingernails out. It would be healthier. I could pick up dimes.”
How ironic is it that he, as a nail-biter, portrayed a character that sported steel fingernails? As a nail-biter, wouldn’t it be nice if you had unbitable steel fingernails? Without the serial-killer tendencies, of course.
Most of the time you don’t even realize you are doing it.
If you suffer from chronic nail-biting, then you know what Jackie said is true: you should stop. It would be healthier. But because of your compulsion, you can’t stop. You can’t even resist the urge to bite your nails. Most of the time you don’t even realize you are doing it. It would be healthier. It’s painful, unhealthy and unsightly.
Your fingernails are difficult to clean so they carry a host of bacteria. Fingernail health is important to your overall health. Chewing on your nails causes ingestion of disease causing bacteria.
- During chronic nail-biting, bacteria can enter through tiny tears around the nails and cause infection. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one of the most common nail problems caused by nail-biting is a bacterial infection.
- Nail-biting can cause dental problems. Your teeth may shift or wear down over time and even weaken.
- People who bite their nails report a lower quality of life than those who do not.
How to stop biting your nails is not as effortless as simply deciding to stop. You have become dependent on this stress reliever. You are addicted to it in much the same way a smoker is addicted to cigarettes. Now that your fingernails are gnawed down to nubs and your fingers bleed from the habit, you are desperate to make yourself stop.
Like a smoker, you have probably tried a lot of different ways to stop biting your nails. You may have tried using your iron willpower, painting a horrible tasting deterrent on your nails, or wearing gloves. Yoga or meditation have been recommended; even wearing a rubber band around your wrist and snapping yourself with it every time you feel the urge.
Don’t punish yourself. Nail-biting is more than just a habit.
How to stop biting my nails is a question you have asked yourself over and over.
How to stop biting your nails will make more sense once you understand why you bite them in the first place.
Nail-biting is based on feelings of tension and stress.
Nail-biting is also an obsessive-compulsive disorder. It can be triggered by other underlying causes, such as anxiety or attention deficit disorder.
Nail-biters may feel the need to hide their hands. They are ashamed and embarrassed in social situations. They sometimes experience out-of-control feelings.
If you can’t control your compulsion, then how can you learn how to stop biting your nails?
The fastest and easiest way to stop biting your nails is to eliminate your compulsion to bite your nails.
The urge to bite your nails comes from your subconscious mind. No amount of conscious effort can stop you from biting your nails in the long term. The fastest and easiest way to stop biting your nails is to eliminate your compulsion to bite your nails. To accomplish that, you must reduce or eliminate the underlying anxiety and stress that is triggering your subconscious compulsion to bite.
Here is how your subconscious mind was programmed to bite your nails in the first place:
When you were an infant and you got cranky, your mother put a bottle or a pacifier in your mouth. You got distracted by that pacifier, began to relax, and probably fell asleep. That sequence of events was repeated hundreds of times. The outcome is that when something is put into your mouth, you’re now programmed to get relaxation and pleasure from it.
The first step with a hypnotherapy program:
One of the most effective ways to stop biting your nails is to write a new subconscious program. You can do that with the phenomenal power of hypnotherapy. And when you use hypnosis, no willpower will be required.
As mentioned above, nail biting is stress related. The very essence of hypnosis is relaxation. Post hypnotic suggestions can program your mind to adjust your point of view regarding the things that are currently triggering anxiety and stress for you.
In addition, there are many methods and techniques you can learn to enhance the relaxed state and the overall feeling of well-being.
The second step with a hypnotherapy program:
Since nail biting is an unconscious behavior, you are usually unaware when you are biting your nails. The second step with hypnotherapy is to program you to become consciously aware of when your hand is moving your fingers toward you mouth for the purpose of biting your nails. You can then decide whether or not you are going to bite them. There are also other powerful techniques.
The third step with a hypnotherapy program:
The third part of hypnotherapy is to eliminate the compulsion to bite your nails. Through experience, I’ve learned that for this part, it’s more effective to switch from hypnotherapy to NLP. Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques can be used to program you to reject, and even feel compelled to stop biting your nails!
How to stop biting your nails has never been easier with Neuro-Linguistic Programming. NLP uses the same thought patterns that create a problem, to eliminate the problem. When administered by a trained professional, the technique can be very effective.
A conditioned response is created when two behaviors become unconsciously paired together. For example, if a person bites their nails while watching TV, and then repeats that behavior a few times, watching TV will trigger a compulsion for that person to bite his / her nails.
So for example, in the case of watching the TV, the NLP “Flash” is a technique that can extinguish your conditioned response of biting your nails, and replace it with a healthy conditioned response of watching TV with a compulsion to NOT bite your nails!
Nancy Hunt was a chronic nail biter and nail picker for fifty years. She tried ‘how to stop biting my nails’ methods offered in self-help books for years, with no relief. She purchased the “Elegant Nails!” Audio Nail Biting NLP and Hypnosis CD’s and listened to them for two weeks.
After only two weeks, she has control over her thoughts and feelings. She can watch TV feeling relaxed, without any urge to bite or pick her nails.
She reports that “it’s a miracle”, her hands are so relaxed. She feels the best she has ever felt!
• Feel much more relaxed
• Lose the compulsion to bite your nails
• Finally grow your fingernails
• Have more attractive hands
• Have more confidence
Alan B. Densky, CH is an NGH certified consulting hypnotist and NLP Practitioner. In professional practice since 1978, he helps clients with anxiety and stress related symptoms. His comprehensive seven session quit nail biting hypnosis program based on Ericksonian Hypnosis and NLP, is available on the www.Neuro-VISION.us site.