If you have ever made an effort to quit your nail biting habit, you know just how difficult it can be. Perhaps you have worn gloves or bandages over your fingertips, or tried bitter nail polish. Likely they were successful for a little while, but ultimately you found yourself with ragged nails and bloody cuticles once again.
The reason that a surface nail biting cure is not likely to work makes sense when the reason behind the behavior is understood. The nail biting habit is inveterate and similar in nature to other stress-related manners, such as skin picking and hair pulling. Basically, these actions fill a natural desire; thus if the urge is not eliminated or satiated, the behavior will continue. No amount of bitter nail polish will curb the need for nail biting or give the sense of relaxation you get after nibbling on your nails.
In that vein, you cannot ever cure nail biting, but do not worry: Thankfully, time-tested remedies that can help with recovery are available. There is a three-step plan that can successfully stop nail biting if you are motivated to do so. The most important step involves hypnosis.
For those unfamiliar, hypnosis conjures pictures of people watching swinging pendulums or acting like an animal for the entertainment of others. Rest assured that at its core, hypnosis is just profound relaxation in a trance-like state. Many people mistakenly believe that hypnotic trances are like sleep, but you are awake and fully conscious, simply extremely relaxed and open to suggestion.
In fact, many of us experience some kind of self-hypnosis every day, during times when we disregard most of the commotion around us to concentrate on a certain task while remaining fully conscious. It transpires readily while we read, daydream or watch television.
Because nail biting is related to stress, the more fully you can release and work through tension and anxiety, the more triumphant your move to stop nail biting will be. The primary aim of hypnotherapy is to help you to sustain a state of relaxation continuously.
You are encouraged to research numerous hypnosis approaches, such as traditional hypnosis, Ericksonian hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming techniques, to enhance both the state of relaxation and to attain a greater sense of comfort. A trained hypnotherapist can tell which method is ultimately best for you.
The next step to curbing a nail biting addiction is to become sentient of the habit since nail biting is done unconsciously. Hypnotherapy is effective for this stage, as corresponding with the unconscious mind to elicit the conscious mind's understanding that you are about to bite your nails can help very much. This allows you to make the assessment to bite your nails or not. And because hypnotherapy has previously worked to lessen the causal stress, the significant compulsion to bite your nails has been significantly diminished, or even removed.
The final step for using hypnotherapy to stop biting nails is to totally remove the fundamental wish to bite or chew. There are ways that can actually program you with a craving to eliminate biting your nails, because just as practices can be conquered thanks to hypnotherapy CD's, they can also be started.
Hypnotherapy is effective with stopping behaviors like biting your nails because, though the session will not suddenly generate absolute strength of will, it can bolster your steadfastness and ensure that choices you make while in a relaxed state will still stay strong when you are stressed out. Further, hypnotherapy is able to help you communicate with your unconscious mind to get it to align with your conscious mind so both units help with your target.
It is important to note that some potential hypnosis clients possess a fear of having suggestions planted or of recalling "hidden" memories while in a trance. Rest assured that hypnotherapists are properly qualified and accredited and abide by the most stringent professional and ethical guidelines. The methods used by hypnotherapists to make constructive suggestions to your unconscious are entirely separate from those used for memory recall or age regression. So the use of hypnotherapy for effectively curbing the desire to bite your nails will not result in unintended memories or behaviors.
CONCLUSION: Fingernail chewing is an inherent impulse like any other, and using resolve alone is usually not enough to eliminate the behavior. Using hypnotherapy or hypnosis CDs and all other resources available will more likely result in a comfortable, successful end to your nail biting.
About the author:
Alan B. Densky, CH has spent years helping thousands of clients to stop biting their nails. His hypnosis