Nail biting is one of the most common symptoms of stress. Some people will eventually stop of their own accord, but there are many among us who haven't been able to break the habit. While it can be embarrassing, and thus a source of anxiety as well as a response to it, there are some ways to minimize biting the nails.
- Try hypnotherapy as well as relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, biofeedback or yoga to help reduce underlying stress.
- Use a tooth guard. This removable, molded device fits either the upper or lower teeth, is barely visible and makes it impossible to bite the nails.
- Paint on “no-bite” nail polish. The off-putting taste of this clear coating is a form of aversion therapy.
- Use a rubber band. Place a loose rubber band around your wrist - not tight enough to stop circulation, not loose enough to fall off - and snap it hard enough to make it sting when you feel the urge to bite your nails.
More on dealing with stress.