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    From nail biting to healthier nails - advice and guidance from clinical psychologist Tamara Hansen

    Nail biting and pilling is a widespread habit that can be difficult to break. That is why we at The Gel Collection have had a chat with clinical psychologist Tamara Hansen, so that you can get the best knowledge base and the necessary tools to stop the habit and instead achieve beautiful and healthy nails. You can read about the following:

    • Psychological Hacks to Stop Nail Biting
    • The 5 steps to stop the habit
    • Customer stories

    Psychological Hacks to Stop Nail Biting

    By clinical psychologist Tamara Hansen:
    How do I stop nail biting? It is a question that is often asked at The Gel Collection and one that I also asked myself before I became a psychologist and started working with addictions in a clinical setting. With a combination of psychological tools and Neglefeber's gel products, I finally fought my own nail biting.

    Briefly, my name is Tamara Hansen, and I am a clinical psychologist in the private practice Psychologists Johansen and Kristoffersen in Frederiksberg. The psychologists in our practice specialize in evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy for a wide range of problems, one of which is addictive disorders such as dermatillomania , also called skin picking, and trichotillmania , also known as hair pulling. The common feature of these disorders is compulsive and repetitive picking, biting, scratching and pulling of skin and hair. This can be expressed as more serious and complex conditions, where the repeated habitual behavior causes, for example, bald spots, infections and bleeding. However, quite ordinary nail biting can also be understood as a variation of such a habit problem, where you cannot stop yourself from biting your nails despite persistent attempts.

    Today I want to share how, as a psychologist, I work to help people wean themselves off repetitive habits such as nail biting, and how the choice of the right products, thereby also beautiful and developed with the least possible harmful chemicals like The Gel Collection, can be used as is an essential tool in the process. Among other things, you can read about the revolutionary products right here .

    Why can't I stop biting my nails?
    The reason why habits such as nail biting arise in the first place has not been definitively established in research. However, it is believed to have some form of stress-relieving or regulatory function for the nervous system. In line with this, many find that both stress or strong emotions as well as understimulation and boredom can cause the nail biting to escalate.

    When it can be so difficult to stop, it is also because the human brain forms stronger and stronger connections the more times the same action is repeated. It forms the basis of what we call habits.

    How do bad habits work?
    When I have to explain habits and the starting point for psychological treatment of habit disorders, I always use the metaphor of a "path through the forest".

    Imagine that every day you have to go through a forest to get to work. You've walked the same gnarled and bumpy path hundreds of times, and your feet almost walk by themselves. The path is clear and well trodden because you have walked it so many times. Walking this path represents your bad habit – nail biting.

    Then imagine that one day you find out that there is a much shorter and nicer path through the forest. This path represents the good habit of not biting nails. Of course, you'll prefer to go this way going forward, but if you don't actively take control and notice which way you're going, your feet will automatically carry you down old and gnarled paths.

    The reason for the above is that you have now walked this way so many times, but also because the new path is completely overgrown and difficult to spot. So what can be done? It is about helping ourselves to discover the place where the two roads diverge and time and time again remembering to turn down the good, new path. If this is done long enough, the new path will eventually be well trodden down, while the old path will gradually become overgrown. This represents the neurological process by which old neural pathways are weakened and new ones strengthened by many repetitions over time, as old habits are extinguished and new ones are strengthened.

    The five steps

    Step 1: Mindfulness Training - Recognize your triggers and warning signs
    In order to start turning down the new path, you must first of all discover where the roads part. To help, you can start by investigating whether there are any special markers in the landscape around the place where you need to remember to turn off. Metaphorically, for example, you have to teach yourself that when you spot that characteristic purple flower by the small stream, it's just a matter of time before you have to remember to turn onto the good path.

    Start by writing down any particular triggers or warning signs that may be associated with your nail biting. You can use the following questions:

    • External triggers: Are there any particular external conditions such as places, people, times of day or contexts where you are more likely to bite your nails? Examples: When you are alone, it is evening, in front of the television or when you have to solve a difficult task.

    • Internal triggers: Are there any special internal conditions such as certain feelings, sensations or sensations that can increase your risk of nail biting Examples: When you are bored, feel stressed, have restlessness in your body or feel unevenness on the tips of your nails.

    • Warning signs: What typically happens in the few seconds before you start biting your nails? Examples: You look at the nails and look for irregularities, you run the nails over my lips or click them against the teeth.


    With the above in mind, record all your nail biting occurrences over a week - where you were, what you were doing and how many nails you bit at a time. Knowing and writing down these markers and patterns can help you become more aware more quickly and make an active choice before you've bitten your nails without realizing it.

    Step 2: Stimulus control: Make it easier for yourself to choose the good habit
    Something else you can do is to metaphorically put up signs for yourself where the roads part, or lay visible chains of light to guide us along the right path.

    When it comes to nail biting, this is about, on the one hand, actively helping yourself to become aware and, on the other hand, being motivated to choose the good habit over the bad.

    If you've been trying to stop biting your nails for a long time, you're guaranteed to know about the horrible nail oils that are made to taste really bad, so you're punished for having your fingers in your mouth. However, we know from research that we humans are more motivated by reward, so-called positive reinforcement, than by punishment.

    This is where Gel products come into play. If you put Gel products on the nails, they feel and look different, which can help you to get your attention in time. At the same time, having a set of nails that you really want to keep can be very motivating.

     

    This is how you can do it in practice

    • Create your dream nails. Choose beautiful colors for your desired look here and do not compromise on the design. In this way, you increase the motivation not to bite your nails.

    • If necessary, use strong colors to start. Give yourself a mental reminder that this color is intended to remind you to stop biting your nails. It's easier to spot a strong color heading towards your face, so you increase the likelihood of getting attention and forcing your hand away from your mouth again.

    • Deliberately spend extra time on prep and product application. Try to set yourself a goal to be extra careful with all steps. You can see the detailed video guides for using the products here . This not only makes your nails look better and provides better durability, but you increase your own investment in your nails and thus your motivation to let them remain intact.

    • Let yourself be inspired! Take time to find inspiration for nail designs or techniques you'd like to try, and save the photos for later. You can find a lot of inspiration on Neglefeber's Instagram or through their fantastic Facebook Community .

    • Reward yourself! As previously mentioned, rewards are highly motivating for habit changes. Use this to your advantage by treating yourself when you manage not to bite your nails. For example, allow yourself to buy one or more products from your nail wish list for each day/week in which you succeed in not biting your nails!

    Step 3: Response inhibition - Makes it difficult or impossible to choose the bad habit
    If we return to the path in the forest, an obvious option is of course to place a large log in front of the old path and thus block this path. This is one of the most effective ways to change a bad habit.

    When this is used to treat habits, it is called response inhibition. For example, if you have a habit of pulling your hair, you can prevent it by always wearing a hat or shaving your head. You simply ensure that the habit cannot be performed, which weakens the neural pathways associated with the habit. For nail biters, the classic method has been to use gloves. I, Tamara Hansen, have heard several people report having gloves taped to their wrists as children. But again, here The Gel Collection offers a more aesthetic alternative.

    1. Use hard/strong products: If your nails allow it, I recommend making
    some strong sets of nails that are hard to bite into. You can use, for example
    products such as BuilderGel and Rubber Base. Take extra care with sealing the free edge, as the aim is to ensure that there is nothing loose or frayed that you could be tempted to bite or pick at.

    2. If necessary, use extensions: If you have had short nails for a long time due to nail biting, it will be a completely different experience to have longer nails, and you will block the possibility of even being able to reach and bite your natural nail. For some, however, long nails will increase the urge to bite, because you constantly notice the protruding tips. I recommend experimenting and starting with a shorter extension if you choose this method.

    However, there are a number of things that you need to be aware of to ensure that you have a good experience using the nail products. You can read that here .

    Step 4: Counteraction: Choose to do something else
    So far you have remembered markers in the landscape and put up big neon signs and strong blockades where the paths diverge. The last step, when you have discovered that the roads part, is of course to direct your feet towards the new, good path and actually walk this way. But how do you translate that into nail biting? How do you follow the path of the good habit?

    The human brain notoriously has difficulty relating to the concept of not, and it is therefore difficult to relate to "not biting nails" as a concrete alternative to biting. We are therefore introducing an alternative action that supports our goal of not biting nails – a so-called counter action.

    • Choose a counter-action that is in direct opposition to nail biting. For example, clenching both fists, sitting on the hands, or performing an action that requires both hands.

    • Do this action for 60 seconds every time you notice one of your warning signs and every time you realize you've already started biting your nails. It's important that it's 60 seconds, even if it's annoying and disruptive. That is the whole point.

    • If you bite your nails frequently, set aside a period of time each day to start practicing implementing your countermeasure, cf. above.

    Step 5: Be kind to yourself - Habit change is a process
    Finally, I would encourage you to be kind to yourself in the process. If you've made it this far, you clearly have a strong desire to stop biting your nails and are currently making an active effort to get rid of your nail biting habit.

    It is insanely difficult to change an ingrained habit, and there are countless of us who struggle with our bad habits every day. For some, professional help may be necessary, in which case you are welcome to contact our clinic.

    Remember, the goal of the above tools and methods is not to stop biting your nails overnight. It is learning about your habit and step by step weakening it. This means that you will definitely end up biting your nails despite all your attempts to follow this advice. When that happens, you are learning to understand and recognize your habit! Instead of beating yourself up, remind yourself that you are strengthening your awareness and good habit every time you notice the nail biter and lower your hand again. It's not about always walking the right path, but about discovering when you're off track and changing direction – again and again!

    Thanks and closing
    A huge thank you must go to Tamara Hansen and the private practice Psychologists Johansen and Kristoffersen at Frederiksberg for contributing to this theory section about nail biting and nail pills. To give you a boost on your further journey to stop your nail biting or nail pilling, below we have collected a number of success stories that can hopefully provide some motivation.

    Customer stories

    In our fantastic Nail Fever Lounge, we, The Gel Collection, have heard some of your stories regarding nail pills and biting. It is important to us that we can inspire and draw important insights from each other, which is why three of the stories are included here.

    Customer history – a tough battle
    By Nanna Thorsen

    I've been picking at my nails for as long as I can remember. Every time I could pick at a nail, or the skin around the nails, I did it - even if it hurt like hell and I got sores around the nails. I peeled my nails off so they were short and clammy. I could also find myself biting it off if I couldn't peel it off properly. Just over three years ago I had my nails done by a technician. It is very very expensive.

    Then I discovered The Gel Collection and made it myself from there. It is cheaper and has become a nice hobby, as my nails became nice with the length and nice colors. It dawned on me that tinkering and biting my nails doesn't do any good. In the picture with no color, you can see how much damage peeling the skin did. And it's not nice. In the other pictures, you can see a clear improvement in that I no longer pick at my skin and nails. The length is not quite my own yet. But they are well on their way.

    It was undoubtedly a difficult battle not to fidget and bite. Especially because it was a habit when I got nervous. But with the nice colors and slightly longer nails, it quietly helped me to stop. Now I have the finest nails. And it's thanks to you and your products!

    Customer history – on penicillin due to inflammation
    By Conny Rudbeck

    I am a nail biter and peeler of cuticles and the skin around the nail. I have been all my life and still am. Without the product on, my nails are non-existent, as I bite them all the way down, so they bleed and hurt. It is so severe that I have ended up on penicillin several times due to inflammation. With or without product on, I still bite the dog all around, and I simply can't handle it if there is a loose piece of skin or similar. This happens especially if I have forgotten nail oil.

    Now I do my own nails with the Press On Tipper and I love it! I spare my nails from so much stress and damage at the same time that my natural nails become beautiful, strong/healthy and not least longer inside.

    Before I discovered the products from The Gel Collection, I have tried far too few times to stop the hell that is nail biting/picking.
    The various products that were supposed to taste so bad that you stop have not worked. I have spent a lot of money on trained nail technicians, where I know some have been disappointed and others well satisfied. But in the end I have to admit that it just doesn't last as well as when I do it myself with Neglefeber's products and now I can fix it at the slightest sign of damage, mistakes, etc. Nail oil is my favorite product for my problems. I feel feminine and beautiful with my healthy nails and wouldn't want to be without them for anything in the world.

    So, the best advice that I can pass on is nail oil!

    Customer story - ripped to shreds
    By Chistina Clemmensen

    As a child and up until my 20s, I bit my nails and picked at the skin around so badly that I had the worst nail roots and often tore to blood because I had to pick/bite so much.

    I have naturally soft and thin nails, so they break even at the slightest impact, as long as they peek over the edge. All remedies such as go nails etc. are tried, but it is pure bad habit and boredom. It became a process of trying all sorts of bad fake nails and different products. But yes, as the wise will know from experience, when you mess around blindly like that, you do more harm than good, and it didn't help the pill anyway.
    So about 8-9 years ago I tried a little intensively to make nails myself with gel, so there was a little strength. But because I didn't have the basic knowledge and theory behind me, I got a lift, it fell off, and yes, it didn't help the pill either.

    Then I "met" The Gel Collection and felt their vision all the way to the heart - mostly out of gratitude that they are marketing themselves on the basis that everyone can join. I'm not good at salons because it burns my nails and my cuticles are so sensitive. So I almost feel insulted - and that's not the point.

    So, I splurged a little over a year ago and keep getting wiser every time. But because I don't have a lift, I use nail oil and probably best of all, my good friend the cuticle clipper , so there's not all that fiddling anymore. Because if there is finally a small bump, I don't peel, but cut away and oil, and then I don't get rewarded on that account.

    I love Neglefeber's concept and products, and it has awakened a little nail princess in me and given me the courage to try a lot of cool things with the fantastic products.