Do you chew your nails plenty of times throughout the day? You are not the only one. About half the kids and teens too bite their nails and adults too in that case. Biting nails is more than just a bad habit. What causes biting amongst most adults?
A lot of people think nail biting has something to do with anxiety, stress or being nervous. According to the research based on experimental psychiatry, nail-biting could indeed be a sign of perfectionism.
Perfectionism and biting nails
Life is an endless report card of accomplishments bagged for most perfectionists. This can often be accompanied by issues with eating or depression, but perfectionists look for success in a way that they avoid failing, no matter what life puts them through. This trait could be handed down from the parents too.
Chewing nails is related to body-focused repetitive behaviour, also known ad BFRB, or could be in the form of pulling your hair or picking the skin. The BFRbs were compared using two models- Emotional regulation vs Frustrated action
The emotional regulation model gets triggered when there is negativity or an unpleasant act. The frustrated action, on the other hand, is due to boredom, frustration or dissatisfaction.
A lead author this particular study stated that the individuals with such behaviours could be perfectionists, meaning that they can’t relax or perform tasks at a regular pace. They get habituated with impatience, dissatisfaction, etc. when they don’t hit their target goals.
So chewing your nails could indicate that you look perfectionism. The study talks lesser about anxiety and nail-biting, but talk about boredom, frustration, dissatisfaction, etc., instead. Is nail-biting really that healthy though?
How can you quit nail-biting?
Chewing your nails has its downfalls.
Your nails will start growing in weird shapes, and this can ruin the tissue around them too
Nail biting results in chips or breaks on your teeth which can spoil your smile or cause jaw pain if done over a prolonged period.
- Your nail bed has dangerous germs which can make you fall sick in no time.
- So how can you break away from this habit?
- Keep them trimmed
- Cover the nails with some bad taste
- Try wearing gloves
- Explore your triggers. Find ways to cope with the cause of nail biting.
- Make sure you keep your mouth or hand busy when you feel like biting your nails.
Although nail biting could indicate that you adore perfectionism, it’s definitely not a good practice. Try fruit instead, like an apple, next time you crave to bite nails!