Inspiraology explains why we bite our nails – and what we can do to stop
Nail biting, also known as onychophagia, is a common habit that can affect both children and adults.
The team at one of the country’s leading hypnotherapy training centres, Inspiraology, explain how anxiety and stress can be significant reasons for biting our nails.
‘When someone bites their nails, it can help them to experience a sense of relief and may help to reduce feelings of stress,’ says Matthew Cahill, director of Inspiraology.
‘Likewise, nail biting can also be a way of relieving boredom or frustration. When bored or frustrated, nail biting can distract and help pass the time.’
‘And, of course, some people may bite their nails due to perfectionism or a desire for neatness. They may need to constantly trim their nails and remove any rough edges, which can lead to nail biting.’
Matthew explains that nail biting might become a habit which can be difficult to break and that people may continue to do so – without even realising it.
‘If nail biting is beginning to encroach on key aspects of your life then it might be worthwhile seeking professional help.’
‘Hypnotherapy can make all the difference as sessions are designed to reduce your stress levels which makes it easier for you to take control in key areas of your life.’
Using hypnotherapy to reduce, or completely stop, the nail biting habit
The use of hypnosis as a treatment tool can be invaluable for a client as it may help to address the underlying psychological reasons contributing to the behaviour they’re looking to change.
‘The first step is to identify the one you want to break. This could be anything from smoking to overeating to procrastination,’ says Matthew.
He explains that finding a qualified hypnotherapist is important so you can ensure they’ve been trained to a high standard and have the appropriate qualifications.
‘Before starting any hypnotherapy sessions, discuss your goals and problems with your hypnotherapist. This will help them tailor the hypnotherapy sessions to your specific needs.’
‘During the hypnotherapy sessions, you’ll be guided into a state of deep relaxation. The hypnotherapist will suggest positive affirmations and imagery help you break the habit.’
‘In addition to attending hypnotherapy sessions, you can also practice self-hypnosis at home. This involves listening to pre-recorded hypnotherapy sessions or repeating positive affirmations to yourself while relaxing.’
‘Breaking a habit can take time and effort, so be patient and persistent. Keep practising self-hypnosis regularly and don’t get discouraged if you experience setbacks.’
It’s important to note that while hypnotherapy can be a helpful tool for breaking habits, it may only work for some. Hypnotherapy may be worth exploring if you’re struggling to break a routine on your own or have tried other methods without success.
Identifying helpful strategies
Experts explain there are several strategies can be effective in stopping nail biting, including keeping them short which can help reduce the temptation to bite them.
‘Identifying triggers can be useful as it allows you to notice when and why you are most likely to bite your nails. Finding healthier ways to deal with impulsive behaviour can be useful, such as chewing gum or squeezing a stress ball.’
The Inspiraology team also suggest practicing relaxation techniques to reduce any feelings of stress which might be a way of coping with stress and anxiety.
‘Seeking professional help means they can provide additional strategies and support to help you break the habit.’
‘It’s important to remember that breaking a habit takes time and effort, and setbacks are common. Be patient and persistent, and celebrate your progress along the way.’
Inspiraology is one of the country’s leading hypnotherapy training courses with centres located across the UK: https://inspiraology.com