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How to: Quit Biting Your Fingernails

Updated on October 2, 2012

Nail biting is a common habit, and can be extremely hard to break. If you're interested in changing your ways, here are some practical steps you can take:

1. Get a manicure! Acrylic or gel nails last a really long time, and it's impossible to bite your nails with those thick, plastic-like covers stuck on top of them. By the time they grow out, who knows? You may have already quit! (If a professional manicure isn't in your budget, try just giving yourself a nice coat of polish at home. The smell or sight of it alone might help deter you from biting!)

2. Wear gloves during movies! For some nail-biters, the source of the biting is anxiety. This can be more of a problem during exciting scenes in movies, when your mind is consumed with the film but your hands are empty. Or you could always just get an extra-big box of popcorn. The point is to keep your hands busy or covered so that you aren't tempted to bite your nails.

3. Make a motivational list of reasons to quit! Think of anything and everything that is a con about nail biting. It's dirty, it's gross, it's ugly, etc... Then think of the pros of having unbitten nails. It's professional-looking, clean, and attractive!

4. Reward yourself! For every day you go without biting your nails, give yourself a check-mark on a homemade goal chart. After a month, go ahead and reward yourself. You can finally allow yourself to splurge on that new pair of shoes, because you deserve it! Or you could even purchase a beautiful new shade of nail polish-- but tell yourself you won't be able to wear it until you've reached a goal nail-length.

5. Include your friends and family! This method can be very effective. Inform your close friends and family members that you are attempting to quit biting your nails. If they see you put your fingers near your mouth, they should give you a gentle reminder, (or just slap your hands away from your face)!

I hope this helps, and good luck kicking the habit!


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