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Not Such An Innocent Habit

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Nail biting is an unnecessary habit that most of us just can’t get rid of. And, it’s important to realise the need to quit because biting your nails could lead to other serious issues. Pooja Salvi suggests that you take this quiz to find out whether your habit is harming you

Nail biting does far more damage that simply ruining your expensive manicure. It can cause certain medical conditions, and it also has a psychological effect — you can come across as anxious and low on confidence. The habit does you no good at all! Take this quiz to know if your habit is chronic, and read our box below to find out how you can give it up.

1.  For how long have you been biting your nails?
a) For as long as I can remember.
b) I stop and start without realising it.
c) I stopped biting nails a long time back.

2.  Are you grossed out by your own habit?
a) I have to admit that I am, yes.
b) No, it is completely natural. Many people do it.
c) I used to be, so I quit.

3.  Do you bite your nails when you get nervous?
a) I peel them right off my fingers!
b) Sometimes, when I’m very nervous.
c) I try doing mental exercises when I get nervous.

4.  Do you maintain good hygiene?
a) I carry a sanitizer everywhere, but it is always lying at the bottom of my bag.
b) I wash my hands often.
c) I am a self-proclaimed clean person; sanitizers, soaps and wet tissues — I use them all!

5.  Do you follow a healthy lifestyle?
a) I think so.
b) You could say that.
c) Yes, I eat well and exercise regularly.

6.  Do you experience toothaches and other dental problems?
a) Yes. It is a painful problem.
b) Toothaches sometimes, but I try to keep a healthy routine.
c) Not that I can say. I go for regular check-ups to the dentist.

Mostly As
Your habit is a big problem and you don’t seem like you can stop yourself. We know, it has been a habit for years now, and that can make it difficult to quit, but you have got to stop biting your nails. The easiest way to do this is to think of every single thing you touch during the day — from the toilet flush to your keyboard. All these places are home to dangerous germs and bacteria. Now, do you really want this dreadful bacteria to enter your mouth? Take a look at our box below on the different issues your habit can cause and what you can do to get rid of it.

Mostly Bs
You are walking on thin ice here. While nail biting is an on-again, off-again deal for you, you may want to make some changes to your lifestyle to completely nip the problem in the bud.

Mostly Cs
Was it worth wasting your time on this quiz? You do not bite nails and also maintain good hygiene. We won’t be surprised if you have great nails and flaunt a good manicure. However, if you know someone who chronically bites their nails, we suggest that you ask them to take our quiz so that they can get rid of this bad habit.

How Dangerous Is It?
There’s a reason your mum asked you to stop biting your nails as a child. This seemingly innocent habit is notorious for causing serious issues. Read on to know more about the damage it can do to you.

Colds and the flu
When you stick your finger in your mouth, you completely ignore the fact that they might have come in contact with the filthiest things — the door, the toilet, your shoes. And, since these are breeding grounds for germs, it’s going to make you sick if you bite your nails. You are exposing yourself to cold, flu viruses and even serious diseases such as hepatitis.

Painful hangnails
Biting your nails constantly worsens dry skin, which makes it peel off  leading to hangnails. When you have these hangnails, you use your teeth to rip them off. This makes the tear in your skin longer and deeper. What is worse is that hangnails are open sores that have the tendency to get infected.

You are broadcasting your anxiety
We know that feeling anxious isn’t great, but you’re just propagating the stereotype when you get a jittery feeling and bite your nails.

Most of us bite our nails to distract ourselves from negative feelings of distress, anxiety, boredom and self-consciousness.

How to stop
Well, the easiest way to get rid of the habit is to keep your nails trimmed in the first place. Keep your nails short and you won’t have anything to bite. This will also decrease the temptation to bite your nails. You can also try to get regular manicures — spending your hard-earned money to keep your nails attractive may make it less tempting to bite them. Replace the bad habit with a good habit; use a stress ball instead.

You can also try a longer, gradual way to break the habit. Make a conscious effort not to bite a particular finger, and then gradually add more fingers to the “no bite” list.

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