“Stop biting your nails!” For many of us, hearing that command repeatedly was enough. For others, however, biting our nails became a habit that has lasted far longer than it should.
My wife discovered a sure-fire method for her nail-biting habit. She bit her nails into her early twenties, but with the birth of her first child, she decided to use cloth diapers. After rinsing these diapers in the bathroom toilet, the act of bringing her hands to her mouth to bite her nails suddenly became a conscious act, one that was she quickly gained control over. Her habit had been a childhood one that followed her into adulthood. Because of its early onset, I include this problem with childhood problems, even though many adults still struggle with it. I will never forget meeting an attractive lady whose hands were a mess from her nail-biting habit. That’s unfortunate because hypnotherapy provides a ready and quick answer to the problem.
Hypnosis-based therapy provides the perfect expedited method to stop biting fingernails. A long exploration of the cause or origin of the problem is not necessary here. It is clear what is happening: the nail biting occurs automatically, or as those in psychology might say, unconsciously. We hypnotherapists point to the subconscious as the point of origin, or as I would say, the Middle Mind. What we are describing is simply an “unthinking” habit or instinct. Such behavior happens without any forethought. After the damage is done, the frustration and embarrassment begin. But something seems to be blocking the sufferer from getting control over the problem. And here lies the crux of the matter. Nail biting is an out-of-control behavior, but it is not a hopeless behavior. The secret to changing the behavior is to gain control of it; getting control begins with gaining awareness.
The automatic behavior of nail biting begins in the Middle Mind. It is an action that takes place in a non-thinking phase. Hypnosis allows the client, with the assistance of the therapist, to first reach the point of origin in the Middle Mind. The previous automatic action can then be moved from the subconscious Middle Mind to the conscious-thinking mind. The goal, and the successful exercise of control, occurs when the client becomes consciously aware of the practice before it happens. After therapy, the client will become aware of his or her hand moving toward the mouth. For many people, this act seems quite simple, but for the nail-biter struggling with the problem, this awareness is a significant first step.
Once a client develops this awareness, he or she can then implement techniques to redirect or stop the nail biting altogether. Now the client has the control to stop the troublesome habit. It is time to invest in a good pair of nail clippers and set an appointment for a manicure!
For the nail biter, a few sessions of hypnotherapy results in a lifetime of control. This control will lead to a happier, confident life, day by day.