For years, people have told me to “just stop” biting my nails. I wish they could understand why I can’t just stop this anxious habit I’ve had for years. Biting my nails has become something I do subconsciously. When I found myself feeling overwhelmed and anxious, it takes a few seconds for me to notice that I’ve started to bit my nails. I’ve been told numerous times (even by infectious disease doctors) the dangers of biting your nails and all the germs that you’re putting into your body. I do realize that what I’m doing is not healthy, but that’s also way it’s called a “bad habit”.
Some people click their pens, others play with their split ends, and some even grind their teeth. These are all coping mechanisms for when one becomes anxious. They become second nature and are hard to stop doing. I’ve tried all that you can think of to stop biting my nails; getting manicures, putting bad tasting nail polish on them, and even covering them in Vaseline. Unfortunately, this habit is so engrained in my mind that I find ways to work around the traps I’ve set in place to stop myself.
Do I wish that I could stop biting my nails? I sure do. I hate that I’m putting these germs into my body and hate how terrible my nails always look. I’m not writing this to tell you about my bad habit, I’m writing to tell you how hard it is to “just stop” a habit you’ve had for years. Sure, it’s good to encourage someone to stop a bad habit, but the results aren’t going to be instantaneous. Be patient with them and continue to give them positive praise and feedback. I’ve made it my New Year’s Resolution to stop biting my nails. I’m setting small goals that I can achieve along the way. It’s not going to be easy to stop my bad habit, but I’m going to prove that it can be done.