With a little bit of discipline you can stop biting your nails forever, quickly and easily. Using the ideas shared here you’ll can start to feel great about how your nails look.
Quitting a bad habit like nail biting can be tough but anyone can do it, especially you! The support of family and friends will also be a huge help but not essential if you really want to go for it yourself.
You can stop biting your nails without spending any money at all unless you happen to want try stuff out. I offer links to products on Amazon.co.uk that people like me who have stopped nail biting have found really useful. They are only there for you if you think they might be helpful. I do earn a very small commission on any products that you might buy having clicked through to Amazon.co.uk from this site but at no extra cost to you.
Here are some essential first steps to help you stop biting your nails:
Start paying really close attention to the times when you usually bite your nails. Those times can usually be split into times when you’re bored, times when you’re feeling anxious and times when you’re stressed.
A lot of people will also try biting off hangnails or uneven edges on their nails.
Figuring out when you start to bite your nails is vital! It will help you catch yourself before you start absent-mindedly nail biting again in future.
Promise yourself to stop doing it. Not just, I should stop biting my nails, or, I wish I didn’t bite my nails. You have to be 100% honest and clear with yourself. Something more like this would be better:
I hate it when I bite my nails! It looks horrible and it hurts later. These are my hands and I’m in charge. I’m not going to have ugly, painful, bitten nails anymore!
Put it in the strongest words that you’re comfortable using so that it hits home with you. Write it out on Post-Its and stick your message somewhere where you’ll keep seeing it: in your diary, on the fridge, inside the loo door, inside the cover of your ring binder for work or school. Anywhere that suits you is fine but you have to actually do something about it rather than just thinking about it.
Have other activities set up to help you stop biting your nails. It doesn’t have to be anything super-imaginative or even very exciting. You just need to keep your hands busy and away from your mouth to give your nails a chance to grow, just a little.
From here you have lots of choices but, before you do anything else, here’s an amazing tip that’ll save you a lot of messing around in the crucial early stages of giving up this nasty habit:
As soon as your nails grow long enough to file them smooth without hurting your fingers, go ahead and do it.
This will help you feel okay with the way your nails look early in so you’ll be less likely to start nail biting again. It’s when you find little bumps along the edges of your nails that you’ll break your promise to yourself in the name of “correcting the shape”.
A LOT of people mess up at this point. They think, “I’ll just bite that to tidy it up”, but it NEVER works like that. Trust me, you’ll end up biting your nails again so take away the temptation as soon as you can.
Once you clear that hurdle, you’ll be well on the way to your goal of never biting your nails again. Remember, you have to be determined to stop!
Here are some alternatives to help take your mind off it:
Playing with a pen, a coin or any similar little gizmo. You can flip and twirl something between your fingers to keep your hands busy and out of your mouth but can be quite obvious to others that you are ‘fidgeting’. A potentially free and simple way to stop biting your nails!
Chew sugar free gum if keeping your mouth busy rather than your hands works better for you. Not really a free way to stop biting your nails but it does work and it tastes minty fresh! You might even get a brighter smile out of it as a bonus reward for your efforts!
Rub or tap your thumb together with each finger in turn a set number of times. This can be done just counting, say, 1-5 for each finger, or used to practice something current for you like a multiplication table, facts your need to memorise or a mantra for the day. Or it could be as simple as following the tune of a song you’re listening to at the time.
Trace the edge of your nails on each finger with your thumb. While they are still very short, rough and bitten, doing this will remind you why you are trying to stop biting your nails and you will feel the payoff the longer you succeed for. The feeling of the longer, better shaped and stronger nails will feel great later on and remind you how well you’ve done.
Put your hands in your pockets. Not the most imaginative way to stop biting your nails but it’s super simple. It works well if you’re a bit worried about how your bitten nails look in the early days of quitting the habit.
Apply coloured nail polish. Depending on your colour and confidence level, this could work for blokes as well as ladies. Doing this helps you stop biting your nails because the last thing anyone wants in their mouthes and stuck between their teeth is little chips of nail polish.
Apply some bad-tasting nail biting prevention fluid. This stuff is harmless but it tastes so awful that it’ll give you a enough of a nasty shock to help stop biting your nails anytime you pop your fingers in your mouth. It’s better to pick up a few different types in case you do start to get used to the taste of one.
Put fake nails over your real nails. You will not be able to hurt your nails even if you do have a chew on the fake ones. This method helps you stop biting your nails by covering them up, giving them a chance to grow out a bit over the course of a week or so.
Once your nails have grown a little, you can file them neat and enjoy how much better they look. You can continue using fake nails like this until the nails get good and strong.