Are you one of those people that finds themselves chewing their fingernails throughout the day? If so, you’re not alone.
About half of all children and teens bite their nails, and adults that bite their nails probably bit them when they were younger and just never stopped. But what if biting your nails is more than just an unattractive habit? What if it could be a sign of something more?
Most people will associate nail biting with stress, anxiety, and nervousness.
This nervous habit is quite common and is related to that person’s emotions. Some people keep up with this habit for their entire life, whereas others fall into it whenever they feel stressed or anxious.
Nervous or negative habits can start after a tiny, unnoticeable change in your day. Once a person starts adopting that new attitude, they end up practicing their habit more often throughout the day.
The main cause of nail biting is that the person is not aware of what they’re doing. They tend not to notice the activity until someone points it out, or until they injure themselves. So, you could say that onychophagy is an automatic response to a problem, an escape, or a wait to avoid or express feelings, etc.
People who live around nail biters are also part of the problem. This is because, although they may see nail biting as a problem in the beginning, they will soon start to see it as something normal, thus ignoring the activity.
On the other hand, people who suffer from this issue are very used to biting their nails, and they connect it with certain activities such as watching television, reading, talking, etc.
Psychologists have come up with a list of the main causes of nail biting. Pay attention, because these could help you understand your personality.
- Psychosomatic causes
How to Stop Biting Your Nails
While biting your nails may not cause any serious damage, it definitely has its downsides:
-It can make your nails grow in weird. Biting your nails can ruin the tissue around them, causing your nails to not grow the way they’re supposed to.
-It can spoil your smile. Biting your nails can result in chips, breaks, and cracks in your teeth. Long periods of nail biting can also cause jaw pain.
-It can make you sick. Your nails can be harboring potentially dangerous germs. Putting your nails in your mouth raises the chance of you getting sick. Skin damage also raises the chance of bacteria entering your body.
If you’re looking for ways to break the habit, here are some great suggestions:
- Cut them short.
- Coat them with a bad taste.
- Wear gloves.
- Find your triggers. Next time you find yourself biting your nails, ask yourself why you’re doing it. Once you find out the cause, you can find different ways to cope.
- Keep your hands or mouth busy.