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How to Stop Biting Your Nails Part 1

Updated on January 4, 2013
The goal: a healthy nail!
The goal: a healthy nail! | Source

The Beginning of Your Quest

After more than 20 years of biting my nails, I have finally beaten the habit and I would like to share with you my tips and suggestions for doing the same.

We may all start for different reasons, but there are certain aspects which make it difficult for each and every one of us to stop and it is important to try to cover as many of these in order to really beat the habit.

I've tried to sum up in a few points the most important things to remember when you decide you need to stop and some things that should help you on your way. Please note that there is a whole host of anti nail-biting products out there, however which of these work for you is a matter of personal choice.

Lastly, remember that it's never too late to have healthy fingernails and that, if you give your body a chance, it will heal itself in very little time at all.

Finally, don't forget to check out part 2 of the how to stop biting your nails guide for more great tips!


The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari
The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari

This book was instrumental in my success and it is full of other great life lessons.

Stop N Grow 7.5ml
Stop N Grow 7.5ml

Anti-nail bite solution - worth a try when all else fails.

Stop Your Nailbiting!: Permanently
Stop Your Nailbiting!: Permanently

This one seems worth it for Kindle users - it's a third of the price of the paperback!

Try interlocking your fingers and hands to remove the temptation of nail-biting
Try interlocking your fingers and hands to remove the temptation of nail-biting

5 Points on How to Stop Biting Your Nails

  1. Make the decision to beat the habit of biting your nails - Decide that you are going to try your hardest to give up the habit and that you will do everything in your power to avoid going back to your old ways.
  2. Set a goal - Many self-help books suggest that doing something for 21 days or more is habit-forming and thus can help you to drop the habit of biting your fingernails. Get a calendar, and keep a record of your progress - try to reach that 21-day milestone and you'll be more than halfway to dropping the habit. I personally have read the book above, the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and found it fantastic in helping me on my quest to quit biting my nails - highly recommended.
  3. Share your goal - By this I mean to tell your friends and family about your goal of stopping biting your nails and what you are going to do. By informing them of this, they will not only give you support, but also tell you when your fingers get dangerously close to your mouth - I know that I am almost unaware of doing so and having a friendly voice remind you is always helpful. In the past, I have had certain people who liked to make fun or even slap my wrist as I was doing this, which not only angered me but almost made me want to bite my nails to spite them! The support of those around you is crucial in helping you to stop.
  4. Understand your habit -Identify times when you are most likely to bite your nails and make a conscious effort to avoid putting your hands to your mouth at such times. Personally, I find that when sitting at a slow computer waiting for it to boot up or a web page to load if I'm in a hurry is often when I am most tempted. By pre-empting this, you become aware of what you are doing and should feel more self-control.
  5. Chart your progress - one of the best things that anyone on a personal quest or mission to change can do is keep a record of their progress. This helps as it allows you to reflect on how far you've come and also assess how much further you still need to go. By keeping a record, it may be taking a daily photo on your phone or just simply putting a big tick on the calendar when you have not bitten your nails for that whole day. If you do lapse, mark it down which will also help for you to assess the nature of your problem. Try a few of these ideas and see which works for you - there is no concrete 'best practice'.

Check out part 2 of the guide on how to stop biting your nails here!


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