Biting my Nails – Old Habits die gently

I started biting my nails when I was about 6 years old, or even earlier… I remember my mother telling me not to do it, and eventually buying some foul tasting liquid to put on my nails. Despite this awful taste I persisted. It became a very unconscious habit that increased when I was aware of being anxious, for example reading a tension-inducing book or in my teens watching a literally – for me – a “nail-biting” TV programme! As I grew older and became more self conscious I tried to hide my nails by folding my fingers inside my palms so no one would notice. I felt helpless to do anything about it, although I would like to have stopped the habit. I chewed all the way through my school years.

I got married with bitten nails and let the end of my fingers drop when people wanted to see my engagement and wedding rings. At one point I even went for a manicure and had false nails put on. This worked for a while as I couldn’t chew my nails through the false ones. But even though my nails grew a little underneath, when the false nails fell off my own nails were so weak and brittle that they split and I chewed once more. Later I decided to try hypnotherapy in an effort to stop my habit: this technique worked for a while, and I dutifully performed the self hypnotherapy programme I had been given, but this didn’t hold and I once again chewed my nails.  I was trying to treat the symptoms, not the cause.

As a result of being introduced to Serge Benhayon and the Universal Medicine teachings 8 years ago, I realised that self-love was a new concept to me! I began to understand that my self-loathing and lack of self-love in my case manifested as nail biting   which I used as a form of anger against myself. It was safer to literally “eat myself” than to show my anger outwardly. How unloving was that?! My self esteem had been very low for a long time.

I began to alter my former lifestyle habits by choosing a gentler rhythm in my daily activities: this involved sleeping according to how my body felt and also eating a diet that suited me, for true nourishment – foods that didn’t make me feel heavy or bloated. I became more aware of how I moved about in my daily life and began a gentle daily walk. I stopped pushing myself, which had a hardening effect on me and my body. I became a lot more accepting of myself and appreciating myself for who I truly am, not what I had been told I was from childhood. I noticed how I began to feel so much better about and even like myself, something unheard of for as long as I could remember. I had spent a lot of money on various spiritual modalities before Universal Medicine, but nothing had really changed, as I had only experienced temporary relief from some symptoms.

I began to develop love for myself, which meant that I cared for and nurtured my body more, and this has lasted until this day.

I have also received Esoteric Healing from Universal Medicine practitioners. A few years after my initial introduction to Universal Medicine and as my self-love grew, I observed that I was no longer constantly chewing my nails… and in fact my nails were growing. This happened without any trying to stop! It seemed like a miracle to me. Fifty years of a habit evaporated over the next few months. Wow! I no longer hide my nails and hands out of embarrassment and even paint my nails, have manicures and choose to wear rings on occasions. Thank you to Serge Benhayon and all the amazing Universal Medicine practitioners who have supported me over the past few years as I return to the true me – a work still in progress.

By Sue Q, Somerset UK

Further Reading:
Learning to Feel my Feelings: Human Beings, not Human Doings

1,263 thoughts on “Biting my Nails – Old Habits die gently

  1. I have a habit of chewing on plastic when I feel stressed – I often do it without noticing. It is something I have always done from when I was about 10. After reading this blog I am going to pay more attention to when I start to do it and what I am feeling at the time.

  2. Biting nails seems such little thing but from my experience also it was a pattern that was hard to break as there were times I didn’t even realise I was biting them. Anxiety and lack of self worth were behind my addiction and I never consciously knew this until I started to put in place a self loving program for myself and one day I realised that I was not biting my nails anymore. This experience has confirmed that the simplest pattern that is attacking who we are has an underlying cause and by deeply loving ourselves these patterns become exposed and beliefs, ideals or pictures become exposed for what they are – not true. A simple blog with a very loving message – thanks Sue.

  3. Trying to fix the problem without finding the root cause never does work, at least not in the long run as you have found Sue. When we connect to our true essence of love and bring this love into our self care, then amazing healing is possible, as in your case. Thank you for sharing Sue.

  4. Thank you Sue for your open sharing and I agree just trying to fix things or find a solution does not work, we do need to address the root cause and support ourselves from then onwards and Universal Medicine offers amazing modalities to support with this.

  5. A simple but powerful account of true healing thanks Sue, something that has to be a whole-body and being process, and not just the addressing of a symptom as you spent years trying unsuccessfully to do.

  6. Letting go of an old habit can leave you feeling quite vulnerable. What do I do now that I am no longer relying on this habit? The need to fill the space and ‘do’ something else can be very strong. I love how you introduced new self loving choices and as a result your nail biting simply stopped with no need for will power or struggle.

  7. Thank you for your sharing, I feel that many people can probably relate to it. A habit of anxiousness and I notice when I do it it keeps me in this state and momentum, a constant movement. When I stop and register it then I can feel more of what is going on.

  8. ‘I was trying to treat the symptoms, not the cause.’ Isn’t this what we tend to do? And then we create a habit that can put a lid on our feelings, and the reaction to our feelings, such as anger in this case. I have found the same for myself, that if I put more focus on my own care and the quality in which I live all else follows and that same value and appreciation for myself grows too.

  9. I too used to be consumed by nail biting and it can still at times play out even now. From what I have observed, it surfaces when I become consumed by the detail of life and become overwhelmed with how to cope with what is on my plate, hence the anxiousness/raciness that jumpstarts the nibbling of nails. I have learnt then when I first feel myself slipping into this overwhelm and confusion all I need to do is pan out and see the web and every thread that makes it so. The key is to pay attention to the detail in life, but not get lost in it. There is always a bigger picture at play.

  10. It’s amazing how our most stubborn habits and behaviours melt away when we commit to making our life about love and about purpose. Commitment is the remedy for so much…

  11. I have not been a nail biter but know many who have been. When we are stressed or feeling under some form of pressure we all seem to find an outlet for our anxiety . We need to see ourselves as worthy of love and self love is as good place to start!

  12. ‘ It was safer to literally “eat myself” than to show my anger outwardly.’ Great you no longer eating yourself Sue, you much to precious too be a meal for your anger. I know you no longer live with this anger but have chosen to heal this issue and to love yourself.

  13. I too have bitten my nails and can relate to those feelings of overwhelm that seem so big that the only way to relieve it was to eat away at myself, literally. Stopping biting my nails happened instantly after experiencing the Gentle Breath Meditation for a few days. It was quite extraordinary and I knew the moment that I stopped. I have loved caring for my nails and hands ever since. Come to think of it I don’t feel anxious and overwhelmed that often now either. Connecting to the fact that I am so much more than any issue has helped me understand that the whole of my body is important to care for.

  14. Healing unresolved hurts then the behaviour patterns that we develop to hide and protect ourselves from feeling the pain are no longer needed and they fall away like shedding a skin.

  15. A lovely simple example Sue of choosing to self love and nurture. What you have written here is powerful and wise;
    “I became a lot more accepting of myself and appreciating myself for who I truly am, not what I had been told I was from childhood”.

    1. Yes, we are so powerful when we make self loving a priority in life, as you say, yet so many of us have been taught to hide our light and love; and even when we know better we continue to do so for fear of reactions and jealousy from others. Yet if we truly are full of love, then we can hold strong and it doesn’t matter how others treat us. Appreciation of ourselves – and others – is so important. Let’s build each other up, not tear each other down.

  16. Yes Sue, who ever would equate a true remedy for biting nails to ‘being yourself’, but it makes perfect sense really. To not be ourselves leaves us ill-equipped to deal with life, and hence we feel anxiety. Connect to the essence of who we are, and life starts to feel a whole lot more manageable. It just goes to show that healing is far more than arresting a symptom… and that even if you had managed to stop the nail biting through any of those means you tried, the underlying need to bite them would be no different, so chances are it would have just shown itself in a different way.

  17. It is phenomenal that a 50 year habit can dissolve in a matter of weeks when the true cause is addressed rather than just treatment of the symptoms. So many people suffering through this would be deeply supported in knowing that it could be eradicated through addressing their self loathing and lack of self love and in learning to love rather than attack themselves.

  18. This blog confirms that life can be so simple – simply choose self love as your way and be ever diligent of the detail of this always honest, holding and appreciative. Everything else that is not true just drops away.

  19. Miracles do happen! Gosh, we really take for granted just how simple life can actually be when we stop to appreciate the wonders that we are.

  20. It is interesting to consider that our outer behaviour is so much so an expression of how we are with ourselves from within and therefore everything, as biting nails, does tell us something about how we are on the inside and from this point, if we are looking for a treatment, we always have to also engage our inner behaviour in it too.

  21. I love how you have said your 50 years of habit evaporated without you trying to do anything – it really goes to show how we get it wrong when we look out our ‘issues’ and try to fix them, and the ‘issues’ are secondary to what is underneath energetically.

    1. Yes indeed, we need to look beneath our issues and habits to see and feel what is truly going on energetically – then we can truly heal. Anything else is just a patch-up, a temporary fix, hence so many illnesses return because the true cause hasn’t been addressed.

  22. I find a habit never disappears by focusing on it, but by changing the quality I choose to live my life by. For example, if I am over-eating, or eating too many nuts or something I know is not right for me, will-power will only last so long, however if I make choices to look after myself more deeply and make different choices throughout the day the tendency to over-eat or to eat the wrong things begins to disappear.

    1. I agree Meg – that will power and discipline don’t hold forever – hence the many failed dieters. Deepening our self-loving choices on the other hand can result in amazing changes for our lives.

  23. Introducing love and appreciation for oneself is very powerful and it will not only help us from stopping biting our nails as in your case Sue, but even more than that, it will support us in the unfolding of the beautiful human being we naturally are and deserve to be.

    1. Acceptance, love and appreciation bring so much into our lives, once we stop the self-bashing. As you say Nico, we are all amazing human beings. We only have to look at young babies to see we were all like that once – open and unprotected, full of love. Yet along the way – with the way society is set up, we accumulate hurts and reduce ourselves from the magnificence we were born with. The good news being, with the support of Universal Medicine, that many have or are on the way to restoring their natural beauty and being-ness.

  24. If I see someone biting their nails it feels indeed an aggresion towards themselves.
    It is a direct attack on their existance.

  25. Treating symptoms instead of the root cause is at best only a temporary solution. The only way to bring true change is to understand and heal the root cause of any dis-ease in the body.

  26. Sometimes with self-loathing and lack of self-love it’s like we can get ourselves into a downwards cycle – whereby we do something as a result of the self-loathing e.g nail biting or overeating or binging on alcohol/ drugs… and then hate ourselves more because of what we did and thereby perpetuate the loathing. But Serge Benhayon truly presents a way to heal ourselves and rebuild the love that we innately are, first with ourselves and from there naturally being it more in all our relationships.

  27. I was always a bit bamboozled by what a ‘behaviour’ is. It was a concept I could never quite grasp, until I realised it describes a particular pattern of movements that are not true. These movements could be the way someone speaks – the tone, the volume, the intent etc. Recognising these behaviours makes it so much easier to observe and understand why this person may be using these and what they are actually trying to say.

  28. Self-love is a powerful medicine that forms a foundational part of the answer to so many of our woes and ills.
    A good dose of self-love is how we get to know that we ARE love, and that we don’t have an ounce of justification to not love ourselves deeply and always.

  29. There is so much more going on in life than we realise… and our actions come from within so if the actions aren’t what we want, there is an opportunity to look within to address the root cause.

  30. I have a habit of chewing my lips – it used to be this inside of my mouth but it’s progressed since then. It’s something I’m aware of and when I do catch myself doing it I stop myself, but this can happen several if not many times a day. I really want to stop but have not fully got to the bottom of it, so have just been trying to treat the symptom. I definitely do it more when I’m anxious, so am working on being more present, feeling my body from the inside out, so I’m not getting ahead of myself (which creates anxiousness in my body). It’s work in progress so I’ll let you know how it goes.

    1. Anxiousness can cause a variety of symptoms, including the one you describe Lucy. I found developing more conscious presence with myself and my body – and self love and nurturing – allowed my nail-biting habit to dissolve away. Giving it attention seemed to make it worse, cos I felt I wasn’t good enough and shouldn’t be doing that ‘at my age’! Let us know how it goes for you. Having loving support and no (self) judgement helps too.

  31. I love the focus on how old habits can die gently. There is no struggle when we connect and commit to change.

    1. Yes, staying connected is the key – no more struggle or ‘trying’. What a relief after years of that! What we focus on expands – so ‘trying’ increases that aspect. Focussing on loving and nurturing ourselves expands that too. I know which I prefer!

  32. That’s miraculous Sue to do that to your body over 50 years and now stop. I have a bad habit that I continually abuse myself with daily – still! It’s great to have this awareness that at the core or cause is a lack of self-worth or self-loathing.

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