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Remedies for Chronic Nail Biting
Nail biting is one of the habits that we often develop as a child and then hang on to as we get older. If all that's left of your fingernails are chewed down stubs then there's a good chance that you are suffering from chronic nail biting. So what can you do to overcome your habit of biting your nails at the first sign of growth?
Use nasty tasting gunge
There are all sorts of paint-on remedies available at your local chemist and - if that's too embarrassing - by shopping online. The idea is that you are disciplined enough to carefully apply them at the start of each day. Then, when you come to feast on your fingernails, you are supposed to be so upset by the taste of your nails that you stop biting them. Some people find that this works but most compulsive nail biters will conveniently forget to apply the remedy or will wash their hands often enough that the effect wears off.
Train yourself to stop
This can work if you are completely organized. Every time you catch your fingers aiming for your teeth, consciously stop yourself. If they sneak past your first - conscious - line of defence then stop chewing as soon as you realize that your nails are about to die an ugly death. Don't get upset with yourself when you miss the occasional attempt to bite your nails - this habit has been with you long enough for it to be a less than conscious act - just resolve to catch the urge more often.
If need be, keep a journal for a while so that you can begin to spot those moment when you instinctively start to bite your nails. Chances are, there will be a handful of occasions that trigger you to start devouring your fingernails. Once you've identified those triggers, work on a plan to stop yourself from getting into those situations as often. Or, if that's not likely, work on something else that you can do to distract yourself so that your first, second and third instincts aren't all "must bite nails now"!
Occupy your hands
Obviously this has to be something else that you can do with your hands in public at a moment's notice. So juggling swords or something similar is probably not a good alternative. Think of a number of things you can do to occupy your hands that won't involve them being anywhere near your teeth so that the impulse to bite your fingernails raw happens less often.
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