You might have seen people picking their nails in class rooms, watching movies or just while sitting on the couch. And you might be one of those legends who have this habit. Surprisingly, this is not just a habit that you have developed; nail picking is something more with deep medical and psychological background.
Psychologists say that in children of age 5 to 16, it is merely a habit that can be fatal if crosses the normal frequency and in adults, it usually portrays anxiety and frustration. They further explain that picking or biting nails are a mild form of self-harm that is usually done to avoid unlikely situations such as to hold on to one’s motives. For instance, if a child is asked to stop doing something and to avoid a particular activity, he will hold onto his motives by biting nails that can hurt his cuticles. And that, in turn, can lead him to severe skin diseases. Excess of everything is bad, of course.
A renowned Clinical Psychologist in L.A. Dr Jeanette Raymond states that “when we are feeling anxious and helpless, a repetitive motor task is useful to manage”.
And according to this, for people who bite nails, it is easy to avoid those stressing situations.
She further stated that “Since the task involves a part of our body, we feel the effect on our somatic selves, which is much easier to bear than an emotional typhoon over which we have little control”.
Furthermore, Rachel Kazez, a Chicago based therapist states that nail picking also reflects stress and anger. As described in the above-stated instance of a child.
Luckily, there are researchers available who back the idea of nail picking only a habit. As kazez explained that sometimes it can just be a habit having nothing much underneath”. Such as you might simply bite or chew or pick your nails because some cool kid of your batch does so. However, this habit is difficult to get rid of but that doesn’t mean the extinction of ways available.
So you or your friend who constantly picks nails might have been going through some stress, aggressive episodes, anxiety or maybe he is just a victim of the bad habit. There are ways which you can use to help yourself or your friends out.
NOTE: Nail picking is something that might help you to curb stress or to acknowledge your existence while being lost. But my dear, if you’re using this physical way to come out of your emotional imbalance, that’s going to grab you down to severe medical condition and that’s what Raymond suggested. However, the good news is that most therapists think that mild nail-biting will not ruin your life but watch off.
How to Quit Nail Picking?
If you’re grown up and still not done with your nail-picking habit, you have hope. However, it might take time but some relaxation techniques can engage your mind in things other than in your mighty nails. Specifically, if you use anything that includes jerking physical motion, it releases the stress and anxiety and offers you calmness. Therefore, trimming your nails quite short, using some nail polish with good taste, replacing the nail biting with using stress ball, using yoga mat and some essential oils can help you reduce the severity of your habit.
At the end, I want to say that, I have never bite my nails and I don’t know how it feels like, but if you or your friend is already into it, enjoy it but watch out that your habit doesn’t become a source of income to a dermatologist.