These are just a couple of behaviours that seem to play a big part in my daily life. I’m wanting to cut these out or at least reduce the amount I practice these habits to become more in tune with myself rather than finding validity or control in something else.

Nail Biting

For as long as I can remember I have always bitten my nails. It’s a habit and I hate it. I have decided I’m going to stop doing it. Well at least try. I have tried before to stop but because my nails get weak, they crack so I start biting them again. I’ve tried that gross tasting nail varnish that you put on so that when you go to bite them you taste the nasty stuff so you relate that to biting, but when it’s a habit and you’re anxious, you’ll find a way to get passed the taste. I used to wear nail varnish all the time as I was more reluctant to bite them then, but with my job now I cannot wear varnish so I bite.

I am a big lover of thrillers, dramas and action films and tv shows. And this is one reason why I have no nails left. I don’t even realise I’m doing it most of the time. I’ll just sit and bite. It’s not until someone tells me to stop that it clicks in my brain that I have bitten far down. And I know it’s disgusting! I hate other people biting their nails. I find it really repulsive, so why can’t I stop doing it myself?!

Growing up I always saw my mum biting her nails. We would sit watching something on television and she would start on one hand and I would tap on that hand to make her stop, this worked for about 2 minutes and then she’d be back at it. I would tell her to stop whilst I was doing it myself.

I am an anxious person. Biting my nails is second nature to me. I also bite the skin around my nails. My boyfriend does this too, his looks really sore. I tell him to stop as I hate the sound but it’s a habit. I know it’s gross but I just can’t seem to kick it.

I’ve had a week off work so my boyfriends sister has done gels on my nails (they look great) and because of this I have not bitten my nails all week! Once the gels have been taken off, I am going to continue not to bite them. I have researched what can help with nail growth and I’ve bought some Vitamin C oil, I will still have to have short nails for work but I want strong, nice looking nails so hopefully this will help!

Checking My Phone

I hate this habit! I hate when other people do it. I hate when I catch myself doing this too often. It’s just horrible. I hate how reliant people, myself included, are on our phones! It’s not natural.

If I’m watching tv and I have my phone near me, I will ‘check’ my phone. And that’s another thing I hate about this habit…the term! What am I checking for?! When I was younger, if I had posted a photo on social media or a tweet, I would check to see if I had any likes or comments. I don’t do this much anymore but I am still checking my phone. Now that I have a blog and when I publish a post, I will find myself going back to my phone to reread what I’ve posted to make sure it sounds alright. I also will occasionally check the stats to see how much views I’ve had. I hate this. If I catch myself doing this too often I will move my phone away, sometimes putting it in a different room; out of sight, out of mind. This really does help. I don’t see my phone so I don’t think about it. There’s very few times I will need my phone near me. There’s nothing really ever urgent that requires my phone to be near me.

My boyfriend uses his phone a lot. When we’re watching a film and I see him on it, i ask him to put it down. But then 10 minutes later I’m doing the same thing.

I relate checking my phone to anxious behaviours because it’s not me being calm and relaxed. It’s been deemed a form of FOMO (the fear of missing out). And this makes sense to me. I go on social media and just scroll. I see what friends are doing or celebrities that I follow. So me making sure I’m not missing anything seems to temporarily bring a sense of happiness. And this is sad.

I think compared to some people I’m close with, I don’t check my phone that much. When I become aware of it, I will stop but some people I know are just constantly tapping on their phones. Even during a conversation or a group setting.

It can’t be good for us to be so consumed with social media. We don’t need to be validated from likes or comments. Sometimes it’s not even that. Like I said before, FOMO plays a part in this. The constant scrolling and going down YouTube holes for hours! It’s mad! I don’t have TikTok but this seems to be the big thing at the moment. I probably sound like an old fart but personal interactions with other people are so important; face to face connections are what makes us human. But in this digital age, connections made online become greater than meeting up in person. Especially now with Covid, being social online can bring people much closer than if social media wasn’t a thing. I see the pros and cons with it all but personally I feel like my mind can be taken over by my phone. Like an unnecessary, unwanted clone of myself takes over and gets sucked into a digital world where it feels like it must be present online to feel valid or connected.

6 thoughts on “Anxious Habits

  1. Wow, I can so relate to all of this. I am 23, and have been biting my nails since I was 14. My mum bites her nails and I used to tell her to stop, while I was biting my nails! Have you been in situations where teachers or even strangers have called you out for biting your nails, to try and embarrass you? I have even had a stranger at work tell me to stop biting my nails, which I found so inappropriate and I was really shook by that. What advice do you have to say to people who decide to make it their business to tell me to stop?

    I would love to stop biting and I am looking for advice about that. Mine are so short right now. I work in fashion retail so there are so many situations where people can see my nails. But I swear it is such a hard habit to break!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I used to get that all the time at school with teachers telling me to stop but it’s just so hard, I didn’t realise I was doing it so how could I listen to anyone else telling me to stop?!
      Yeah I think that’s inappropriate, it’s no ones business really-it’s an anxiety trait and it’s personal. I would tell them to mind their own business to be honest. Or explain you are trying to stop but it’s just not that easy.
      Well for me it’s been 6 weeks since I last bit my nails and honestly I have no urge to do so! And they look great! At work I have to keep them relatively short but I invest time now into keeping them strong. I file them and rub Vitamin E oil on them.
      Advice for you to stop biting your nails…well, I wrote this blog post. It felt like I had a bit of pressure on me to quit, which helped. I told work colleagues and friends and then the pressure went away after a couple of weeks and I could already see growth and I felt like I had achieved something as silly as that might sound. Also if I was watching something on tv that would normally be a trigger for me to bite, I would sit on my hands or move them away from my face.
      I hope this helps. It is such a hard habit to break, you’re right. But the first month is the hardest, then the feeling will disappear hopefully! Good luck!

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      1. It’s quite amazing that you actually have no urge to bite. Yes, it it’s at work, if a customer asks I would have to do your second suggestion and explain that I’m aware it’s a habit, and I’m trying to quit. I would like to tell them to mind their own business, but I could get in trouble for that! When it happened, I was so shook that I don’t think I said anything, I just sort of paused for a few seconds.

        I will try that with sitting on my hands, or maybe folding my arms so my hands do not arrive at my mouth, if you know what I mean. Yes, teachers were so annoying. Like, anybody who bites their nails probably has an insecurity about it already, and to have a teacher call it out is not helpful. If I was a teacher, I would not call people out for biting their nails, based on my own experience. One teacher would even say stuff in front of the whole class like, “When Jacqueline’s stopped biting her nails, we’ll continue” urrgh!

        Are you getting many compliments on your new nails? You have just inspired me. I was searching for info and all I could find was “why you should stop” kind of info which I couldn’t relate to.

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      2. Yes it’s best not to get into trouble at work really but it can be frustrating!
        I hated showing my hands or nails to anyone. If I was in a situation where someone was watching me write I would hate it.
        That’s not fair that a teacher did that! It’s just embarrassing being singled out! It doesn’t help the situation, in fact it probably made your nail biting worse!
        I am getting compliments and I show them off to whoever I’m with haha. It’s just nice not to have the pain with biting either, like when they get too short. When I’m not at work on weekends I do paint them and they’ve never looked better!
        I would definitely recommend the Vitamin E oil, as mine used to be really weak but they feel thicker now which is also a deterrent for biting them.
        My sister-in-law has gorgeous nails and she has started doing gel nails as a little business so seeing her results made me envious so that helped me quit. So maybe follow nail artists on your favourite social media to get inspired!

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  2. Did you last? You inspired me to stop biting for 3 weeks, and I actually had decent white bits, which was big for me. Then I caved, so am back to my nubs for new years. But I proved to myself that I can do it. So now I have greater confidence that I can conquer this habit.

    Liked by 1 person

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